Weekly Column


Weekly Column: Obama’s Clean Power Plan is Fundamentally Flawed

Earlier this summer, President Obama announced his so-called "Clean Power Plan" final rule, which requires states to cut greenhouse gas emissions nearly a third within 15 years. This sweeping new mandate requires states to completely rework their electric grid and dramatically reduce the amount of electricity they get from coal-fired plants. The result of which will be higher electricity rates for every single household and business in the country. Additionally, energy production will be reduced… Continue Reading


Weekly Column: The EPA’s Unfair ‘Sue and Settle’ Tactics

Too often, rather than writing and implementing regulations in an open and transparent process, environmental regulations are enacted as a result of citizen suits prompted by environmental activists. This practice is commonly known as "sue-and-settle." I recently chaired a Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Subcommittee hearing to examine the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) sue-and-settle tactics and the impact they have on our economy and local… Continue Reading


Weekly Column: No Deal is Better Than a Bad Deal

Several weeks ago, President Obama submitted part of the nuclear agreement with Iran to Congress for review. The U.S. negotiators, including Secretary of State John Kerry, have not even seen the details of the side agreements reached between the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Iran. I have been closely examining the proposal and asking important questions regarding specific details. Unfortunately, the more I learn about the President's agreement, the more concerned I am about the r… Continue Reading


Weekly Column: Dodd-Frank: Five Years Later

We recently marked the five-year anniversary of the enactment of the Dodd-Frank Act. At the time, supporters of Dodd-Frank said it would improve our economy and protect taxpayers from "too big to fail" financial institutions. Instead, our economy remains stuck in a rut and the law has plagued our country with burdensome new federal mandates. The 456 final rules enacted since the passage of Dodd-Frank have so far unleashed a bureaucratic nightmare, the cost of which is being handed down directly … Continue Reading


Weekly Column: The Importance of Education

A strong education system is vital to making certain our young people have the opportunity for a prosperous future. To accomplish that goal, I believe the federal government's role in education should be limited and well-defined. I'm pleased the Senate came together recently to pass the Every Child Achieves Act, or ECAA, a comprehensive, bipartisan overhaul of our education system that will improve the quality of education across the nation. The ECAA passed the Senate 81-17 and has been endorse… Continue Reading


Weekly Column: We Must Act Decisively to Defeat ISIL

Protecting our nation through a strong defense is a fundamental role of the federal government. We have the greatest military in the world, and it's an honor to serve on the Senate Armed Services Committee to give them the support they need to continue to protect our nation. The House and Senate recently passed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016, which supports our troops and provides them with the tools necessary to successfully complete their missions. Yet, while Congr… Continue Reading


Weekly Column: Supporting Science in South Dakota

While working as governor of South Dakota, securing the underground laboratory at the Homestake mine in Lead was one of our proudest accomplishments. Without the strong support of people across the entire state none of this would have happened. At that time, it was called the Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory, or DUSEL, and managed by the National Science Foundation. During a competitive process and with a generous gift of from philanthropist T. Denny Sanford, the facility was … Continue Reading


Weekly Column: King v. Burwell Ruling Doesn't Change the Fact that the ACA is Fatally Flawed

On June 25, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) federal subsidies are legal. Ruling in the case of King v. Burwell in a 6-3 vote, the Court sided with the administration finding the subsidies 6.4 million people currently receive do not depend on where they live, under the president's health care law. With this ruling, the administration has dodged another bullet. The Supreme Court once again interpreted the law in a way that favors the adminis… Continue Reading


Weekly Column: Summer in South Dakota

Now that summer is officially here, many of us are planning family vacations and weekend getaways. With so many unique events across South Dakota during the summer months, people of all walks of life can find something that interests them. Whether you're interested in fishing, kayaking, hiking, biking, boating, golfing or camping, just to name a few, you can do it here! Some of my favorite memories include weekends spent with family boating on the Missouri River or camping in the Black Hills. S… Continue Reading


Weekly Column: Protecting our Troops by Reauthorizing NDAA

During the eight years I worked as governor of South Dakota, I had the honor of serving as the commander-in-chief of South Dakota's National Guard forces. My first term began in 2003, right at the start of the war in Iraq. I attended ceremonies for our military men and women as they deployed to active duty and welcomed them home upon their return. I ask that everyone continue to remember the families of those who made the ultimate sacrifice and did not return home. These brave men and women and … Continue Reading


