Chairman’s Note: South Dakota Democrats are making a clear stand for affordable healthcare. But that doesn’t mean we’re going to let Governor Daugaard get away with any funny business either. In fact, after Governor Daugaard offered his “conservative” and “cautious” budget, our Democratic legislators discovered over 100 newly created state government jobs Daugaard had failed to mention to the public. Let’s be clear about one thing – it’s not a problem to use growing revenues to patch the holes from budget cuts in 2011. But to dump new money into the executive branch before patching up the immense damage from budget cuts to our schools, nursing homes, highways and bridges is an incredibly dishonest way to budget our tax dollars.
Chairman’s Note: Instead of investing in the middle class, Republicans in Washington again protected the low taxes for millionaires and billionaires. The fact is the ultra-wealthy are paying lower taxes than they ever have in modern American history at the same time that investments in infrastructure, education, and innovation that grow our economy are being slashed by Washington Republicans. High taxes on the middle class, low taxes on the ultra-wealthy, and no investments in our future is a recipe for economic disaster. America needs tax fairness. Our middle class depends on it.
Chairman’s Note: Tuesday, April 17, 2012, marked Equal Pay Day: To earn what men did in 2011 alone, women would have had to keep working all the way until this past Tuesday — an extra 4 1/2 months. It’s a reminder that we still have much work to do to make pay more fair.
“Point to one policy that this president has enacted that has actually worked.” That’s what Rep. Kristi Noem challenged folks to outline on Fox News yesterday with Greta Van Susteren.
Challenge accepted. Here are just a few Obama policies that are working for Americans everyday.
- Added 4.1 million private sector jobs and seen 25 straight months of job growth. American Recovery Act.
- Rescued American auto industry, saving more than 1 million jobs and preventing the loss of over $96 billion in personal income as a result. Rescue loans to American Auto Industry.
- Repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,”ensuring that no one ever again has to lie about who they are to serve the country they love. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010.
- Signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act, making progress in a decades-long battle for women to get equal pay for equal work. Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act
- Provided 46 million seniors access to free preventive services like annual wellness visits and health screenings .Affordable Care Act.
- Closed the Medicare “doughnut hole,” saving the average senior approximately $4,200 over the next 10 years. Affordable Care Act.
- Extended more benefits to National Guard members who have performed active service and allow education benefits to be transferred to family members. Post 9/11 GI Bill.
- Brought the war in Iraq to a responsible end. For the first time in nine years, there are no American troops fighting in Iraq.
- Doubled funding for Pell grants, making college more affordable for 9 million students a year.
- Established new fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks will nearly double fuel economy to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, saving American families an estimated $1.7 trillion at the pump.
The policies and their effects are pretty obvious. So either Noem is lying about Obama’s policies that work or she doesn’t see these policies as successes. Either case shows an extreme lack of attention that the issues of our day deserve.
Here’s some advice for Noem: take some time away from high dollar lobbyist fundraisers and Fox News appearances to learn the issues. It’s hard enough when smart legislators make bad decisions. It’s worse when oblivious representatives make terrible ones.
Being the day after Groundhog Day, we hate to be the bearers of bad news. Unfortunately, it looks like Congresswoman Kristi Noem has seen her shadow and nine more months of phantom representation are in the pipeline for South Dakota families. (and yes, the pipeline pun is entirely intentional, for you see kids – Kristi Noem’s latest attempt at being a lawmaker is being brought to you by Exxon Mobil and some very large donations to her campaign last year.)
Called “the worst transportation bill ever,” Kristi Noem and her fellow Republican leaders in the U.S. House are hoping that they can tie highway funding to Big Oil profits, which are in large part a result of their efforts to continue subsidizing an industry that contributes heavily to their campaigns. Let us pause here to note what a great idea Kristi Noem has stumbled upon (with the help of very large checks).
Back to the bill at hand—Kristi Noem wants to destroy the concept of a highway trust fund, the very trust fund that South Dakotans are depending on to fix roads washed out by recent record flooding across our state. Brilliant.
It is also clear, and it must be said, that the only job Kristi Noem is concerned about is her own. For the construction workers who have built and maintained bike paths, and sidewalks, and roads, and bridges to carry our youngest citizens to school, home, and daily activities, Noem has only one thing to say to you, “You’re fired.”
Well, Big Oil may think that answer is just fine. But here in South Dakota, where we expect our lone member of the U.S. House of Representatives to actually do more than just lip-service, we have just one reminder: despite Mitt Romney’s claim, Exxon Mobil doesn’t vote; we do. And there are 277 days until Election Day.
“South Dakotans are calling for an alternative to Congresswoman Kristi Noem’s efforts to end Medicare as we know it and to increase taxes on working families. Matt Varilek and Jeff Barth will continue to focus on solutions for South Dakota instead of obstruction in Washington. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin will remain a source of leadership, insight, and determination through this election and many more to come.”
“We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there “is” such a thing as being too late. This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action.”
When Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., uttered these words – taught us this lesson – the urgency of now existed in every home, every community across this nation. Today, we face that same urgency as we are called to act on problems new and old.
Without a doubt, we are a different country because of Dr. King. However, we have more work to do. We know what ordinary citizens can do when they seek to right injustice. We know the power of hope, of change, and of compassion for others.
We also know the world Dr. King envisioned, and the ability we all have to create that world today. For the jobless, the hungry, the sick, and the weary, we are not too late. We are not too late to fulfill Dr. King’s dream. As Democrats—today, tomorrow, and on Election Day, now is our moment, now is when we live the words of Dr. Martin Luther King.
Chairman’s Note: After weeks of deliberation, 89 Senate Republicans and Democrats came together on Saturday to pass legislation preventing a $1000 tax hike on working families. Then hard line Republicans like Kristi Noem rejected it to extract bigger concessions on more controversial measures. For working families, this isn’t a game of high stakes poker. Time is running out. If the House Republicans refuse to hold a vote on the bipartisan senate compromise, taxes will go up on January 1 for every working family across South Dakota. That’s an outcome South Dakotans can’t afford at the hands of Kristi Noem.
I’m going on record to thank Senator John Thune.
After weeks of deliberation, Senate Republicans including Senator John Thune joined Senate Democrats including Senator Tim Johnson to pass legislation halting a $1000 tax hike on every working family in South Dakota. They worked together to stop one of the largest tax hikes on working families in recent history.
But this Tuesday, December 20, 2011, Congresswoman Kristi Noem, together with House Republicans, rejected the bipartisan Senate effort to protect families from a $1000 tax increase. Continue Reading »
South Dakota Democratic Party Chairman Ben Nesselhuf released the following statement after Congresswoman Kristi Noem and House Republicans defeated the payroll tax cut extension that passed the Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support:
“Congresswoman Kristi Noem and House Republicans are playing politics with South Dakota pocket books. With Noem’s vote against the bipartisan payroll tax cut compromise that passed overwhelmingly in the Senate, it appears that the only tax breaks Noem will pass without condition are tax breaks for millionaires. It’s time Noem and House Republicans quit holding everyday South Dakotans hostage for ideological gain.” Continue Reading »