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When the House Speaker says he'll vote for a bill he wouldn't even bring to the floor last year, Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., calls that "very good news." Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, surprised conservative think tanks and analysts when he said this week he will support the $1 trillion farm bill. But Noem cited a series of reforms in the bill passed by the House Agriculture Committee, including stricter requirements for food stamp recipients, streamlined commodity programs and the elimination of direct payments to farmers. "He doesn't vote for many farm bills.
The farm bill passed by the U.S. Senate earlier this week had too many problems to earn support from Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., so he voted "no." Thune brushed off the accusation by South Dakota Democratic Party Chairman Ben Nesselhuf that his "no" vote was prompted by presidential ambitions and the need to appeal to conservative groups who oppose farm subsidies. "I would remind him, if he's going to make those types of attacks, he probably ought to do his homework," Thune said. "If you look through the annals of history, Tom Daschle voted against four farm bills.
Members of Congress who don't serve on the Intelligence Committee weren't aware of the specific tactics used in recently revealed spying programs that collect massive amounts of phone and Internet records, South Dakota's two senators said Wednesday. When asked if he had been briefed on the programs, as President Obama said this week all member of Congress had been, Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., replied: "Not yet." Sen.
Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., heralded the Senate version of the farm bill, passed Monday, saying it contains long-sought reforms and payment caps. On the other side of the aisle, Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., found enough objectionable provisions to push him into the first "No" vote on a farm bill of his career. Topping Johnson's list are a cap on payments to farmers, something he has long sought.
South Dakota's U.S. senators are working to defend what they believe are crucial parts of a would-be new farm bill as it faces a barrage of amendments on the Senate floor this week and possibly into next week. Both men ticked off a list of programs they support, but Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., identified country-of-origin meat labeling as a top priority and Sen.
Sen. Tim Johnson voiced his support for Rick Weiland's U.S. Senate candidacy Wednesday. "Rick Weiland has a good opportunity, and I've encouraged him to run. All I can say is that I and (former) Sen. (Tom) Daschle have encouraged Rick to run," Johnson, a Democrat, told reporters during a regularly scheduled conference call. Johnson's support came a day after a national story in Politico reported that the U.S. Senate's top Democrat does not support Rick Weiland, the only declared Democratic candidate for the retiring Johnson's Senate seat. At the same time, Sen.
Congress needs to pass a farm bill this summer -- not only to support agriculture, but to ensure national independence and self-reliance, Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., said Thursday. "I believe we have a national security interest in ensuring we can produce our own food in this country. This farm bill is going to be a key part of that," Noem told reporters in a conference call.
More than a third of South Dakota's jobs are rated as "low-wage" and nearly two-thirds of the state's children live in single-parent households. Those two factors lead the reasons why 42 percent of the state's children live in low-income households, including 18 percent who are in poverty, said one expert. South Dakota State University's Mike McCurry, the state demographer, said that when there is one low-paid adult who is solely responsible for maintaining a household and raising children, poverty or low-income status is likely.
RAPID CITY -- The very family dynamics that have Stephanie Herseth Sandlin thinking about passing on a run for the U.S. Senate are also what's driving her in the direction of a revived political career. In short, she wants to run for the U.S. Senate to find ways to support working families and young children. But she wants to nurture her own family and 4-year-old son at a critical time in their lives. "I continue to struggle with the decision," Herseth Sandlin said Wednesday. "I love my family life.
All of America's veterans should feel welcomed at VA facilities, and that makes a display of confederate flags inappropriate, said Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D. "I believe the VA hospital should be an environment where every veteran of any background feels comfortable and welcomed. So I'm concerned that these flags may jeopardize that," Noem said during a routine conference call with reporters Thursday. The two flags were removed from historical displays at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Hot Springs last week after two black patients said they were symbolic of racism.