Sen. John Thune
When South Dakotans picture opening day of pheasant season, they see unharvested corn and milo fields, sloughs, shelterbelts, and food plots lined with hunters — often friends and family, conspicuous in their bright orange clothing. Although shooting a limit of pheasants isn't the mark of a successful hunt, the allure of the "Pheasant Capital of the World" is why hunters from across the United States gather in South Dakota every third Saturday in October to participate in this world-class event and renew or create family memories and traditions.
There are many things in life over which you have no control. Kimberley and I just experienced one of them. On September 21 at 8:24 p.m., we became grandparents for the very first time. That's when Henley Joy Hargens made her debut. All we had to do was show up. Actually, it's not quite that easy. You do have to raise kids of your own. That, in and of itself, can present its own set of challenges.
The recent bombing and attempted bombings in New York and New Jersey, as well as the shopping mall attack that occurred less than 200 miles from South Dakota's eastern border, have reminded us once again that the United States isn't immune to the risk posed by radical Islamic terrorism. Sadly, we've seen these types of attacks before, both in San Bernardino and Orlando. We must remain vigilant and do everything we can to ensure potential risks are identified and eliminated, because when it comes to our national security strategy, there is no room for error.
While President Obama is just a few short months away from leaving office, there are a few items he won't be able to leave behind — like the legacy of his health care law. The president's Democratic allies in Washington would still like to view this bill as President Obama's top legislative achievement, but the truth is, this law has become a disaster.
Every mile I travel in South Dakota is another reminder that I'm lucky to call this great state home and even luckier to have the opportunity to represent the hard-working people that help make South Dakota the best place to live, work, and raise a family. It doesn't matter what season it is — winter, spring ... basketball, pheasant hunting — spending time in South Dakota is the only way to recharge and the only place to get that special dose of reality that gets me through the inside-the-beltway craziness in Washington.
It doesn’t matter if you’re the farmer in the field who harvests the crops, the manufacturer in the factory who makes the goods, or the consumer at home who relies...
August 7-13 is National Health Center Week in America, and it's a great opportunity to recognize and celebrate the health care professionals who make small community health centers across the country a reality. These physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, doctors, dentists, and others play a pivotal role in creating rural access points for South Dakotans who live in areas where the nearest hospital could be an hour or more away. The centers themselves are an important part of the community, and they help create a seamless transition to quality health care for rural patients.
Each week the Senate is in session, I travel back and forth from my home in Sioux Falls to Washington, D.C., for hearings, votes, and other meetings. While I love representing South Dakotans in Washington, it's no secret that I'm happiest when I'm home in South Dakota, hearing directly from you. So, as I head back to spend several weeks traveling the state and connecting with you, I wanted to share some of the big things we've accomplished in the Senate over the last 18 months and look forward to hearing what you think.
By now, most Americans have seen in chilling detail what happened late last month in Istanbul, Turkey. A group of terrorists casually walked into one of Ataturk Airport's public terminals and proceeded to open fire before detonating suicide vests among fleeing travelers. In the wake of this attack, 45 people were left dead, and more than 200 were injured. Although no group has formally claimed responsibility, the Turkish government says all signs point to ISIS.
Last January, I was humbled to be selected by my colleagues to serve as chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. What an honor it's been. Over the last year-and-a-half, we've worked hard to make the American people's priorities our priorities. Safer skies, improved railways, and bringing our interstate highway system further into the 21st century have all been on the agenda this Congress, and the Commerce Committee has a long list of accomplishments to show for it.