BISMARCK – U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND) spoke today with Congresswoman Marcia Fudge, General (retired) Lloyd Austin, and Denis McDonough, President-elect Joe Biden’s nominees to be Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Secretary of Defense, Secretary of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) respectively.

In these phone calls, Senator Cramer raised several issues of importance to North Dakotans including housing assistance, the state’s military efforts and missions, and health care access and treatment options for veterans. Senator Cramer then issued statements on each of his conversations with these nominees.

Congresswoman Marcia Fudge – HUD

“Because of its rural landscape, North Dakotans face several unique housing challenges, as do Native Americans both on and off the reservations in our state,” said Senator Cramer. “I appreciate Congresswoman Fudge taking the time to hear about these issues today and look forward to learning more from her about how we could successfully tackle such problems once she is confirmed.”

Senator Cramer will consider Congresswoman Fudge’s nomination as a member of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee.

General Lloyd Austin – Defense

“As leaders like Vice President Pence, Secretary Esper, and several high-ranking space officials saw for themselves, the world is a safer place because of North Dakota’s Air Force bases, National Guard installations, and intelligence capabilities. And as I outlined for General Austin today, we have exceedingly high potential for increasing our contributions to our nation’s military and intelligence communities,” said Senator Cramer. “If Congress approves a waiver allowing him to serve, I am eager to hear more from General Austin during his confirmation hearing about his views on the military efforts in North Dakota I discussed with him today.”

Senator Cramer will consider General Austin’s nomination through his seat on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Mr. Denis McDonough – VA

“Veterans deserve nothing less than the best assistance our nation has to offer. That’s why I’ve been working with my colleagues and the VA to expand access to care in rural parts of the country and to support innovative treatments like Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, which several North Dakotans have told me is effective and life-changing,” said Senator Cramer. “I look forward to talking to Mr. McDonough at his hearing about these and other issues we covered today and about how the incoming administration plans to accomplish President-elect Biden’s goal of improving life for our rural veterans.”

Senator Cramer will consider Mr. McDonough’s nomination through his seat on the Senate VA Committee.