Weekly Column


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


A South Dakota Christmas

Each year around the holidays, Jean and I like to reflect upon all of our blessings. We are incredibly grateful for our family and friends, our good health and the fact that we get to call South Dakota home. We are looking forward to spending Christmas with our loved ones, including my dad Grandpa Don and his wife Rosemary, Jean's parents, our four kids, their spouses, our eight grandkids and all of our extended family members. For as long as I can remember, our family has always gathered toget… Continue Reading


Weekly Column: Investing in Infrastructure is an Investment in the Future

In 2017, with a new president in office and a reinvigorated Congress eager to get to work, finding ways to help grow our economy will be a top priority in Washington. For the first time in nearly a decade, we will have an executive branch willing to work with us to reform the tax code and undo many of the burdensome regulations that are preventing job creators from expanding their businesses. Additionally, we will have a president in office who has committed to investing in infrastructure across… Continue Reading


Weekly Column: The Need for a Strong Military

The number one responsibility of the federal government is to provide for the defense of our country. One way we do that is by passing the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) each year. The NDAA, which has passed the Senate every year for more than 55 years, is a vital piece of legislation that shows our service members and their families that they have the full backing of Congress. I am pleased that the NDAA for fiscal year 2017 passed the Senate with overwhelming support and now heads to… Continue Reading


Weekly Column: The Electoral College a Vital Piece of our Constitution

The Electoral College was one of the most innovative concepts created by our Founding Fathers when they were setting up our young republic. Embedded in our Constitution, the Electoral College is the system for electing our president through a slate of 'electors' in each state, rather than by direct popular vote. It was carefully crafted to satisfy smaller states' desire for greater representation while balancing popular sovereignty with our Founders' fear of the tyranny of the majority. To win t… Continue Reading


Weekly Column: Getting our Country Back on Track

As we look forward to the start of a new year, Congress and the new president will have a number of agenda items to start working on to get our country back on track. Along with executive overreach and regulatory reform, finding a solution to our nation's fiscal crisis is one of the more important issues to address. With our debt spiraling out of control at more than $19 trillion, it's clear that federal spending at current levels is unsustainable. According to a report from the nonpartisan Cong… Continue Reading


Weekly Column: Plenty to be Thankful for This Year

Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the holiday season for many of us, and it's a special time of year where we show gratitude for all the blessings in our lives. I am thankful to have the opportunity to serve the people of South Dakota in the U.S. Senate, and for the love and support of my family as I do this job. I'm also thankful for our men and women in uniform, many of whom may be far away from their friends and families for the holidays. This Veterans Day, I attended activation ceremonies… Continue Reading


Weekly Column: Obama's Failed Foreign Policy Legacy

Since President Obama took office nearly eight years ago, the world has changed considerably. During his time in office, ISIL rose to prominence due to the administration's determination to withdraw all U.S. forces from Iraq. Iran has ascended as a regional destabilizing power, and it remains on a path to acquire nuclear weapons. The U.S. effort to combat the Taliban in Afghanistan faces potential under-resourcing. Russia has increased its nuclear arsenal and continues its aggression against Ukr… Continue Reading


Weekly Column: Thanking our Veterans

Each year on November 11, we recognize the service made by our country's veterans. The date is meaningful, as November 11, 1918 is the day World War I finally came to an end and November 11 became a holiday called Armistice Day. In 1954, the 11th day of November became a legal holiday, reminding Americans to honor all veterans. This year, we commemorate the day by thanking the generations of South Dakotans who have answered the call to serve. South Dakota has one of the highest rates of militar… Continue Reading


Weekly Column: The (Un)Affordable Care Act

The skyrocketing cost of healthcare has made the Affordable Care Act (ACA) unaffordable for many Americans. The Department of Health and Human Services recently announced that in 2017, premiums will rise an average of 25 percent for those covered on plans under the ACA. South Dakotans have it even worse: those of us covered under the ACA will see insurance rates increase by nearly 37 percent, according to Congress' Joint Economic Committee. The ACA was intended to provide all Americans with qua… Continue Reading


Weekly Column: October is Cyber Security Awareness Month

The Internet is a platform on which many of us live our daily lives. Some of us share personal thoughts and photos on social media, we send emails to communicate with our families, colleagues and friends, and we even manage our bank accounts and financial transactions online. Some of us put our credit card information, home addresses, passwords and even social security numbers online. While technology has made our lives easier and more convenient, it also poses a serious threat as hackers increa… Continue Reading


Weekly Column: Hunting Pheasants in South Dakota

Across the country, the month of October is a time to carve pumpkins and watch the leaves change color. While I enjoy participating in these activities with my family, for us, the highlight of the month has always been the opening weekend of the pheasant hunting season. I have lived most of my life in central South Dakota, which is home to some of the best pheasant habitat in the country. Huron, where I was born, actually bears the nickname "Ringneck Nation." For our family and for many familie… Continue Reading


Weekly Column: National Newspaper Week

Local newspapers are the beating heart of our communities. Along with the local coffee shop, they're often the best way to learn about the local news or receive an update on the latest sporting events. Today, there are more than 120 newspapers throughout South Dakota, with circulations running from just a few hundred to tens of thousands for the Sunday edition. The 76th Annual National Newspaper Week was celebrated October 2nd through the 8th to recognize the impact of newspapers big and small, … Continue Reading

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