Weekly Column


Weekly Column: Tax Cuts Work for South Dakotans

We don't have a taxing problem in America - we have a spending problem. First of all, the government doesn't generate money, it is not a person or a business. In South Dakota, if we don't produce or earn money, whether in our home or business, we don't spend money. The federal economic projection methods that Congressional appropriations are based upon are flawed. Therefore, it shouldn't be a surprise that the national debt has soared. We need to focus on tax cuts and let people keep more o… Continue Reading


Weekly Column: South Dakota Students Taking the Next Steps

Every spring, a new group of students takes a big step into the next phase of life upon graduation. Whether students are moving on from high school, college or a technical institute, each graduate has an opportunity to use his or her talents, education and determination to shape their future and begin a new journey in life. I congratulate all 2017 graduates as they step out into the world to make a mark of their own. We are fortunate in South Dakota to have good, quality grammar and high sch… Continue Reading


Weekly Column: A Big Win for South Dakota Veterans

South Dakota veterans and doctors who participate in the Choice program received some good news recently. Late last month, President Donald Trump signed into law legislation that includes a provision of a bill I introduced which, in essence, makes the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) the primary payer for services under the Choice Act. This is important because now veterans will no longer have to pay higher health care costs when they seek care at a non-VA facility when using the Choice Act.… Continue Reading


Weekly Column: Obamacare Has Failed; Time to Replace it is Now

In 2009, as part of a delegation from the National Governor's Association, I had the privilege of meeting the President and the Vice President on their proposed health care plan, which later became known as Obamacare. Although I disagreed with his plan, it was a friendly conversation. I wish the president would have considered some of our suggestions. The most egregious and unsustainable portions of Obamacare were delayed. But, they are impacting us now. It was a smart political move by Presid… Continue Reading


Weekly Column: Paris Climate Agreement Another Misguided Step That Puts U.S. At Competitive Disadvantage

Last year, President Obama entered into a radical climate agreement called the Paris Agreement with other global leaders in an attempt to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and greenhouse gas. Unfortunately, it is a bad deal for America. We all want to pass on a clean, safe environment to future generations, but the Paris Agreement was made without the support of Congress or the American people. The new energy restrictions outlined in the Paris Agreement will lead to higher electricity rates and re… Continue Reading


Weekly Column: Undoing the Obama Legacy of 'Government Knows Best'

It has been three months since President Trump took office with a Republican-led Congress in place ready to help him advance policies that grow our economy and allow hardworking Americans to keep more of their paycheck each month. Almost immediately, we have been delivering on that promise by undoing a number of Obama-era regulations, regulations that take much-needed capital away from families and small businesses. Under the Congressional Review Act, the Senate has passed 13 resolutions undoing… Continue Reading


Protecting Your Internet Privacy Rights

Since the House and Senate voted to undo Obama-era regulations related to internet privacy last month under the Congressional Review Act (CRA), a lot of misinformation has been floating around about your privacy online. I would like to take the opportunity to clear up some of this misinformation. First and foremost, it is important to point out that repealing these regulations did not change your current internet privacy. The new rules had not yet gone into effect due to a judicial stay. In oth… Continue Reading


Weekly Column: Judge Neil Gorsuch Will be an Excellent Supreme Court Justice

Throughout his career, Judge Neil Gorsuch has proven time and again that he is exceptionally qualified to be a Supreme Court justice. His long history of defending the Constitution and applying the law as it was written demonstrate that he has the aptitude for this lifetime appointment. His resume is second to none: after attending Columbia, Harvard and Oxford, Gorsuch clerked for Supreme Court Justices Byron White and Anthony Kennedy before working for the Department of Justice. Since 2006, Go… Continue Reading


Weekly Column: Ag Economy is Crucial to the Future of South Dakota

Agriculture is South Dakota's number one industry. More than 2,000 of our state's farms have been in the same family for 100 years. Our farmers and ranchers play a critical role in feeding and fueling a growing global population. It's easy to take for granted the ability to have access to high quality food. Without a strong ag community, we would struggle to put food on our families' tables. In South Dakota, agriculture accounts for more than half of our economic output each year. Unfortunately… Continue Reading


Weekly Column: Need Help With a Federal Agency? Give us a Call

In the United States Senate, much of our time is focused on crafting and debating legislation, attending committee meetings and making sure federal policies are working for South Dakota families. But we also spend a great deal of time helping South Dakotans who are having difficulties dealing with a federal agency. It is a lesser-known but equally-important service that allows us to act as a liaison between you and the federal government. Washington is so broken and our federal bureaucracy has g… Continue Reading


