Rep. Kristi Noem
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.
To the Editor: A few weeks ago, a friend of mine suffered a heart attack. Thankfully, he received the medical attention he needed in time and is now recovering at home, but the whole experience was extremely sobering and made me hug my family a bit closer that night. Each year, 720,000 Americans have a heart attack. While many think about heart disease as something that primarily impacts older men, about half of heart attacks are suffered by women, and 35,000 a year impact individuals who are under 55.
One of the questions I get most often is: "What does a typical day look like for you?" It's a good question, but one that I sometimes struggle to answer concisely, as every day is a little different. When Congress is in session, I stay out in Washington, D.C. Like a handful of other members of Congress, I have a pullout bed in my office so I don't have to waste time getting through city traffic every day. Throughout each day in session, we vote on a series of bills. Sometimes those bills will impact millions of people; other times, they impact only certain communities.
It's hard to believe it's been three years since our fight to save the Hot Springs VA Hospital began. On Dec. 12, 2011, the Department of Veterans Affairs issued a reorganization proposal that included plans to close the doors of the VA hospital in Hot Springs — a community so dedicated to those who've served that it has earned the title "Veterans Town." The Hot Springs VA Hospital is a special place. I've had the privilege of visiting the community and facility numerous times.
It's been just over three weeks since the second open enrollment season for health insurance began.