Sen. Cramer’s Thanksgiving Message

Source: United States Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND)

***Click here to download video. Click here for audio.***

BISMARCK – U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND) released a Thanksgiving Day video message today.

“As we head into the holiday season, we often take time, and appropriately, to reflect on how much we have to be thankful for. Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joys, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings. On this Thanksgiving Day, whether you find yourself surrounded by dozens of family and friends, or just a few, or however you celebrate, remember you are never alone. Our great God is always with you and he is the source of all our blessings. From my family to yours, I wish you a very happy Thanksgiving. May your heart and your home be filled with gladness and joy. God bless you and God bless America.”

Click Here to Watch


Statement On The Dismantling Of Democracy In El Salvador

Source: United States Senator for Vermont Patrick Leahy

11.24.21

Like the Salvadoran people, I hoped that the 1992 Peace Accords would signal the beginning of a new era of democratic governance, justice, and a better life for the people of El Salvador after 12 years of a disastrous civil war.  Instead, rampant corruption, incompetence, and the unchecked personal ambitions of successive Salvadoran leaders to hold onto power have prevented the realization of those goals.  The officials responsible for the dismantling of the country’s democratic checks and balances have populist appeal, but they also share ominous characteristics with the military junta that ruled the country, with U.S. support, in the 1980s.  For many of the same reasons why I opposed U.S. military aid back then, the United States should not partner with the leaders of El Salvador’s today, who lack a basic commitment to democratic principles, justice, and fundamental rights, including the right of civil society to function without interference.



Luján, Cramer Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Bolster Outdoor Recreation, Promote Biking on Federal Lands

Source: US Senator for New Mexico Ben Ray Luján

Luján, Cramer Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Bolster Outdoor Recreation, Promote Biking on Federal Lands

Nambé, N.M. – U.S. Senators Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) and Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) introduced the Biking On Long-Distance Trails (BOLT) Act to bolster outdoor recreation and promote biking on federal lands across the United States. The bipartisan legislation is co-sponsored by U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.).  

Capitalizing on New Mexico’s 21 million acres of rich landscapes is vital to the state’s economy. In New Mexico, the outdoor recreation economy accounts for 2.2% of the state’s GDP, providing over 35,000 jobs and $1.2 billion in wages. Nationally, the outdoor economy is rapidly growing. This is especially important for rural areas where wages are faster-growing in counties that have outdoor recreation than those that don’t.  

As we continue to build our economy and utilize the vast federal lands across the United States, the BOLT Act will make bike trails more accessible and direct the Department of Interior (DOI) to:  

  • Identify not fewer than 10 long-distance bike trails; 
  • Identify not fewer than 10 areas in which there is an opportunity to develop or complete long-distance bike trials; 
  • Allow the DOI to publish and distribute maps, install signage, and issue promotional materials; 
  • Publish a report that lists the trails developed under this legislation. 

“In New Mexico and across America, there are millions of acres of federal lands that have gone untapped for responsible outdoor recreation use. This bipartisan legislation will make bike trails more accessible and safer across America and will provide a much-needed boost to the growing outdoor recreation economy,” said Luján. “I have always enjoyed getting out on my mountain bike to explore New Mexico’s beautiful landscapes, and this legislation will make those outdoor spaces more accessible to Americans across the country.”  

“The longest continuous single track mountain bike trail in the U.S. is lucky to call North Dakota home. As the former North Dakota Tourism Director, I know the Maah Daah Hey and other bike trails provide enriching recreational experiences and economic opportunities for our communities. Our bill identifies long-distance bike trails on public lands for all to enjoy,” said Cramer

“Mountain biking has grown in popularity over the last decade, most notably during the pandemic, and we at the International Mountain Bicycling Association applaud Senator Ben Ray Luján  from New Mexico and Senator Kevin Cramer from North Dakota for recognizing the importance of outdoor recreation and introducing the bipartisan Biking on Long Distance Trails (BOLT) Act. Now is the time to invest in our outdoor recreation infrastructure by providing pathways to positive physical and mental health and creating jobs in the outdoor economy,” said Dave Wiens, Executive Director of the International Mountain Bicycling Association. 

