Weekly Column


A South Dakota Tradition

We are fortunate to be home to the country's best pheasant hunting, and opening day of pheasant season is a weekend South Dakotans look forward to all year. I'll once again be spending opening weekend near Presho, hunting with family and friends. One of the aspects of hunting I enjoy so much is the camaraderie. Our kids grew up learning to hunt, and all four are planning to join us in the fields this fall, along with their own families. My oldest grandson will have the opportunity to mentor … Continue Reading


Protecting Ourselves from Cyber Threats

Cyberattacks are becoming more and more common, as the internet has become such an integral part of our daily lives. We are putting more of our personal information online than ever before, whether it's when we do our online banking, make a purchase, pay bills or something as simple as sharing photos on social media. It is important that we take steps to protect ourselves from cyberattacks. The month of October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is… Continue Reading


Upcoming Farm Bill Discussions a Golden Opportunity to Empower South Dakota Ag

In the next 12 months, Congress will ramp up its work on the reauthorization of the farm bill, which expires Sept. 30, 2018. With the farm economy struggling over the past four years and commodity prices down, the policy changes we enact in this farm bill are as important as ever. I've been talking closely with farmers and ranchers across the state about their priorities for the upcoming farm bill to make sure their voices are heard. One major issue that I hear about time and again is that p… Continue Reading


Newspapers are the Heart of Local Communities

South Dakota's 126 daily and weekly newspapers are the heart of communities across our state. Local papers play a vital role in keeping citizens informed of what's happening in their hometown, from decisions being made at city hall to milestone anniversaries and other celebrations within the community. They also allow us to learn and understand events happening across the globe, right from the comfort of our homes. Reading the paper over a cup of coffee each morning is a part of my daily routine… Continue Reading


Strengthening our Armed Forces

As it has for the past 56 years, the Senate again passed bipartisan legislation to provide for the defense of our nation. The National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, is one of the most important pieces of legislation to pass out of Congress each year, as it provides our armed forces with the tools to successfully complete their missions and keep us safe. This year's NDAA includes provisions that will rebuild our military, at a time when it is the smallest it has been since World War II. … Continue Reading


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


‘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


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


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


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


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


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

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