Weekly Column


Helping South Dakotans Navigate the Federal Bureaucracy

In the United States Senate, we spend much of our time working on legislation, attending committee hearings and making sure federal policies are working for families and communities in our state. But we also spend a great deal of time assisting individuals who are having difficulties dealing with federal rules, regulations or policies, and who may need help working with a federal agency. Our office can assist you in working with the federal government and try to help find a solution to the probl… Continue Reading


Nobody Wants a Repeat of the 2011 Missouri River Flood

Spring is just around the corner in South Dakota, and many residents are rightfully concerned about the higher-than-normal snowpack levels in the Upper Missouri River Basin, which could cause flooding along the Missouri River in our state. NOAA, which is the federal scientific agency in charge of weather and climate monitoring, recently released its 2018 spring flood outlook report, which found that through May, moderate flooding is likely in parts of the Lower Missouri River basin. It also … Continue Reading


Dodd-Frank Reform Bill Provides Regulatory Relief to Community Banks and Credit Unions, Includes Consumer Protections

The Senate recently voted to pass the first major overhaul of our financial system since the Dodd-Frank Act was signed into law in 2010. S. 2155, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act, is a bipartisan effort that begins to roll back the unnecessary and burdensome regulations placed on small banks and credit unions following the financial crisis. This has hindered the ability of those institutions to serve their customers, particularly in rural areas. Our legislation … Continue Reading


FARM Act Necessary to Prevent Farmers and Ranchers from Being Subject to Needless EPA Regulations

Farmers and ranchers in South Dakota work hard to grow and raise quality products for consumers. They also take great pride in caring for our natural resources and making sure they are available for future generations to use. The federal government should not needlessly get in the way of the work they do to help feed and fuel a growing population. I recently co-sponsored the Fair Agricultural Reporting Method (FARM) Act, a bipartisan bill to protect farmers and ranchers from EPA reporting requi… Continue Reading


Protecting Free and Fair Elections

Free and fair elections are a vital part of our democracy. Being able to cast a ballot, beginning at the age of 18, gives us a voice in the decisions being made at all levels of government. With the U.S. midterm elections coming up in November, it's important to uphold our democratic election process by preventing interference from outside actors. In the 2016 election, there was clear evidence that Russia attempted to undermine our elections by hacking political entities and manipulating social… Continue Reading


With Border Security, I’m Focused on Results

When I was elected to represent you, I focused on getting results. South Dakotans, like many Americans, are tired of the same-old Washington politics that is more focused on political grandstanding than making lives better for the citizens we represent. I'm proud of the successes we've had lately - enacting historic tax reform, rebalancing the court system, undoing over 1600 burdensome regulations and repealing some of Obamacare's most egregious mandates, just to name a few. But we still have wo… Continue Reading


Last Year’s Accomplishments lay Groundwork for More Changes in 2018

Over the past year, Congress and the White House made important changes to get away from the centralized, overregulated system of government that stifled American innovation and economic growth for years. We're now laying the groundwork to make America even stronger, safer and freer in the coming year. Last year, we were successful in undoing or stopping 1,600 burdensome federal regulations, including 15 under the Congressional Review Act. This will help businesses thrive by reducing the ti… Continue Reading


With the Unnecessary Shutdown Over, We Can Get Back to the Important Issues Before Congress

I've been frustrated with Washington's broken budget process since coming to the Senate three years ago. Under our current system, rather than debating and passing appropriations bills to fund the government for a full year at a time, we have been operating under short-term, stopgap funding measures called "Continuing Resolutions" to keep the government open for just a few months or weeks at a time. Continuing Resolutions (CR) largely extend last year's spending levels and fail to provide long-t… Continue Reading


One South Dakotan’s Purple Heart Story, 73 Years Overdue

One of the important services that our Senate office provides to South Dakotans is assistance in dealing with federal agencies. Over the past three years that I've been in office, we have helped countless South Dakotans navigate the bureaucracy of the federal government. With such a large population of veterans living in our state, we often work with different agencies on behalf of veterans. In some cases, we're able to assist veterans in receiving overdue ribbons and commendations that have bee… Continue Reading


