Hoeven Joins Colleagues In Pressing OMB to Reject MSA Minimum Population Standard Increase

Letter Supports Hoeven’s Prior Efforts to Highlight Negative Impact on Bismarck, Grand Forks and Minot

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today joined Senator John Thune (R-S.D.) and others in urging the Office of Management and Budget Acting Director Robert Fairweather to reject recommendations that would increase the population threshold for communities to be considered metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs). Today’s efforts follow Hoeven’sletter earlier this week in outlining the negative impacts of increasing the minimum population to qualify as an MSA from 50,000 to 100,000 on rural communities including Bismarck, Grand Forks and Minot.

“As OMB continues to consider the Committee’s recommendations and review the public comments on this notice, we strongly encourage you to reject any increase in the minimum urbanized area population needed to qualify as an MSA,” the members wrote. “Adhering to this recommendation has the potential to harm communities across the nation, which we hope you take into account while considering these recommendations.”

In addition to Hoeven and Thune, the letter was signed by Senators Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), and Reps. Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) and Adrian Smith (R-Neb.).