“We are proud to support Senator Luján and our partners at the International Mountain Bicycling Association as the Senator introduces the BOLT Act. In the past few years more and more people have become aware of the amazing physical, mental, and economic benefits of cycling–specifically bike touring. By providing language to help support existing trails and enact new initiatives, we believe the BOLT Act will result in more opportunities for riders and communities to experience long distance routes,” said Kyle Klain, President, Santa Fe Fat Tire Society. 

Full text of the legislation is available HERE.  

###

Wyden, Merkley Send Names of Three Finalists for U.S. Attorney for Oregon to White House

Source: United States Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore)

November 24, 2021

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today sent to the White House the names of three finalists to be the next U.S. Attorney for Oregon.

The three finalists were chosen after review by a selection committee assembled by Wyden and Merkley. Following interviews with seven applicants for the job and soliciting public input, each committee member ranked the candidates. The three highest-ranked candidates from the cumulative rankings for the U.S. Attorney for Oregon post, listed in alphabetical order, are as follows:

  • Craig Gabriel — Assistant United States Attorney and Chief of the Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon
  • Vivek Kothari — Associate at Markowitz Herbold and former Assistant United States Attorney, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia
  • Natalie Wight — Assistant United States Attorney and Deputy Chief of the Organized and Violent Crime Section, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon

Wyden and Merkley thank both the committee for its service and the members of the public who offered input on the applicants.

“We’re gratified that the selection committee has identified these three very qualified candidates for the White House’s consideration to this important post,” Wyden and Merkley said. “We’re confident that Oregonians would be wellserved by having any one of these three candidates as our state’s U.S. Attorney, and we stand ready to advance President Biden’s ultimate choice through the confirmation process.”

In their communication with the White House forwarding the three finalists, Wyden and Merkley noted they are neither endorsing or implying support for any particular nomination. 

The previous U.S. Attorney for Oregon was Billy Williams, who announced his departure from the post as the state’s chief federal law enforcement official in February 2021. Scott Erik Asphaug has been serving as Acting U.S. Attorney.

 



Senator Markey Statement on Ahmaud Arbery Verdict

Source: United States Senator for Massachusetts Ed Markey

Boston (November 24, 2021) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) released the following statement today after Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael, and William Bryan Jr. were found guilty of murder in the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery.

“Black lives matter. Ahmaud Arbery’s life mattered,” said Senator Markey. “Today, the three men who murdered Ahmaud Arbery were held to account for their racist crime. This verdict cannot bring Ahmaud back, and his death is a loss the Arbery family should never have had to experience. Our work to dismantle the systemic racism that serves as a death sentence for Black people across America must continue unabated. We must not stop until we find lasting justice for Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Laquan McDonald, Breonna Taylor, and so many more. Today is but one step in our long fight for true justice for every victim of racist violence in America.”

 

###

Ahead of Thanksgiving, Senator Murray Encourages Families to Get Vaccinated, Remember Boosters

Source: United States Senator for Washington State Patty Murray

Senator Murray: “Don’t wait—get boosted as soon as you can and enjoy a happy holiday season with friends and family this year.”

(Seattle, WA) – Today, ahead of Thanksgiving, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) issued the following statement encouraging families to get vaccinated and to remember to get their booster shots, particularly after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have authorized and recommended use of a single booster dose for everyone 18 years and older after completion of primary vaccination with any approved COVID-19 vaccine.

“Last Thanksgiving was a really tough time for everyone in Washington state—too many families spent the holiday separated and a lot of people spent the holiday on their own. But thanks to the vaccine and the American Rescue Plan, families can once again safely gather around the dinner table.

“Washington state has been a leader in getting vaccinated—and as winter sets in, we should all remember to take that important and easy step of getting our booster shot as well.

“It’s simple: if you’re 18 or older and you’ve been fully vaccinated, get a booster. It’s safe, effective, and it’s going to protect you—and everyone else around you. Don’t wait—get boosted as soon as you can and enjoy a happy holiday season with friends and family this year.”

