Weekly Column


Celebrating our Independence

Every year on the 4th of July, Americans join together to celebrate our independence. At that time in 1776, delegates from the 13 colonies signed the Declaration of Independence, breaking free from British rule and forming a new republic. In South Dakota, every town has their own celebration to mark this historic day. In Fort Pierre, where Jean and I live, there is a parade in the morning and a rodeo at night, followed by a spectacular fireworks show over the Missouri River. Across the state… Continue Reading


Taking Steps to Address our Broken Appropriations Process

Since coming to the Senate three-and-a-half years ago, fixing our broken appropriations system has been at the top of my priority list. South Dakotans have heard me talk about the fiscal problems our country is facing many times over the years. As I've said, one way to address our growing problem is to vote on appropriation bills each year instead of pushing through a two thousand page omnibus bill at the last minute. Getting back to 'regular order,' where we debate appropriation bills individu… Continue Reading


Protecting States’ Rights to Water

For many South Dakotans, the Missouri River is a constant in our lives. We have driven past it countless times, fished its waters and boated on it with our friends and families. It has also historically been a major water source for state and municipal projects. However, a U.S. Army Corps' of Engineers proposed rule, estimated to be finalized as early as this fall, would limit states' rights to the natural flow of water through river systems. The proposed rule, published during the previous … Continue Reading


Father's Day Lessons From Dads

Father's Day gives us a chance to celebrate dads and thank them for everything they do for their families. As any dad can attest, raising our four kids was both the hardest and most rewarding job I've ever had. Jean and I are incredibly proud of our kids, and we've enjoyed watching them grow and start families of their own. We look forward to spending time with them this Father's Day, however this year it will look a little different. This is the first Father's Day without my dad, Grandpa Don, … Continue Reading


Updating South Dakota’s Water Infrastructure

Fresh water is one of our most precious natural resources. We rely on it for everything from powering our homes and businesses, to drinking, showering and washing our cars, to boating, fishing and other recreation. In South Dakota, we also rely on the Missouri River to generate hydroelectricity, run our irrigation systems and more. I serve on the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), which has jurisdiction over America's water infrastructure. When we think of the word "infr… Continue Reading


U.S. Economy is Improving Thanks to Pro-Growth Policies

The United States economy is looking up, thanks to the pro-growth policies implemented by the current administration and this congress. Since President Trump took office, 3 million new jobs have been created. Nearly 800,000 jobs have been created just since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was enacted in January. Our economy is growing at a faster rate than previously expected. Prior to the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected that the U.… Continue Reading


Showing Gratitude to South Dakota’s Veterans and Servicemembers

Each year on Memorial Day, we honor the lives of the men and women who bravely served our country and paid the ultimate price. We can never repay them for the sacrifice they made to defend the freedoms we enjoy as Americans. We can, however, work to improve the quality of life for veterans and provide our armed forces with the resources they need to be in the strongest position possible. I serve on both the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee and the Senate Armed Services Committee. We have rece… Continue Reading


Opening New Markets for South Dakota Producers

Agriculture is the economic engine for many communities across the upper Great Plains. Farmers and ranchers play a critical role in feeding and fueling a growing global population, and also in our national security strategy. When we can produce affordable, nutritious food here at home, we don't have to rely on other countries to obtain it. However, ag income has been in decline over the past five years, in part due to low commodity prices. I recently introduced a bipartisan bill with Senator Ang… Continue Reading


Small Businesses are the Heartbeat of the American Economy

Each year during National Small Business Week, we celebrate the vital role of small businesses in American society today. Main street businesses are America's job creators. Over the past two decades, small businesses have generated 65 percent of all net new jobs. In fact, small businesses represent half of all jobs in the U.S., half the U.S. GDP and account for two out of every three new jobs created in the U.S. today. I had the opportunity this year to nominate a South Dakota small business… Continue Reading


Transparency is Critical When EPA Seeks to Implement New Rules

Whenever any federal agency tries to implement new rules, transparency behind the rule-making process is important so the American people have an opportunity to understand their potential impact. It's especially important at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which has had a long history of creating burdensome, unnecessary regulations without giving the public an opportunity to fully vet the reasoning behind their decisions. I am pleased to see the current administration taking steps to … Continue Reading


The World Needs Strong U.S. Leadership Now More Than Ever

Earlier this month, the United States, in conjunction with our allies Great Britain and France, conducted missile strikes against three Syrian chemical facilities in response to the Syrian government's chemical weapons attack. It sent a strong message that the United States and two of its great European allies will not tolerate barbaric and inhumane chemical attacks on noncombatants. When Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad's regime attacked its own citizens-including young children-with chemical … Continue Reading


Working Hard to Advance Pro-Growth Economic Policies

Each year in April, millions of Americans file their federal income tax returns. This year's tax day will be the final year using the old, broken system. Because of the recently-passed historic Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, next year will be the first year we can file under the modernized tax code. But already, Americans are feeling the benefits. In addition to simplifying the tax filing process, the tax reform law has allowed more Americans to keep more of their hard-earned dollars. Businesses large… Continue Reading


Proposed Chinese Tariffs Will Hurt Ag

With 95 percent of the world's consumers living outside the U.S., free and fair trade in the international market is vital for American producers to thrive and grow. With approximately one-fifth of U.S. agriculture products going to foreign markets, our farmers and ranchers, in particular, benefit from positive trade agreements. China recently unveiled a proposal to impose an additional 25 percent tariff on more than 100 U.S. goods, including soybeans, wheat, corn and beef, and it has alread… Continue Reading


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

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