100 days of action in the U.S. House
Note: This op-ed from Congressman Armstrong ran in newspaper outlets throughout North Dakota between April 20 and April 26.
By Congressman Kelly Armstrong
April 13 marked my 100th day as North Dakota’s congressman. This milestone offers an opportunity to look back at what has been accomplished so far for North Dakota and the American people.
In my first 100 days I’ve focused on issues that matter to our state. I’ve sought to help our farmers and ranchers, I’ve fought for our energy sector, I’ve taken action to combat the opioid epidemic, and I’ve kept promises I made on the campaign trail last year.
Farmers and ranchers throughout the state are struggling as the farm economy continues a years-long downturn. To boost the agricultural economy now and in the future, I supported the USDA’s agricultural research programs and worked to open foreign markets for U.S. products.
I urged House budget writers to prioritize research programs to prevent disease and increase yields for key North Dakota crops. I asked President Donald Trump’s chief trade negotiator to include agricultural products in the ongoing negotiations with China, which recently purchased an additional 1.5 million tons of American soybeans as a sign of progress. And the new trade agreement with our North American neighbors, the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, will cement fairer treatment of wheat.
North Dakota’s energy sector has been the driver of our state’s economic prosperity for the last decade. Our resources have strengthened national security by helping to achieve energy independence. To continue this momentum, the best thing Congress can do is stay out of the way.
On the new climate change committee, I highlighted our energy success by sharing the story of a young man who grew up in Dickinson, earned a petroleum engineering degree from the University of North Dakota, and now has a career in western North Dakota. With our oil and gas industry maturing, resulting in more long-term jobs, the Congress must avoid imposing new unnecessary burdens (i.e., the Green New Deal) on producers.
The opioid epidemic continues to ravage our communities, taking 130 lives every day on average. Thankfully, addressing this crisis is a bipartisan priority. I recently joined the bipartisan Freshman Working Group on Addiction, which brings together lawmakers from across the country to enact policies to help solve the crisis. One of our first actions was to support funding for training medical residents and fellows in psychiatry and addiction medicine.
My first 100 days was also marked by upholding promises I made on the campaign trail. I was proud to fight for Second Amendment rights and against misguided gun control bills. I’ve stood up for life, cosponsoring pro-life bills and signing the discharge petition to force a House vote on critical protections for infants born alive after a failed abortion. I’ve also pushed to build the wall and solve the humanitarian and national security crisis on the southern border.
The first 100 days went quickly, but I’ll approach the remaining 632 days of my first term with the same enthusiasm. I’ll continue to give North Dakota a strong voice in Congress and fight to make our state the best state in the country.