South Dakota's Congressional delegation and political leaders are responding to President Donald Trump's State of the Union address. Below are the statements coming into our newsroom. We're working to talk with members of the delegation.
Sen. John Thune
“I share the president’s vision for pursuing an agenda that inspires cooperation, commonsense, and compromise – an agenda that works to end the partisan divide in Washington and helps enhance Americans’ quality of life in the 21st century and beyond,” said Thune. “Together we can build on the strength of an already booming economy, which is marked by strong and sustained job growth, low unemployment, and increased wages.
“I hope Democrats join us in this effort, but we risk losing what we have already gained if they instead choose to abandon this progress and cede to the far-left of their party by embracing costly policies with gimmicky names like a ‘Green New Deal’ or ‘Medicare for All’ – policies that would raise families’ energy bills, jeopardize Medicare as we know it, and raise taxes on middle-income Americans.
“The American spirit challenges us to choose optimism over despair, progress over the status quo, and greatness over mediocrity, and it’s with that spirit that I look forward to all that we can continue to accomplish together in this great country.”
Sen. Mike Rounds
“Tonight, the president laid out a vision for our country that builds upon the successes of the past two years to further strengthen our economy and keep us safe. Reminding us that much more unites us than divides us as Americans, he called on us to set aside our differences and tackle the tough issues before us. I couldn’t agree more.
“We all want to make our country safer, freer and more prosperous for the future. This includes enacting policies that further grow our economy, strengthening national defense and border security, making sure all Americans have access to affordable health care and prescription drugs, opening new markets for our products through strong trade agreements, and improving our nation’s infrastructure which is in need of repair. I thank the president for prioritizing these important issues in his address to Congress and the nation tonight. I also wish to thank the president for his strong commitment to defending innocent life.
“The American people expect results. I’m ready to work with anyone – on either side of the aisle – to tackle these issues head-on.”
Rep. Dusty Johnson
“I was encouraged by President Trump’s call for unity and bipartisanship during a time where we seem so divided. I came to Congress to find solutions to complex problems, and I truly believe the best solutions arise when we work together.
“Bipartisanship leads to results. Throughout the President’s address, we had the opportunity to meet people whose lives were changed because Congressional members set aside their egos and worked toward a common goal. Last year, Congress passed several bipartisan bills, including criminal justice reform and legislation combating the opioid crisis in our communities. Americans are reaping those benefits today, and I hope we can use the momentum from the previous year to continue producing results for the American people. We should start with border security, which is past due. I am hopeful my colleagues will make finding common ground to secure our nation a top priority.
“Our nation is experiencing wage increases and record low unemployment, and I look forward to continuing forward on that path. I am eager to help implement the President’s priorities for our nation’s infrastructure, as that is a key responsibility of government. We also need to resolve our differences with our trading partners as soon as possible and provide much needed stability to South Dakota farmers. There is plenty of work to be done to make the state of our great union even stronger and I am ready to get to work.”
Gov. Kristi Noem
“Tonight, President Trump outlined a vision of bipartisanship, optimism, and hope for our United States. As he said, ‘the state of our union is great.’ I agree. In the last two years, the American economy has grown, families have become stronger, and businesses have invested more dollars into their communities. I’m proud of the work the president and I accomplished together to reduce taxes for middle class families, eliminate cumbersome regulations, and secure a critical safety net for South Dakota farmers and ranchers.
Yet there is much to accomplish. South Dakota families are combating a deadly meth epidemic because of our nation’s failure to secure the southern border. President Trump and Congress must work together to secure our border.
I will also continue working with the president to create level trading fields for South Dakota producers. Over the last two years, I have repeatedly met with President Trump to build an understanding of the difficult situation producers are in as a result of poorly negotiated trade deals. It’s imperative we create trade agreements that treat South Dakota agricultural goods more fairly, expand market access, and are ultimately beneficial for producers in our state.