U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), who has served as chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation since 2015, today released an activity report that highlights a portion of the committee’s work over the last two congresses, particularly the legislative initiatives that have had a direct and positive effect on South Dakota. The report details, for example, Thune’s effort to expand cybersecurity research at Dakota State University, enhance Ellsworth Air Force Base’s strategic value, address unique needs for agricultural transportation, and help University of South Dakota’s Derek Miles gain long-overdue Olympic recognition.
“Serving as chairman of the Commerce Committee provides me a unique opportunity to create real change and achieve substantive results for communities in South Dakota,” said Thune. “Additionally, my work on the Commerce Committee has positively impacted the everyday lives of all Americans in broad sectors of the economy such as aviation, the internet, highways, railroads, and mobile phone service. While my work on other Senate committees, which set tax and agriculture policy, as well as my other duties as your senator benefit our state, many of my Commerce Committee accomplishments have led to specific results for South Dakota.
“In this report, I wanted to share some of these examples of how the time I put into my duties at the Commerce Committee helps our state. I hope you find this report informative.”
Thune-led efforts, as detailed in the activity report:
- Expanding cybersecurity research at Dakota State University
- Promoting internet-enabled health care solutions for rural South Dakota
- Resolving freight rail service disputes
- Enhancing Ellsworth Air Force Base’s strategic value
- Improving safety for agricultural aviation and maintaining commercial service
- Supporting a successful program to stop impaired driving
- Combatting human trafficking
- Researching weather forecast improvements
- Providing tribal highway safety grants
- Addressing unique needs for agricultural transportation
- Helping a South Dakotan gain Olympic recognition
In 2017 alone, the Commerce Committee had 10 proposals enacted into law (including Thune’s Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act), 20 additional proposals passed by the full Senate, 47 bills approved by the committee, 20 confirmed nominations (including two cabinet officials and the Federal Communications Commission chairman), 63 hearings, and eight legislative markups.
For more information on Thune’s role on the Commerce Committee, please visit www.commerce.senate.gov.