Washington Post reporter and author of the ‘Power Up’ morning newsletter, Jacqueline Alemany, spoke with Senator Kevin Cramer about his legislative priorities for the 117th Congress this week. The conversation with the junior Senator from North Dakota covered a number of hot button issues including the recent mass shooting in Boulder, CO, the Senate’s filibuster rules, immigration, infrastructure, climate and the future of the Republican Party. You can see the full interview via Washington Post Live, here, or read about it in Alemany’s newsletter, here.
When asked about two gun bills recently introduced in the House, Senator Cramer expressed openness to the legislation, but suggested that a better route would be to ensure that previous gun legislation is properly enforced.
“Conceptually, I am open to anything,” said Senator Cramer. “There are very few times when I say ‘I will never do that.’ I think you can’t have an honest discussion on non-starters.”
The senator also said, “We are not adequately enforcing the existing laws within our Constitution.”
He went on to explain that, “By enforcing, I don’t just mean catching the bad guys… but that registration, the background checks, not making it into the NICS list, the FBI not adequately vetting, not sending in the information for people who should not be eligible for a gun. We have seen that play out in tragic ways.”
On the Senate filibuster, Senator Cramer said he was willing to work with Democrats, but suggested that the Democrats would have to make the first move.
“One of the challenges with regards to the filibuster, you said upfront that the Democrats are taking a ‘wait and see’ attitude to see if we will work with them,” said the North Dakotan senator. “The first thing they have to do — they have to introduce legislation and have hearings.”
“It has been all executive orders and there wasn’t even an invitation, there has never been a public hearing on this. Even if the filibuster is a principle worth maintaining or not,” Senator Cramer continued.
Senator Cramer also reassured Alemany that the upcoming infrastructure package wouldn’t likely go through a budget reconciliation process, saying that, other than opposition to China, it was one of the few issues with a wide base of bi-partisan support.
“I can’t think of a topic where it makes more sense to go the bi-partisan route. We’ve already had a fair bit of success,” said Senator Cramer.
Jacqueline Alemany has worked for the Washington Post since 2018, following up her six years at CBS News where she worked as a Broadcast Associate for ‘Face of the Nation.’ Her morning newsletter features news critical of the many power centers in the United States, including the White House, Capitol Hill, government agencies, and the Pentagon. To see more of her work, check out the ‘Power Up’ newsletter at The Washington Post linked here.