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Learning by Listening

January 20, 2012

While home in South Dakota during Congress' winter work period, I traveled to several towns and held a series of six town hall meetings. These listening sessions were an opportunity for me to give an update on my work in the Senate and to hear South Dakotans' thoughts on important issues facing our state and nation. Like everyone, I learn more when I listen than when I talk. Over the years, I have held these public town halls because they prove to be valuable to me and, I hope, to my constituents when it comes to what is or is not happening in Congress.

I value this firsthand interaction and believe there is no substitute for hearing directly from the people whom I have the privilege of representing. While many issues were discussed, there were a few key themes that emerged during each of the town halls. From completion of a responsible Farm Bill, to government over regulation, to the growing debt due to runaway federal spending and a broken budget process, one thing is clear: South Dakotans are frustrated by Congress' inaction and the President’s lack of focus on the most serious issues facing our state and country.

Thank you to those South Dakotans that attended these town halls. If you were unable to come, please do not hesitate to contact one of my offices, drop me a note, or send an email. I value the ideas and opinions of the people I represent and appreciate hearing from you in the format most convenient for you. 

There is a lot of work to do as the Senate starts its new year and I look forward to using the information I have gained during January to be a strong voice for the people of South Dakota.