Fostering Innovation

As ranking member of the Senate Subcommittee on Communications, Media, and Broadband, I am committed to advancing smart federal policy to keep South Dakota at the forefront of research and innovation.

During the 116th congress, I worked to enact the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act, which was signed into law on December 30, 2019.  The TRACED Act cracks down on illegal robocalls and lays the necessary groundwork in the fight toward giving consumers greater peace of mind when their phone rings.  Passing the TRACED Act into law was a truly bipartisan effort and I hope that we will carry that momentum into the 117th Congress. 

This Congress, I am looking forward to continuing my work on legislation that ensures federal policy reflects 21st century innovations.  Building on our success from last congress, I will continue to work with my colleagues on several bipartisan bills, including my PACT Act, the Filter Bubble Transparency Act, the HACKED Act, the MOBILE NOW Act, and Telecommunications Skilled Workforce Act.

The internet has brought Americans a host of benefits – a wealth of information, unparalleled convenience, new opportunities for commerce and education, and new methods of communication.  However, this exponential growth should not come at a cost to consumers’ privacy.  As a member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, I am focused on policies that would give consumers more control over what they view online.

The internet has experienced exponential growth over the last several decades and the ecosystem we have today requires additional scrutiny to ensure transparency and consumer protections online without jeopardizing innovation in the tech industry.

I will also continue to support broadband investment at the Federal Communications Commission to close the digital divide and ensure rural areas, like the beautiful Black Hills, have access to the internet.  We have all seen throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, as we relied on technology to do our jobs and stay connected to our family and friends, just how vital reliable broadband connectivity is to this country.  I believe 5G will be a huge boon to rural America – some areas that have long-struggled for broadband infrastructure in general.  I will continue to seek ways to properly balance national guidelines for 5G infrastructure deployment, while preserving the rights and authorities of state and local government.

In my role on the Commerce Committee, I will also continue advocating for policies that support the top notch research taking place at South Dakota’s universities across the state.  From research on precision agriculture and robotics to the underground research lab in Lead, South Dakota, our state attracts world-class researchers and scientists working to solve difficult problems and advanced scientific mysteries.  As we look to the future, the United States must continue to maintain its position as global leaders in science and technology.  With an eye on emerging technologies, like quantum computing, Congress needs to keep pace with evolving technologies and enact policies that reflect these changes.  My National Quantum Initiative Act, signed into law on December 2018, was an important step toward this goal, but I will continue my work to support progress in quantum information science and other critical fields that have implications for both national security and economic competitiveness.