Recent Op-Eds

Listen, Understand, and Deliver

By Sen. John Thune

February 10, 2022

I recently held a tele-town hall with thousands of South Dakotans, and it was great hearing from folks from all across the state. I’ve always said that South Dakotans are, and continue to be, my most trusted advisors, and I value all of the advice, feedback, and suggestions that I get when they call, write, or stop to see me. My recent tele-town hall was no different.


What I heard during the call reaffirms what I’ve been hearing during my meetings and visits throughout the state over the last few months. South Dakotans are concerned about the direction our country is heading, and they are particularly worried about the ongoing supply chain and inflation crises and the high volume of illegal drugs that are coming across the porous southern border.


On inflation, the single most important step the federal government can take to reduce it is to stop dumping billions of unnecessary government dollars into our economy. Inflation is a real problem for families, businesses, and farm and ranch operations. Nearly everyone is facing higher prices that are stretching family budgets to the limit. I’m taking proactive steps to address this issue, too. My Inflation Prevention Act would help prevent reckless spending legislation like the Democrats’ so-called “Build Back Better Act” when the inflation rate is as high as it is now – the highest in 40 years, to be exact.


I received several questions about the supply chain bottlenecks that are driving up prices and hitting South Dakota’s agriculture industry particularly hard. There are holes on grocery store shelves and long delays in receiving items that have been ordered. South Dakota businesses are also struggling to maintain their profit margins and meet the demands of their customers – especially small businesses, which have fewer resources to fight supply chain problems. 


Instead of imposing new, unnecessary regulations, it would be nice to see the administration focus on meaningful measures to address the supply chain crisis, like those in the bipartisan legislation I introduced last week with Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), our neighbor to the east. For some time now, I’ve heard reports of ocean carriers refusing to transport certain goods – often American agricultural products – in favor of more lucrative cargos. My bill, the Ocean Shipping Reform Act, is designed to address this problem and create a more level playing field, benefitting South Dakota producers, small businesses, and consumers.


Many people are rightfully upset about the ongoing southern border crisis and the danger it poses to non-border states like South Dakota. In fact, it was the top issue people raised during a poll I conducted during my tele-town hall. In particular, people are worried about the drugs that are pouring into the country. The administration should prioritize strong border security, stop the rampant abuse of the asylum system, and crack down on the traffickers and cartels that prey on migrants. 


Also front of mind for many South Dakotans is the rising price of energy. Winters in South Dakota are no joke, and the month-to-month cost to heat homes is through the roof. Everything from higher heating costs to the highest gasoline prices in eight years, families, businesses, and farms are bearing the brunt of the Biden administration’s narrow focus on electric vehicles and its discouragement of developing America’s abundant energy resources. South Dakota is a leader in clean energy, from hydropower on the Missouri River to wind farms across the state to biofuel production, but the president’s nearsighted policies are leaving the United States more dependent on foreign oil while keeping domestic production on the bench. 


I have found that the more input and feedback I get from you, the more effective I can be on your behalf. South Dakota is hands-down the best place to live, raise a family, and make a living. It is the honor of a lifetime to represent you in Congress, and I hope that you will continue reaching out if I can ever be of any assistance to you.


My team and I are in the business of customer service, and we stand ready to assist you in dealing with the federal government, including on issues related to the VA, Social Security, Medicare, immigration, passport emergencies, and the IRS, to name a few. I have offices in Sioux Falls, Aberdeen, Rapid City, and Washington, D.C., and you’re always welcome to call or stop by. If you would like to email me, you can head to my website,, and click “contact.”