The Obama administration said that for the current fiscal year, it would reduce mineral payments to North Dakota by about 5 percent due to the sequester. But North Dakota's delegation pushed back and said these funds shouldn't be affected at all by the sequester, because they were always slated to return to their state.

ADVERTISEMENT
This week, North Dakota members said the Department of the Interior agreed, and will pay back the $1.5 million it withheld.

"The fact is that this revenue is meant for energy producing states, so money meant for North Dakota shouldn't be diverted to reduce the federal deficit," the delegation said Wednesday. "We will continue to work to see that the federal government is correctly disbursing the funds generated from energy production."

Sens. Heidi HeitkampHeidi HeitkampMcCain looking to strike deal with Democrats on Gorsuch nomination Dem leaders give centrists space on Gorsuch Senate Dems to Trump: Work with us on ObamaCare MORE (D-N.D.) and John HoevenJohn HoevenCombating opioid epidemic, repealing ObamaCare will hurt the cause Senate panel considers how to fund Trump’s T infrastructure package A guide to the committees: Senate MORE (R-N.D.) and Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) worked together to ensure the money was returned to their state.