North Dakota wins small sequester fight with Obama administration

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.

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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 Heitkamp (D-N.D.) and John Hoeven (R-N.D.) and Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) worked together to ensure the money was returned to their state.