BISMARCK – U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND), a member of the Senate Banking and Senate Budget committees, joined a forum convened by the Bismarck Mandan Chamber of Commerce EDC yesterday, where he discussed the economy and ongoing efforts in Washington which will affect North Dakota’s local businesses and financial industry.

“I am thankful for the opportunity to participate in a productive discussion with local leaders about the impact of policies Congress is considering and the future of North Dakota’s economy,” said Senator Cramer. “Our local businesses and financial industry were excellent partners when Congress was working to help bridge the gap to the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic, providing me with their insights about programs like the Paycheck Protection Program and how to streamline its loan forgiveness process. Now, as we tackle issues like infrastructure, inflation, financial discrimination, and increased federal spending, it is good to hear their views on how to bolster our workforce and help the economy reopen quickly and effectively.”

As a member of the Senate Banking Committee, Senator Cramer worked with North Dakotans last year to help craft the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) in the CARES Act and led the Paycheck Protection Small Business Forgiveness Act to streamline the requirements for small businesses seeking PPP loan forgiveness. Last year, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce awarded him the Abraham Lincoln Leadership for America Award, which recognizes members of Congress who demonstrate the leadership needed to advance policies supporting American business.

In addition to ongoing infrastructure negotiations, and the impacts of inflation and increased spending on the economy, Senator Cramer’s remarks at the forum covered the Fair Access to Banking Act, a bill backed by over 30 senators and a wide array of stakeholders which would prevent financial service providers from discriminating against constitutionally-protected industries and law-abiding, credit worthy businesses. The senator pressed these issues during a Senate Banking Committee hearing last week with the CEOs of six major U.S. banks, five of whom Senator Cramer spoke with personally. Learn more here.