Weekly Column: Protecting the 2nd Amendment

As an avid hunter and lifelong gun owner, I have always been a strong defender of the Second Amendment. We cherish our right to bear arms in South Dakota, where we have a strong outdoor heritage and lively economy based on sportsmen activity. This fundamental right is embedded in the Constitution and must be fiercely protected. That's why I'm greatly concerned about the Obama administration's latest attempt to circumvent congress and impose sweeping new gun restrictions on the American people. I… Continue Reading


Weekly Column: Honoring Those We Lost

Memorial Day is a special time for us to remember all the brave men and women who died defending our nation on the battlefield. They paid the ultimate price to protect our freedoms. While they can never be repaid for their sacrifices, this weekend allows us to honor them posthumously. On Memorial Day, we remember who we have lost while serving this country. Their memory lives on through their families and friends and the legacies they leave behind, but it also lives on through the daily lives of… Continue Reading


Weekly Column: Reliable, Affordable Energy

Last summer, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a proposed rule to reduce carbon emissions from existing power plants. Self-titled the "Clean Power Plan," the rule would require power plants across the country to comply with costly new rules and regulations that would reduce energy production and raise electricity rates - with little environmental benefit. South Dakotans could see their electricity rates double due to the Clean Power Plan. For those of us who oppose higher taxes … Continue Reading


Weekly Column: Giving Back

We are just a few weeks from Memorial Day, a federal holiday designated for honoring those who paid the ultimate sacrifice protecting our freedom. As we prepare to recognize the brave men and women in uniform, I am reminded just how fortunate we are for all those who answer the call to serve. Our armed forces are the epitome of public servants, sacrificing everything to keep us free and safe. But there are many ways in which we give back to our communities to promote the greater good. For 30 ye… Continue Reading


Weekly Column: The Water Quality Protection Act

In 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposed a rule to expand the definition of 'waters of the U.S.' This power grab would dramatically expand the federal government's jurisdiction under the Clean Air Act, beyond what the Act intended. The proposed rule, commonly known as WOTUS, has the potential to be one of the most burdensome and overreaching regulations in history for South Dakota's farmers and ranchers by requiring onerous and unnecessary … Continue Reading


Weekly Column: My First 100 Days

My first 100 days working as a U.S. Senator have been full of activity. When the people of South Dakota elected me to the Senate, I made them a promise to help get things working in Washington again. For too long, our federal government has been mired in dysfunction and lack of accountability. The new Republican majority in Congress has been working hard to get government back on track. Already, we have made significant progress. In the senate, we have passed many important bipartisan bills, i… Continue Reading


Weekly Column: Introducing the Payments Innovation Caucus

In 1914, Western Union began issuing metal cards to the company's top customers. For a subscription fee, "preferred" customers could use their "metal money" to defer payments on various goods and services. This was the first step in a series of monetary advances which revolutionized access to capital and credit. It has significantly changed the way commerce is conducted around the globe today. In the 101 years since metal money was first distributed, the credit card - and now the payments ind… Continue Reading


Weekly Column: Keeping America Safe

Protecting our nation through a strong defense system is a fundamental role of the federal government. As ever-growing threats emerge, we must remain diligent in our abilities to protect our nation and our allies. As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, which has oversight of our nation's military and the Department of Defense, I am committed to making sure our men and women in uniform are equipped with adequate funding. They put everything on the line to protect our freedoms; we owe… Continue Reading


Weekly Column: Spending Responsibly

The mindset in Washington for far too long has been "spend now, pay later," leaving our children and grandchildren to pick up the tab. This has led to a national debt of more than $18 trillion that threatens future economic growth. When Republicans took over the Senate this year, we promised to put an end to this kind of reckless spending. The budget we passed in the Senate offers a robust plan to not only rein in spending, but also grow the economy, repeal Obamacare and protect Americans from n… Continue Reading


Weekly Column: Obamacare’s Five Year Anniversary: More Money, More Problems

It has been five years since the Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly known as Obamacare, was rushed through Congress on a partisan vote and forced upon the American people. Since becoming law, it has been plagued with lawsuits, website glitches, cancelled policies, unworkable provisions, delays and repeals. Premiums are skyrocketing for many South Dakota families, and small businesses are spending thousands of dollars to comply with new paperwork mandates. And that is just the first five years. … Continue Reading

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