Recent Op-Eds

Serving South Dakota is my greatest honor, and throughout my time in Congress, I’ve sought out ways to give our state a strong voice in Washington. Democrats control the White House, Senate, and House of Representatives, and while there have been plenty of policies I’ve disagreed with, I’m proud of the work I’ve been able to accomplish on behalf of all South Dakotans.

With the Senate having just begun its traditional August state work period, I’m excited to have more opportunities to travel across the state to talk to folks about what is on their minds, what has been accomplished the last few months in Washington, and what else is in store for the rest of the year.

One of the most important bills Congress takes up every year is the National Defense Authorization Act. This year’s bill will authorize critical funding to continue preparation for the B-21 mission at Ellsworth Air Force Base, and it will also include my proposal to authorize additional funding for school districts affected by growing missions. I am incredibly proud that South Dakota and Ellsworth were chosen to serve as the first operating base for the B-21. I am committed to ensuring that the base has everything it needs to continue serving as one of our nation’s essential military assets for decades to come, including by ensuring local communities have the resources to help address school and housing capacity needs. 

Turning from the air to the sea, at the beginning of the summer, my Ocean Shipping Reform Act received overwhelming bipartisan support in both the House and Senate, and it is now the law of the land. This new law will help ease supply chain pressures by addressing unfair ocean carrier practices, speeding up the resolution of disputes over carrier fees, and improving the movement of goods at our nation’s ports. This is especially important for South Dakota producers, who rely on efficient access to markets around the world for their products. It won’t solve our nation’s inflation crisis, but it should help make life easier for U.S. exporters, importers, and consumers alike.  

After months of requests, I was pleased that the administration finally agreed to restore the summertime sale of E15 fuel for 2022, which went into effect on June 1. I have long advocated to make permanent the year-round sale of E15, plus higher blends of ethanol, as a way to offer American drivers more affordable and cleaner options at the gas pump and to offset foreign sources of energy. It’s a step in the right direction, and I will continue to call on the Biden administration to leverage American agriculture to help drive down gas prices and support our state’s economy.

As a longtime member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, ensuring that our rural communities have a seat at the table remains a top priority for me. Right now, the 2023 farm bill is a big focus of mine. I’ve already begun to hold a series of roundtables to hear from South Dakota farmers and ranchers about what they need from next year’s bill, and I plan to continue introducing proposals that I hope to get included in it. Agriculture is the lifeblood of the South Dakota economy, and I will do everything I can to make sure that our farmers and ranchers have the resources they need to help feed our country.

As always, fighting for South Dakota is my number-one priority. I’m focused on the same principles and priorities that have always guided me: working hard, fighting for what matters, and listening to my top advisers – you, the people of South Dakota. I look forward to catching up with folks this month, and if we cross paths, please be sure to say hello. In the meantime, if you have questions about how I can help you, or if you have an idea or feedback about something I’m working on, please don’t hesitate to write, call, or email – I’m all ears.