Senator John Thune
One of the things I enjoy about traveling when I am back in the state is picking up on some of the key messages South Dakotans have for me to take back to Washington. One of the messages ringing loud and clear is the desire of South Dakotans and the American people to return to the principles of our Founding Fathers – liberty, self-determination, and limited government through the consent of the people. These are principles that I hold dearly. America cannot turn its back on the framework that has made this country great. Our Founding Fathers worked tirelessly to form a government system that would serve the people, not itself.
On November 4, 2014, the American people voted for a change in the Senate. They were tired of the do-nothing attitude of the upper chamber under Democrat leadership and were ready for us to get the Senate working again for the American people. That is precisely what Republicans pledged to do, and in a little more than 100 days, we’ve made significant progress. The Senate has conducted more than 100 amendment roll call votes in just the first three and a half months. That’s roughly seven times as many amendment roll call votes as were conducted all of last year.
The Senate has passed more than a dozen bipartisan bills, including the Clay Hunt SAV Act to ensure we prioritize the mental health needs of our veterans. We’ve passed legislation reauthorizing Terrorism Risk Insurance, a bill to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, a bill to strengthen Medicare for seniors and their doctors, and a critical bill that combats human trafficking. The Senate also passed a responsible budget that balances in 10 years, something the president’s budget never does.
Significant progress is being made in the Senate, but there is still much more work to be done. Committees are preparing bipartisan legislation for the full Senate to consider. For example, I am optimistic that the full Senate will soon consider a bipartisan bill to reduce federal control of K-12 education, giving more power back to state and local governments.I look forward to more bipartisan accomplishments, and I will continue striving to ensure we prioritize the South Dakota values of hard work, determination, and common sense in my work in Washington.