Letter: Effective leadership

I’ve spent my time in Congress trying to be a workhorse rather than a show horse.

Dusty Johnson
In this 2018 file photo, Dusty Johnson poses for a portrait at Cornerstone Coffee House and Cafe in downtown Mitchell.
Republic file photo

To the Editor:

Recently, South Dakota reporter Chris Vondracek expressed in an article that I didn’t have a “signature policy win” during my three years in the U.S. House. That’s inaccurate. In the last two months, I can name several legislative victories I’ve achieved for our state.

One of my mottos in life is “less talk, more action.” It’s easy to be a talker in Congress — it’s a lot more difficult to get things done. I’ve spent my time in Congress trying to be a workhorse rather than a show horse.

The first, and arguably, the most important bill I’ve gotten passed through the House is the Ocean Shipping Reform Act. I introduced this bill last August with Congressman John Garamendi to address the supply chain crisis. It took us six months to build a coalition of more than 350 agriculture and American manufacturing groups and gain nearly 100 cosponsors. In December it passed the House overwhelmingly by 364-60.

Our bill puts South Dakota consumers, small businesses, farmers, ranchers, and American manufacturers first and addresses anti-competitive and unfair practices on behalf of foreign flagged ocean carriers that carry American made products to other nations. These anti-competitive practices are prolonging the supply chain crisis, and it’s past time foreign ocean carriers are held accountable.


When South Dakotans elected me to represent their interests in our nation’s capital, I knew that meant agriculture would be a top priority. I found a niche in this space and people in the industry know if they want something done for ag, they can come to my office.

Our team hustles when it comes to agriculture policy – that’s why I was named most effective Republican on ag issues and selected to be the top Republican on the livestock subcommittee in Congress.

More than once, I’ve introduced legislation to provide a fix to the cattle market or a crop program, and USDA has taken that legislation and implemented it administratively. When you identify solutions to problems instead of just talking about the problems, departments tend to want to work with you to get it fixed. We saw this happen with my Butcher Block Act and Small Packer Overtime Fee Relief Act in July. In December, the very same day the Ocean Shipping Reform Act passed the House, Congress passed my Cattle Contract Library Act to provide price transparency to ranchers.

It takes a lot of effort to get 435 members of different backgrounds with varied priorities to agree on something – I’ve proven I’m up for that challenge.

Submitted by Rep. Dusty Johnson

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