Tax Reform Can Enhance 2018 Goals

As we turn the page to a new year, January is a time in which many Americans take the opportunity to make positive changes in their lives. Business owners may seek to expand their businesses, entrepreneurs may seek to start a new enterprise, and families may wish to purchase a new car or save enough to buy their first home. With the recent passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the opportunity to achieve these goals - whether personal or professional - is greatly enhanced. Now if you're looking … Continue Reading


2018 Brings us a Year Closer to America's 250th Birthday

Over the past three years, many of you have heard me talk about what we want our country to look like in 2026, the year we celebrate America's 250th birthday. I've said time and again that we must get away from the centralized, overregulated system of government that has stifled economic growth. In the past year, we've made great strides in getting back on track to a freer, less intrusive government. Just before Christmas, President Trump signed historic tax relief legislation into law, the … Continue Reading


Restoring Balance to the Court System

In the United States, we expect our judicial system to treat all Americans equally. After all, it is our judicial system which we rely on to assure due process of law. The federal courts play a critical role in our constitutional system. Because of this, it is important that federal judges faithfully apply the law as written. This year, the Senate has been able to put a number of highly-qualified judges on the federal bench who are committed to fulfilling that role. The process for filling vac… Continue Reading


Celebrating Christmas in South Dakota

As we approach the end of the year, I have been reflecting on the highlights of 2017. Between Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day, the holiday season provides a good opportunity to recount our blessings and celebrate the birth of Jesus, and the promise of a loving God who offered to us his only Son. At the top of our family's list of blessings this year is the birth of our ninth grandchild, Cohen. For Jean and me, family is our greatest gift, and we are looking forward to spending additio… Continue Reading


Broken Budget System Wastes Taxpayer Dollars, Hurts Military

The federal government's budget process hasn't worked in more than four decades. I have been a vocal critic of the current system, which largely rubber-stamps federal spending with very little debate or discussion. I recently voted "no" on a continuing resolution, which funds the government for two weeks, through December 22, 2017. This is not a decision I take lightly, and I'd like to take this opportunity to explain what led me to this decision. This year, working within this broken syste… Continue Reading


Making Good on our Promise

For too long, American families and businesses have been stuck with a complicated, costly tax code that has hindered economic growth and prosperity. Since being sworn into the Senate in 2015, reforming the code that will provide much-needed tax relief for South Dakota families has been one of my top priorities. Now that the Senate passed its version of tax reform, we are closer than ever to making tax relief a reality. It has been more than 30 years since our tax code has been reformed. Sin… Continue Reading


Regulatory Relief for Community Banks and Credit Unions

In South Dakota, our local banks and credit unions play an important role in helping our businesses thrive and our communities grow. Local financial institutions help families buy a home, start a new business or save for the future. As a member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, one of my priorities has been to relieve community banks and credit unions from the unnecessary regulatory burdens imposed on them. I recently joined a bipartisan group of Banking Committee m… Continue Reading



This Thanksgiving, as we get together with family and friends, Jean and I would once again like to send our warmest wishes to all South Dakotans. During this festive time of the year, let's not forget that the first Thanksgiving was a time to thank the good Lord for all of our blessings. I am especially thankful for the opportunity to be able to work on your behalf in the United States Senate. Even when the debates on Capitol Hill get contentious, working for the people of South Dakota is a priv… Continue Reading


Honoring Native American Heritage

The rich and vibrant history of Native Americans is deeply woven into the fabric of America, especially in South Dakota. I believe we should celebrate our diversity. To honor their culture and the countless contributions Native Americans have made to our society, President Trump recently designated November as National Native American Heritage Month. Native Americans called South Dakota home long before Europeans settled in the West. South Dakota was originally a part of the vast territory … Continue Reading


Thank You, Veterans

The men and women who wear the uniform of the United States make incredible sacrifices for us, and every year on November 11 we pay tribute to them and all they have done to defend our freedoms. Veterans Day is a reminder to all of us to thank those who have bravely answered the call to serve. As a member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, I have been working on proposals to improve the quality o… Continue Reading


South Dakota’s Economy Benefits from NAFTA

Free and fair trade is vital to South Dakota's economy. Not only does it open up important markets for South Dakota products, it results in higher wages and supports our small businesses and producers. Last year, we exported $1.2 billion in products to other countries, including goods, machinery and electronic equipment. In particular, the North American Free Trade Agreement-NAFTA-between the U.S., Mexico and Canada, South Dakota's top two exporters in 2016, continues to benefit our farmers, ran… Continue Reading

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