###

Cornyn, Doggett, McCaul, Texas Colleagues Urge Commerce Secretary Raimondo to Consider Texas for Key Semiconductor Production Sites

Source: United States Senator for Texas John Cornyn

AUSTIN – U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), along with Congressman Lloyd Doggett (TX-35), House Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Michael McCaul (TX-10), and a bipartisan group of 31 other members of the Texas congressional delegation sent a letter today to Department of Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo calling for Texas to be considered for the future sites of the National Semiconductor Technology Center (NSTC) and National Advanced Packaging Manufacturing Program (NAPMP) as authorized by his CHIPS for America Act. The NSTC and NAPMP will be essential to maintaining an edge in semiconductor manufacturing leadership and hugely impactful to the region where it is established, creating a larger cluster of semiconductor investment.

They wrote: “With a vibrant and long-standing space, defense, telecommunications industry, and manufacturing history, Texas is uniquely situated to foster the innovative environment in which the NSTC and NAPMP can thrive with broad engagement from chipmakers, material and equipment suppliers, chip customers, universities, research institutes and existing government partners.”

“You will not find a better state in which to establish the National Semiconductor Technology Center and National Advanced Packaging Manufacturing Program. We strongly endorse selecting Texas as the future sites for the NSTC and NAPMP.”
 

The full text of the letter can be found here and below.

The Honorable Gina Raimondo
Secretary of Commerce
U.S. Department of Commerce
1401 Constitution Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20230

November 24, 2021

Dear Secretary Raimondo:

We write to urge you to consider selecting Texas for the future sites of the National Semiconductor Technology Center (NSTC) and National Advanced Packaging Manufacturing Program (NAPMP) established in Sec. 9906 of the William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 (Public Law 116–283). The tech industry is big in Texas- especially in Austin where the Department’s Commercial Service office is located. The Lone Star State’s strong, well-established information technology (IT) sector has given our State a global reputation as a leader in technology. The State government has recently announced the creation of a Texas Task Force to coordinate this effort.

The history of semiconductors is incomplete without Texans. From the 1958 invention of the integrated circuit in Dallas to the revitalization of the U.S. semiconductor market in the 1980s at SEMATECH in Austin, our State has a rich history as a leader in semiconductors since the industry’s inception.  Texas is home to over 200 semiconductor installations employing over 40,000 at some of the world’s largest semiconductor companies.

Now home to the international headquarters for Oracle in Austin and HPE in Houston, along with significant expansion by Google, Apple, Amazon, Wipro, Microsoft, Dell and Tesla, Texas has developed a synergy with leaders in innovation. For 14 years, it has ranked among the top two states for the number of technology-related patent assignees.

Centrally located both nationally and within the state itself, Austin has multiple Tier I research institutions from which to draw talent.  In fact, the National Science Foundation ranked Texas among the top tier of U.S. states for the number of doctorates awarded in tech-related fields, including electrical engineering. Acknowledging the rich innovative environment, the U.S. Army selected Austin as home for its new Army Futures Command, which focuses on science and technology development.  A strong military presence in Texas and our partnerships with like-minded allies around the world will be essential to protect an asset like the NSTC and NAPMP from our global competitors that do not abide by international trading norms.

As the largest energy-producing state in the nation, including wind and solar, Texas is the ninth largest economy in the world, home to 16 sea ports, multiple land ports of entry, and has been the largest U.S. exporter for 19 years in a row. With a vibrant and long-standing space, defense, telecommunications industry, and manufacturing history, Texas is uniquely situated to foster the innovative environment in which the NSTC and NAPMP can thrive with broad engagement from chipmakers, material and equipment suppliers, chip customers, universities, research institutes and existing government partners.  You will not find a better state in which to establish the National Semiconductor Technology Center and National Advanced Packaging Manufacturing Program. We strongly endorse selecting Texas as the future sites for the NSTC and NAPMP.

