Heitkamp and Cramer Reflect on First Year - KMOT.COM - Minot, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Heitkamp and Cramer Reflect on First Year

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After winning the election in 2012 the start of 2013 brought new challenges for Senator Heidi Heitkamp and Representative Kevin Cramer as they moved in to their new offices in Washington D.C.

"Its had its ups and downs like most things. Its has some surprises both good and bad, its very hard work," says Cramer. 

And he says there's one thing that surprised him, just how partisan it really is on capitol hill. 

"And when I say partisan I don't even mean the votes. I don't even mean the public rhetoric. I mean committee hearings, the witnesses that are lined up to testify, the questions that are lined up for the witnesses to testify, the way the committees are separated between the two parties and just how harsh a lot of it can be," says Cramer.

Which was clearly seen by the public back in October when the government shut down for over two weeks.

"I think the shutdown was a moment for me where I realized that there were people that I was working with who would jeopardize the entire American economy for political purpose and that was not a high point," says Heitkamp. 

But she said when it was over it forced members of congress to realize they needed to work together and get something done, at least as far as the budget was concerned, by the end of the year. 

"And as a result you saw us passing a budget at the end of the year. Now we'll see if on the 15 either we go to appropriations or a modified continued resolution. But I don't think we're going to shutdown government again. I think we're now engaging in long term discussions about debt and deficit reduction and what makes sense," Heitkamp.

Both Cramer and Heitkamp say a top priority going into the new year will be to pass a farm bill as soon as congress gets back in session. 

  For Cramer the new year also means a new election, if he decides to run again. 
     He hasn't announced his candidacy yet but he says he doesn't think his decision will surprise anyone.

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