Weekly Column

09.15.17

20 Trillion Reasons to Reform Taxes and Mandatory Payment Programs

The federal government's national debt recently surpassed $20 trillion. While there is plenty of blame to go around, the majority of this debt can be attributed to the past decade, as our debt was $10.6 trillion at the start of 2009. In other words, in the past eight years, the federal government has accrued as much debt as it accrued throughout the first 230 years of our country's existence. It's no wonder military leaders acknowledge it as being a top threat to our national security. Even mor… Continue Reading


09.08.17

Trade Agreements Vital to South Dakota’s Economy

Free and fair trade plays an important role in the American economy. It not only leads to more jobs and higher wages, it allows American producers to promote and sell their goods across the globe by leveling the playing field with other competitors. Our farm economy, in particular, benefits from trade agreements. As our number one industry in South Dakota, I continue to promote and prioritize trade agreements that benefit our farmers and ranchers. I continue to hear from South Dakota produce… Continue Reading


09.01.17

Thank you for your Hospitality

August is an important month for me. It is the traditional time in which members of Congress spend extended time back home, and this year was no exception. During the shortened in-state work period, I had the opportunity to travel across the state for various events. We held open coffees in Chamberlain and Deadwood, as well as other ceremonies, roundtables and meetings in Sioux Falls, Mitchell, Pierre, Rapid City, Huron and elsewhere. I thank those of you who took the time out of your day to mee… Continue Reading


08.18.17

Dakotafest Annual Opportunity to Bring All Ag Groups Together

For more than two decades, Dakotafest has been an annual event that brings together ag leaders and producers from across the state together into one place. With nearly 500 agribusinesses on-site to showcase their latest products, it is one of the premier ag events of the Northern Plains. I was grateful for the opportunity to join Sen. John Thune, Rep. Kristi Noem and area producers for Dakotafest's annual farm policy forum again this year. Hearing firsthand from South Dakota producers is critica… Continue Reading


08.11.17

Standing Strong Against Foreign Aggression

Today, as threats to the United States continue to grow across the globe, it is important to remind ourselves that we remain the strongest, most powerful country in the world and can face any challenge presented by America's enemies. The U.S. military is the most sophisticated and capable fighting force the world has ever seen, and, with continued support from Congress and the president, can regain the required level of readiness lost during years of underfunding. As a member of the Senate Armed… Continue Reading


08.03.17

The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Rolls into Town

Every August, South Dakota welcomes hundreds of thousands of motorcyclists from across the country to participate in the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. No single week in the entire year boasts a greater influx in the state's overall population than the week of the rally and the weeks before and after the rally. During this time, motorcyclists gather together in perhaps the largest bike gathering of all time. What began as a single motorcycle race in 1938, the weeklong rally takes place in … Continue Reading


07.28.17

Government-Run Health Care Does Not Work

Comprehensive health care reform is necessary to relieve American families from our current failing health care system. Following recent votes in the Senate, it's clear that reforming our health care system is no easy task. However, I remain committed to working with my colleagues toward a solution. We believe affordable health care is best achieved through a competitive, market-based system that allows for innovation, competition and optionality. In the quest to address Obamacare's failur… Continue Reading


07.21.17

Preparing Service Members for Post-Military Careers

In Congress, my colleagues and I have not only been working around-the-clock to repeal and replace Obamacare, we have also been doing important work in our committees to cut red tape, advance pro-growth policies that will create jobs and provide essential oversight of government programs so we can improve them. This has been particularly true in the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, where we've already had an accountability bill signed into law as well as an extension of the Veterans Choice Ac… Continue Reading


07.14.17

Weekly Column: Shaking Up the Status Quo in Washington

When you elected me as your United States Senator, you sent me to Washington to shake up the status quo and fix the mess we've been dealing with for years: the Obamacare disaster, our ballooning debt, overregulation and tax reform. In the two-and-a-half years I've been in office, these are the issues I've focused on. While some progress has been made, there is much more work to be done to get us back on track. That's why I was happy about the recent announcement that the Senate will be cutting s… Continue Reading


07.07.17

‘Peace Through Strength’

Defending freedom and democracy around the world is no easy task. It requires strong leadership, a commitment to investing in our military and an unbreakable alliance among our allies. While attending the G-20 summit with other global leaders in Germany this month, President Donald Trump is able to further promote 'Peace Through Strength,' a central idea to his America First foreign policy agenda. 'Peace Through Strength' is the notion that a strong military presence can preserve peace. It ha… Continue Reading


06.29.17

This 4th of July, Let’s Focus on our Commonalities

In South Dakota, the Fourth of July is a time to spend with friends and family, whether that be boating, camping, attending parades or grilling out and lighting fireworks. It is a holiday filled with joy and tradition that allows us to celebrate the liberties and freedoms unmatched by any other country in the world. It is also a reminder that we continue to be the greatest, strongest, most resilient country that has ever existed and can overcome any challenge we may face. Unfortunately, it can … Continue Reading


06.23.17

Column: Americans Deserve Better Than Obamacare

The Senate recently released the discussion draft of the plan to fix the failing health care system in our country, and Senate leadership is hoping to hold a vote before the 4th of July holiday. My staff and I have been reviewing the legislation to make sure the provisions included are good for South Dakotans. Like any legislation, we will carefully analyze it before taking a vote. I encourage South Dakotans to read it too, and to share their thoughts with me. The text of the bill, along with an… Continue Reading


06.17.17

Drought Relief is Needed

Today in South Dakota, much of our state is experiencing a significant drought. Ranchers are struggling to feed their livestock and farmers are concerned about their crops. In many counties, the hay and forage being harvested is yielding one-third or less of normal production. Despite recent rainfall across much of the state, these dry conditions are expected to continue into the summer. The drought underscores the importance of the farm bill, the primary ag and food policy legislation that dir… Continue Reading


06.09.17

Weekly Column: Veterans' Selfless Service Keeps America Free and Safe

We recently recognized Memorial Day to honor the brave men and women who died in combat, as well as the 73rd anniversary of D-Day, where more than 116,000 Allied troops stormed the beaches of northern France to free Europe from the Nazis during World War II. These days serve as important reminders of the tremendous sacrifices made by our men and women in uniform and their families. They risk everything to protect the freedoms we enjoy in the United States each and every day. While our debt t… Continue Reading


06.02.17

Weekly Column: A Better Way to Determine How Your Tax Dollars are Spent

President Trump recently sent his first budget proposal to Congress. Historically, a president's budget, which is required by law to be submitted annually, is viewed as a framework for the administration's priorities and typically kicks off the appropriations process in Congress, where we are supposed to work our way through 12 individual appropriation bills. These bills allow us to make important changes to policy in the United States. When the appropriations process works as intended, it is th… Continue Reading


05.26.17

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


05.19.17

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


05.12.17

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


05.05.17

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


04.28.17

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

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