Sincerely,

/s/

Portman Lauds Assistance for Ukraine in Wake of Russian Aggression, Urges Further Aid

Source: United States Senator for Ohio Rob Portman

November 24, 2021 | Press Releases

CINCINNATI, OH – U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Co-Chair of the Senate Ukraine Caucus, issued the following statement regarding reports that Ukraine received two former U.S. Coast Guard patrol boats as part of the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative package and urged the Biden administration to provide further aid.

“As Russia continues to show signs of aggression against Ukraine, I am pleased to see Ukraine received two former U.S. Coast Guard patrol boats, which will help bolster its navy and enhance maritime security in the Black Sea. I urge the administration to provide further assistance in the form anti-air and anti-armor capabilities which will be vital to deterring this latest Russian threat. We must do all we can to stand with our ally Ukraine at this time. I am proud to have led bipartisan efforts in the Senate to increase security assistance for Ukraine over the past several years. I urge the Senate to vote on an amendment I am offering with Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) to the FY 22 National Defense Authorization Act that would increase the overall amount of assistance to Ukraine and mandate a higher percentage be spent on lethal assistance.”

###

Rubio and Kaine Urge Blinken to Advocate for Free & Fair Electoral Process in Honduras

Source: United States Senator for Florida Marco Rubio

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Tim Kaine (D-VA) sent a bipartisan letter to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken urging the United States to strongly advocate for a free, fair, and peaceful electoral process ahead of Honduras’ November 28th elections to elect a new President and National Congress.
 
“The general elections scheduled this weekend is an important opportunity for Honduras to demonstrate the resilience of its democracy and commitment to the rule of law,” the senators wrote. “The United States must use its influence with Honduras and within the region to support an open and transparent electoral process that is accepted by Hondurans and the international community.” 
 
“The United States and Honduras share an important and long-standing partnership,” the senators continued. “Our countries are united by extensive economic cooperation, shared regional concerns, and a deep cultural connection between our two peoples. We support the Honduran people’s desire for an open and inclusive democratic society. Now more than ever, it is imperative that the United States stand with Hondurans in support of those aspirations and towards a brighter future.” 
 
Senators Rubio and Kaine are Ranking Member and Chairman, respectively, of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere.
  
The full text of the letter is below.
 
Dear Secretary Blinken:
 
As Hondurans head to the polls to elect their national and local representatives, it is critical that the United States strongly advocate for a free, fair, and peaceful electoral process. Should these elections be perceived as illegitimate by Hondurans and the international community, the country could face political instability and violence. 
 
The general election scheduled this weekend is an important opportunity for Honduras to demonstrate the resilience of its democracy and commitment to the rule of law. The United States must use its influence with Honduras and within the region to support an open and transparent electoral process that is accepted by Hondurans and the international community.
 
Two hurricanes last year caused nearly $2 billion worth of damage, and many Hondurans have suffered from economic uncertainty because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The obstacles to inclusive economic prosperity have convinced much of the country’s population to consider emigration, including six out of ten millennials. We are pleased that the United States has supported Honduras throughout these difficult times, including through the donation of millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccines. Nevertheless, without a stable and democratically-elected government, Honduras will be unable to fully meet these numerous challenges.
 
The United States and Honduras share an important and long-standing partnership. Our countries are united by extensive economic cooperation, shared regional concerns, and a deep cultural connection between our two peoples. We support the Honduran people’s desire for an open and inclusive democratic society. Now more than ever, it is imperative the United States stand with Hondurans in support of those aspirations and towards a brighter future.
 
Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.
 
Sincerely,

News 11/24/2021 VIDEO RELEASE: Blackburn Gives Parents Tips For Protecting Children Online

Source: United States Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn)

NASHVILLE, TENN. – U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) is urging parents to take steps to safeguard their children online as they get new devices during the holiday season.

 

Click here to view the video on YouTube and here to download it.

 

“As you begin to celebrate the holidays and as children get more devices… I want to highlight with parents [that] it is vitally important to check those privacy settings. Make certain that you are in control of who [your] child is connecting to on that device…These big tech platforms like TikTok and Snapchat open the door to many dangers. Take a moment [to look at] your child’s device, [and] check those privacy settings.”