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Plain Talk: Sen. Kevin Cramer talks Fufeng controversy, PACT Act, same-sex marriage, and more

In an hour-long interview on the Plain Talk podcast, Sen. Kevin Cramer talks about the political issues making headlines today.

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U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D.
File Photo
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MINOT, N.D. — As the controversy over a corn milling plant near Grand Forks, and the Grand Forks Air Force Base, to be built by a Chinese company whose leader is a member of the Chinese Communist Party, continues to unfold, Sen. Kevin Cramer sees the need for legislation to address the matter.

Federal officials are in the process of reviewing the land purchase and potential development for national security threats, but on this episode of Plain Talk, Cramer said more needs to be done. "Agricultural investments are largely exempt. That needs to change," he said.

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Cramer also addressed the controversy over the PACT Act, which would provide medical benefits for soldiers exposed to toxic burn pits while deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Supporters of the bill, including comedian Jon Stewart, ripped Republican senators who changed their vote from "yes" to "no" after the bill came back from the House. Cramer says the reason he changed his vote is because House Democrats added a "technical glitch" that turns almost a half-trillion dollars of spending into nondiscretionary spending. "Democrats have played politics with the lives of veterans," Cramer says.

"At the end of the day, the bill will pass," he said, calling his "no" vote "procedural."

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Cramer also addressed the Respect for Marriage Act, which would codify same-sex marriage in federal law. He says he doesn't begrudge his colleague, Republican Congressman Kelly Armstrong, for voting for the bill in the House, but he doesn't believe it goes far enough to protect religious liberty. And even if it's tweaked, Cramer said it would be unlikely he'd vote for it.

As for the Inflation Reduction Act, which just came out of negotiations between Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, Cramer called it "a disaster." He said the permitting reforms that Manchin won as a concession from Schumer are unlikely to accomplish much.

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Opinion by Rob Port
Rob Port is a news reporter, columnist, and podcast host for the Forum News Service. He has an extensive background in investigations and public records. He has covered political events in North Dakota and the upper Midwest for two decades. Reach him at rport@forumcomm.com. Click here to subscribe to his Plain Talk podcast.
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