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ND Rep. Cramer touts Trump's agenda

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NORTH DAKOTA — North Dakota U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer says he'd grade the president a little better than most.

The congressman said in a satellite interview Tuesday that, despite polls showing high unfavorability ratings, he believes President Donald Trump has maintained high support among the American people.

Cramer says he believes the president will use that clout to encourage congressional Republicans to fulfill campaign promises by passing bills.

Cramer specifically mentioned the repeal and replacement of Affordable Care Act, an infrastructure plan and the proposed increase in defense spending. Cramer says the defense proposal is vital for the future of military operations in North Dakota.

"Without a large infusion into defense spending, something that has been depleted over the last eight years in a significant way, it's hard to imagine, for example, the modernization of the intercontinental ballistic missile and the Bomber Wing up at Minot. If we're going to do those big expensive things, like modernize our nuclear deterrent, we're going to need a lot more money," Cramer said.

Trump has signed an executive order to start rolling back the controversial Waters of the United States Rule. The rule defines which rivers, lakes and other waterways fall under the federal jurisdiction of the EPA, and Army Corps of Engineers.

Under the new order, Trump asks the new administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to begin repealing the rule. North Dakota U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp introduced the legislation.

She believes it will still require legislation to settle the issue permanently.

"Presidents come and go, but this issue has been knocking around Congress and the legislative world for decades. And we need to do our job, which is set the lane," Heitkamp said.

Heitkamp was invited to and attended the signing on Tuesday.

The president also called on the Senate to confirm Judge Neil Gorsuch his nominee to the Supreme Court.

In order for that to happen, the Senate must hold a confirmation hearing and eight Democrats will have to vote in favor of his nomination.

One senator the GOP is hoping will vote their way is Heitkamp.

She's maintained that she will make the best decision for North Dakota and on Tuesday, she told us that she's reserving that judgment.

"I intend to do my job, which is the due diligence that we should all do with a lifetime appointment and that involves actually watching the confirmation hearings," said Heitkamp.

Heitkamp says that she did like a lot of what she heard from Gorsuch when they met.

She says Gorsuch, who is from Colorado, understands many of the issues facing people in this part of the country.