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Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., joined the growing chorus of critics of national radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh on Wednesday. "It was outrageous and terrible," Johnson said of Limbaugh's recent remarks. Limbaugh last week labeled Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke "a slut" and called her a prostitute because she had sought to testify before Congress about why she believes insurance plans should cover women's contraceptives. "She deserves more respect than that," Johnson said.
The United States should clear the regulatory way to boost domestic oil production, U.S. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., said Wednesday. But the Obama administration is blocking such work, Thune complained. "His administration, in a very systematic way, has turned down polices that would lead to greater domestic production," Thune told reporters. Joining a rising barrage of gas-price complaints by Republicans across the country, Thune accused Obama and his top staffers of aiming for higher gas prices.
While praising bipartisan cooperation on a Senate version of a new highway bill, Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., complained that House Republicans have introduced a bill so partisan it is irresponsible. "This major piece of legislation is moving in the Senate in bipartisan fashion," Johnson told reporters Wednesday.
At the dawn of this election year, the money race between South Dakota's two major political parties has both sides feeling optimistic for November. The South Dakota Democratic Party lagged its Republican counterpart by about $78,000 in fundraising at the end of 2011, but that gap is smaller than in past years, said state Democratic Party Chairman Ben Nesselhuf. "Considering that we don't have anybody who gave us that money because they thought they were going to get a no-bid contract or a job out of the deal, that's pretty darn good," Nesselhuf said, referring to past controversies
U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., said she has not yet decided whether to join the House's Tea Party Caucus. Noem was confronted by constituents about the issue at a town hall meeting held over the weekend in Rapid City, according to media reports. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., founded the Tea Party Caucus in July 2010.
Calling $13 million in executive bonuses budgeted at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac "an outrage," Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., introduced a bill Wednesday to keep those funds in the treasury. "It's hard to believe those agency executives felt they deserved those bonuses," Thune said, citing $150 billion in taxpayer assistance shoveled to the mortgage agencies since 2008.
Calling President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech "excellent," Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., said it is up to Congress to work with the White House. "The president has done a good job working with Congress. It's just a matter of staking out common ground. It's difficult to do that," Johnson told reporters Wednesday. "That's not the president's fault, it's Congress' fault." Johnson said Obama avoided issues that would divide along party lines. "The president chose to talk about issues we could all agree on and avoided partisan discussions," he said.
U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., took aim at President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech Tuesday afternoon, hours before the speech was delivered. In a conference call with reporters, Noem said Obama's remarks would be "suited for the campaign trail rather than the halls of Congress." "That's unfortunate. People elected us to find solutions, not just to campaign," she said. Her call drew a quick rebuke from Sen.
Calling her 2010 defeat by Republican Kristi Noem "very disappointing and painful," Stephanie Herseth Sandlin said she seriously considered a run to reclaim South Dakota's lone U.S. House seat in 2012. "I really struggled with the decision," Herseth Sandlin said hours after announcing online Saturday that she would stay on the sidelines this year. "In the immediate weeks and months following the election, I didn't think I would seek public office again quite so soon.
Former U.S. Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, D-S.D., announced Saturday morning via email, Facebook and Twitter that she has decided to stay out of the 2012 election. "This is a difficult decision," she wrote. Herseth Sandlin cited her young son, 3-year-old Zachary, as one reason she has decided to stay off the campaign trail after her defeat by Republican Kristi Noem in 2010. "Over the course of the past year, I have enjoyed being a mom first and foremost.