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House Speaker Boehner praises Cramer at ND fundraiser

Elmer Knodel, right, of Drake, N.D., attended a fundraiser for Rep. Kevin Cramer and had the opportunity to speak with Speaker of the House John Boehner, with whom he said he was acquainted. "I correspond with him," said Knodel, 82. "He said he was glad to meet me." Tom Stromme/Bismarck Tribune

LINCOLN, N.D. — The nation’s Republican congressional leader wants freshman Rep. Kevin Cramer to have a sophomore term with him in the U.S. House of Representatives.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, fired up a crowd of nearly 200 supporters during a fundraiser Friday evening at the South 40. He gave a glowing review of Cramer as he outlined what he believes must be done in Congress to get the country back on a more sound footing.

“He’s done a tremendous job on your behalf,” Boehner said of Cramer. “He works hard, he knows the issues and he represents your values.”

Boehner has served as House speaker since 2011. He was elected to Congress in 1990 and worked his way up to the role of House majority leader in 2006.

Friday’s gathering was part of an annual cross-country trip Boehner has taken for nearly 20 years, hitting dozens of districts in support of House colleagues.

In introducing Boehner, Gov. Jack Dalrymple called him “the most important Republican in America today.”

“John Boehner is one of those people in Washington who’s trying to make it work,” Dalrymple said. “We’ve got way too many people down there that don’t care if it works.”

Boehner said he originally ran for office to rein in federal spending and ease what he considers an overly burdensome regulatory climate. He said he and the Republicans’ objective was simple.

“It’s about saving the American dream for my kids and yours,” Boehner said.

Boehner said he, Cramer and House Republicans have sent a number of bills to the Senate that haven’t been acted on due to the toxic partisan climate in Washington, D.C.

“It might surprise you, but we actually have gotten a few things done,” Boehner said.

Before adjourning for the annual August recess, he said, the House passed an immigration bill totaling $694 million and changed a 2008 anti-human-trafficking law to make it easier to deport unaccompanied minors who have come to the United States in recent months. The legislation hasn’t been taken up in the Democratic-controlled Senate and is likely to face opposition.

Boehner said government spending has declined for three consecutive years since he took over as speaker, the first such stretch in decades.

“We’ve been able to accomplish a lot even though we’re the minority party,” Boehner said.

Cramer is running against first-term Democratic state Sen. George B. Sinner of Fargo. Fargo businessman Jack Seaman is running on the Libertarian Party ticket.

Figures on what Friday’s fundraiser had raised weren’t immediately available. But even before it was held, Cramer had out-raised Sinner so far by a substantial margin.

Federal Election Commission figures through June 30 showed Cramer with $961,240 in net contributions this year. Sinner, who entered the race in mid-March, had $384,451 in net contributions through June 30.

Cramer had $653,399 in cash on hand at the end of the last reporting period to Sinner’s $273,846.