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Noem's First Four Months In Congress

May 16, 2011, 5:50 PM by Angela Kennecke

Noem's First Four Months In Congress
HAMLIN COUNTY, SD - Kristi Noem is about to wrap up her first four months in Congress.

Noem has been the darling of the Republican Party, serving as one of two freshman liaisons to House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor.  

Noem says she went to Washington, D.C. to cut spending. And now she supports a budget blueprint outlined by fellow congressman Paul Ryan that does just that.  But in that bill, there are cuts to a program where Noem herself has reaped the benefits.

In her first four months in Congress, Noem has already cast important votes, like the one to keep the government from shutting down. Soon Noem will cast a vote on whether to raise the debt ceiling.  Republicans say they won't do it without making cuts in spending.

"For me, the President, Senate and House all need to get on the same page and tie real reforms and real cuts to our spending to this vote, to make sure it really truly is going to change the way we do business, " Representative Kristi Noem said.

When it comes to the family business, Noem is ready to make cuts that will affect her family as well as others across the state. Noem runs a ranch and several of her relatives farmed as a partnership and took $3 million in subsidies over a 13-year period.

"What our family did was participate in farm programs, which I think every farmer almost does. Some now are maybe making different decisions because of regulation tied to them. But that's essentially what we did," Noem said.

But now Noem supports a budget that would cut direct payment to farmers and reform the crop insurance program.

"What it calls for is a reduction. What I want to make sure, I'm been talking to members on the House side, is when those decisions are made, that we make sure the ag committee makes those.  That they make decisions on where those cuts can be," Noem said.

Noem says farmers and ranchers are much more likely to accept cuts in direct payments than crop insurance.

Noem is already thinking ahead to her next election in just a little under two years. Noem is among the top five percent of House members when it comes to fundraising. In the first three months of the year, she raised nearly $400,000 for the next election.

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