Sen. John Thune
Aside from being a dad, grandpa, and husband, serving the people of South Dakota as one of their U.S. senators has afforded me with some of the most rewarding experiences in my life. I’m constantly humbled by the opportunity and trust South Dakotans have placed in me, which is why I’ve never taken this job for granted – not for a single second.
My top priority when I show up to work each day, whether that’s in cities and towns throughout the state or in the Capitol in Washington, D.C., is listening to and fighting for what matters to South Dakotans. Hopping between South Dakota and Washington, I’ve been asked about my typical work week. While every week is a little different, some things never change.
It’s no secret that I try to spend as much time as possible wherever there’s a 605 area code. On most weekends, you can likely find me with family and friends. In the winter, I’m out shoveling snow, and in the summer, I’m out mowing the lawn. In the fall, I’m chasing pheasants in the prairie, and it doesn’t matter what month it is, you can always catch me at local sports or community events throughout the state.
Once the Senate is set to reconvene, I head back to Washington with the feedback I’ve received from friends, neighbors, and fellow South Dakotans, and my work in the Senate picks up right where it left off.
The next best thing to spending time with South Dakotans back home is when our paths cross in Washington. Whether people are in town for vacations or conferences, or even if they’re just passing through, I always appreciate when they stop by my office to say hello.
In between meeting with South Dakotans, my weeks are filled with the day-to-day action on the Senate floor and in the various committees on which I serve. January and February have largely been consumed by voting to confirm members of the president’s Cabinet. While this process is taking far longer than it should – due to unnecessary, politically driven hurdles created in the Senate – we’re making progress. The quicker we can get the president’s team in place, the quicker we can turn our attention to other important issues like repealing and replacing Obamacare, reforming our tax code, and confirming the next justice to the Supreme Court.
Once the Senate wraps up its legislative work for the week, I usually head back to South Dakota to recharge and get a fresh round of feedback – sometimes while I’m sitting in the bleachers during a Saturday night basketball game. From there, the cycle starts all over again. Every week is different, yes, but the one thing they all have in common is that they revolve around what’s most important to South Dakota, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.