Weekly Column: A Better Plan for America’s Health Care

When many of us ran for Congress, we promised voters that we would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act-or Obamacare. With Republican majorities in both chambers of Congress and a president in office willing to work with us, we are finally able to make good on that promise. The House of Representatives recently introduced legislation to repeal Obamacare and replace it with a patient-centered plan to improve competition within the marketplace and help make health care more affordable for al… Continue Reading


Weekly Column: Advancing Regulatory Reform Through EPW Subcommittee

For the past two years, I had the opportunity to chair a subcommittee in the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee focusing on regulatory oversight, providing much-needed reviews of the regulatory processes at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Army Corps, and other agencies. It was recently announced that I will have the opportunity to again be the chairman of the Subcommittee on Superfund, Waste Management and Regulatory Oversight during this next session of Congress. I'm lookin… Continue Reading


Weekly Column: Smart Banking Regulations Benefit South Dakota Families

The 115th Congress hasn't taken an extended break since swearing-in day on January 3, and while much of our time these first six weeks have been focused on confirming President Trump's Cabinet nominees, we have also been busy introducing legislation to provide regulatory relief for South Dakota families and businesses. Most recently I introduced two pieces of legislation that seek to ease the regulatory burden on banks and other financial institutions, so they can more easily provide loans and o… Continue Reading


Weekly Column: Obstruction in the Senate Does More Harm Than Good

Since even before President Donald Trump took office in January, the Senate has been attempting to work through the confirmation process for his Cabinet secretary nominees so we can get to work on the important policy issues to get our country moving in the right direction again. Filling the Cabinet is critically important for the executive branch to function effectively. In addition to their advisory duties, Cabinet members lead their respective departments, create policies that guide each unit… Continue Reading


Weekly Column: Judge Gorsuch an Excellent Choice for Supreme Court

Americans mourned the passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who died suddenly last year in the middle of the presidential election. Justice Scalia was one of the strongest defenders of the Constitution who fought fiercely against judicial activism and legislating from the bench. Replacing him will be extremely difficult, and is of the utmost importance, as Supreme Court Justices can dramatically alter the course of our nation in just one vote. President Trump has made an excellent … Continue Reading


Weekly Column: Internships Offer Behind-the-Scenes Look at Capitol Hill

For students interested in a career crafting public policy, an internship in a Senate office can be an excellent opportunity to see firsthand how our federal government functions. My office offers internships year-round in both my Washington, D.C., and South Dakota offices for college students and recent graduates. Interns have an important job in the overall functioning of a Senate office. They help all our staff do their jobs more efficiently by assisting with legislative research, circulatin… Continue Reading


Weekly Column: A Peaceful Transition of Power

Every four years after a presidential election, Americans from all corners of the country flock to Washington, D.C., to attend the incoming president's inauguration ceremony. At noon on January 20, 2017, President-elect Donald Trump becomes President Donald Trump, after he is administered the oath of office by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. The oath of office of the President of the United States is only 35 words long, and is stated in the United States Constitution: "I do solemnly s… Continue Reading


Weekly Column: Repealing Obamacare First Step Toward Replacing it with a Truly Affordable, Patient-Centered Plan

When I ran for Senate, I ran on the promise to do everything I could to repeal and replace the unworkable Affordable Care Act (ACA) and mitigate the damaging effects it was having on South Dakota families, health care providers and small businesses. After two years and a Republican entering the White House eager to work with us, the 115th Congress has finally begun the process of repealing and replacing the ill-advised law. The Senate took the first steps recently by passing a repeal resolution… Continue Reading


Time for A Real Strategy to Protect Americans from Cyber Threats

It is alleged that in recent months, the Russian government conducted cyber hacks of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) server and attempted to hack the Republican National Committee (RNC) email system. In October 2016, the Department of Homeland Security and the Director of National Intelligence stated that the cyber hackers "intended to interfere with the U.S. election process" - a very serious charge. On Dec. 29, President Obama imposed sanctions against Russian intelligence services… Continue Reading


Wrapping up my first session of Congress, ready to get to work in the year ahead

Two years ago, you trusted me with your vote to serve as your United States Senator. Having seen the damaging effects of our overreaching, broken federal government as a business owner, governor, father and grandfather, I was eager to get to work to fix Washington. While partisan gridlock in Washington still exists, we were able to make progress in several specific areas. We were able to enact the first major changes to our education laws since 'No Child Left Behind,' returning decision-making … Continue Reading

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