10.30.20

Bringing South Dakota Values to a Broken Washington, D.C.

 

Let’s be real – Washington D.C. is broken. If it were just you and me out there, we could figure this thing out pretty quickly with a little South Dakota common sense. But unfortunately, that’s not the case. Washington is filled with un-elected lobbyists and bureaucrats who think they run the show. They don’t. We the people do.  It’s time to take back what they’ve taken from us. And, only together, do we have a chance to break through the bureaucracy. 

 

For the past six years, I’ve been honored to serve as your United States Senator. When I was elected, I said I would represent you by bringing South Dakota values to Washington D.C. I’ve done this by focusing on results. 

 

We’ve accomplished many things on the national level that help South Dakota families and businesses – like cutting taxes, eliminating Obamacare’s “Cadillac tax” and individual mandate, removing burdensome Obama-era regulations like Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) and Dodd-Frank banking reforms that impaired small-town lending, and confirming conservative judges to serve on the federal court, including over 200 conservative judges and three conservative Supreme Court Justices. 

 

We’ve also been able to achieve significant results for local communities in South Dakota. Through my work on the Senate Armed Services Committee, we’ve played a part in securing Ellsworth Air Force Base as the location for the first two B-21 Raider bomber squadrons. This is the most advanced weapon system to have ever been developed by mankind. These two squadrons will play a critical role in the defense of our nation and have a huge economic impact on the Rapid City area for the next 50 years. We have the best armed forces in the world and we need to keep it that way. We never want our service men and women to go into a fair fight—U.S. troops must always have the advantage. 

 

We also have a responsibility to take care of our men and women in uniform after they have returned home from serving our country. The Hot Springs VA facility is among the best in the country when it comes to taking care of our veterans. But for years, the facility has come under threat of closure, ultimately culminating in a Record of Decision stating the Hot Springs VA would close. As a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, I had multiple discussions with multiple VA Secretaries and fought to keep the Hot Springs VA open. Earlier this month, we received word from VA Secretary Robert Wilkie that action had been taken to rescind this decision keeping the facility open for years to come. That’s a huge win for “The Veterans Town” and veterans in the Black Hills.

 

Following the flooding events of 2011 and 2019, it became abundantly clear that we need better management of the Missouri River. Through my work on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, I’ve been working to implement a snowpack monitoring system, which will allow the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to make better, more accurate decisions with regard to river management. Earlier this year, the Corps awarded South Dakota State University a $12.8 million contract to monitor snowpack and soil moisture throughout the plains area of the Upper Missouri River Basin. This will go a long way toward preventing future flooding and is a victory for communities up and down the Missouri River – like Mobridge, Pierre, Chamberlain and Yankton.

 

While legislative achievements are important, some of the most rewarding work is directly helping South Dakotans. Since I’ve been in the Senate, my office has responded more than 170,000 times to constituents having problems with the government. We take pride in being a strong constituent voice for South Dakota.

 

That’s what being in public service is all about – being a voice for the people you serve. We’ve made significant progress the last six years, but there’s still more work to be done. I want to thank you for the opportunity to make a difference for not just our generation, but for generations to come. 

 

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