Recent Press Releases

Washington, D.C. —  Senator John Thune spoke from the Senate floor for the first time this morning, calling on his colleagues to work together in a bipartisan way to solve problems and fix Social Security.

Mindful of the Senate tradition of open debate, Thune said senators should “work together to do more than simply debate our problems – but work together to solve them.”

“While there is a time to debate, we all came here to solve problems – not pass them on to our children,” said Thune, R-SD. “I think I speak for many members when I say the only thing that sustains me when I’m away from my children is the knowledge that we are improving their lives through our work here.”

Thune urged his colleagues to work together on the key issues in this fall’s elections. Specifically, Thune said the Senate should enact a national energy policy, reform health care, and pass tort reform.

“We have a full agenda ahead of us,” Thune said. “There are some goals we can all agree on: a national energy policy that increases the use of renewable fuels; more affordable and accessible health care; meaningful tort reform. The American people have put their trust in us to make this nation even greater than it is today. And we cannot let them down.”

During his speech, Thune referred to his two teenage daughters, Brittany and Larissa. The Senator said Congress had a moral obligation to fix Social Security for his daughters’ generation.

“Thirteen years, Mr. President, is not that far away,” Thune said. “Believe me, if you have children you know how quickly those first twelve years can go by and all of a sudden you have a teenager. It happened to me twice with my two daughters.”

Social Security played a major role in Thune’s two U.S. Senate campaigns, where he emphasized the need to strengthen the system for future generations. Now Senator, Thune urged his colleagues to brave the political battle.

“Those of you who worry about political danger in discussing this issue, know that I am standing here today before you as Senator who has been on the receiving end of many of those accusations,” Thune said. “The key words being, ‘I am still standing’ and I am in fact a senator. We can do more than just send and receive political attacks on this issue – we can work together to find a strong, bipartisan solution.”

New senators historically remained silent during floor debates for weeks or months after their election. The precedent was broken in 1907, when newly elected Arkansas Senator Jeff Davis waited only nine days before his first floor speech, shocking Capitol Hill. Since then, the Senate tradition survives by giving special attention to members’ first major addresses.