Rep. Kristi Noem
Earlier this month, I met Maddie. Maddie is 14 years old and from Sioux Falls. She's an incredible singer and a dedicated dancer with dreams of appearing on Broadway someday. And she, like 42,000 other South Dakotans, lives with diabetes. Maddie has lived with Type 1 Diabetes for half of her life. She was only seven when she was diagnosed. Her parents had noticed a significant uptick in the amount of water Maddie was drinking, and even with the increased water intake, Maddie seemed dehydrated.
I have known Lynn Popham for a long time — more than two decades, I suppose. We've spent hours together at ball games, rodeos, and our kids' school events. She's an incredible mom to two young men, a hard worker, a trusted neighbor and a tremendous asset to our community. Last December, Lynn learned she had Stage 2 breast cancer. This year alone, approximately 230,000 women are expected to learn that they, too, must fight breast cancer, according to the latest data from the American Cancer Society. Just over 2,000 men will also have to battle the disease.
In his speech before Congress last March, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recalled the Book of Esther, explaining how this ancient queen exposed a plot to destroy the Jewish people and, as a result, ensured good triumphed over evil. As Netanyahu went on to explain, the Jewish people once again face an adversary who seeks to destroy them—an adversary who is on the brink of developing a nuclear weapon.
America's protection of property rights has always set us apart from others around the globe, but it's an American value that is under attack today. On May 27, the Environmental Protection Agency finalized a rule that could represent one of the largest federal land grabs in United States history. In the swoop of a regulatory pen, the EPA expanded the federal government's control to include small and seasonal bodies of water.
We've watched a lot of old family videos these last few weeks as we prepared for Kennedy to graduate. It's been a special opportunity to see who she is — who she has always been. She never seemed to mind her older sister telling her what to do. She'd let other kids at her birthday parties open her presents and play with the gifts — even if she hadn't had the chance to yet. We saw her helping her cousins up when they fell and faithfully answering the questions we asked with the sweetest lisp and a crooked smile. I distinctly remember a day when Kennedy was five.
This March, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen admitted that the IRS planned to ignore more than 60 percent of taxpayers' phone calls during tax season.
When I was 21 years old, I got a call late one afternoon from Joanie, who worked with my family on our farm. She said, "Kristi, your dad is stuck in a grain bin." I knew instantly what she meant by that. I told her to turn on the fans and I was on my way. By the time I got there, neighbors and friends had taken payloaders and ripped down the grain bin trying to find him. When they finally did, they started doing CPR. I followed the ambulance to the hospital with my family and the doctors fought to save him for hours into the evening.
Between the 2010-11 and 2012-13 school years, 1.2 million kids dropped out of the federal school lunch program. It was the first decline we'd seen in over a decade. According to the Government Accountability Office — a nonpartisan agency that serves as a watchdog over taxpayer-funded programs — the decline was largely due to challenges with the "palatability" of the food being served and the implementation costs of new federal mandates.
When a service member joins the military, their spouse and family serves beside them. And just as our military stands ready to respond to crisis here and abroad, soldiers' families must be prepared for their loved ones to be sent into harm's way. Recently, the Sioux Falls-based 1742nd Transportation Company of the Army National Guard received the 2014 Department of Defense Reserve Family Readiness Award. The Pentagon honors just one Army National Guard Company with this award each year.
It's a project that would support approximately 42,100 jobs, according to the U.S. State Department. It's a project that would generate millions of dollars in revenue for cash-strapped county governments in South Dakota every year, supporting needed infrastructure investments and critical community services. It's a project the majority of Americans agree we should move forward with — even in this hyper-partisan world we live in. The project is the Keystone XL pipeline, and this week, Congress will be putting legislation on the president's desk to finally approve it.