Senator Heidi Heitkamp is in the media claiming President Donald Trump’s budget, which reduces funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, could put funding for the flood diversion project in Fargo in jeopardy.
Today during our weekly open phones segment on WDAY AM970 (audio below) Congressman Kevin Cramer told me he doesn’t see it that way.
“I’ve looked at that part of the budget and frankly I don’t see it,” he told me.
[mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#000000″]”We’re $20 trillion in debt,” he continued. “We can’t all sit around and protect our sacred cows and expect that we’ll get to a balanced budget.”[/mks_pullquote]
Cramer noted that while Trump’s budget does decrease the current funding for the Corps, it’s an increase over what President Barack Obama was proposing.
“It doesn’t look like the diversion is at risk,” he said.
Cramer also addressed Heitkamp’s recent complaints about cuts to Essential Air Service programs in the state which currently subsidize flights into three North Dakota cities at a cost of thousands of dollars each.
“Eliminating the entire program makes more sense to me than cutting bits and pieces,” Cramer said, adding that it makes little sense to maintain a “nearly $3,000 per flight subsidy to fly out of airports that are 90 minutes from other airports.”
“We’re $20 trillion in debt,” he continued. “We can’t all sit around and protect our sacred cows and expect that we’ll get to a balanced budget.”
I also asked Cramer about the Republican health care plan, pointing out that some say it’s not really the repeal of Obamacare that Republicans campaigned on. The Congressman said it’s “asbsolutely” a repeal of Obamacare and argued that “too many people want the perfect to be the enemy of the good.”
“If we don’t do anything we’re going to have Obamacare for another year or so and then it will collapse,” Cramer said.
Why not just let it collapse?
“Politically that would probably be ok, but it wouldn’t be very responsible,” he said.
Here’s the full audio:
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