Senate GOP Health Care Bill Hurts South Dakota
“While Democrats are working to make sure all Americans have affordable health care, Republicans in Congress, led by Rep. Kristi Noem, and Senators John Thune and Mike Rounds, are working to take that coverage away or to make it more expensive. Both the health care bill passed by the House with support from Rep. Noem, and the Senate GOP bill released today are, to use Donald Trump’s word, ‘mean,’ and both would hurt South Dakota families, communities, and health care providers. The proposed cuts to Medicaid would disproportionately impact rural areas and threaten rural hospitals, and its weakening of essential health benefit requirements would make insurance costlier or reduce coverage for needed treatments for those with pre-existing conditions like asthma and diabetes. While South Dakota families would be hurt, the wealthy would receive a tax cut.
“While improvements do need to be made to the Affordable Care Act, taking health care away from South Dakota families to give tax cuts to the wealthy will not do anything to improve South Dakotans’ health care. The Senate should reject this mean and cruel bill, and Republicans in Congress – including John Thune, Mike Rounds, and Kristi Noem – should finally sit down with Democrats and work in a bi-partisan way to write a bill that really does improve the coverage and health care of all South Dakotans.”
South Dakota Democratic Party Announces New Executive Director
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The South Dakota Democratic Party today announced the hiring of Sam Parkinson as its new Executive Director.
“I am pleased to announce our Interim Executive Director, Sam Parkinson, has accepted the position on a permanent basis,” said Ann Tornberg, South Dakota Democratic Party Chair. “Sam has been a real asset to the Party through his work as Finance Director and Interim Executive Director. I look forward to his leadership working alongside our talented and dedicated staff, our energized volunteers, and our growing list of candidates for 2018.”
“I’m excited to take on the role of Executive Director for the South Dakota Democratic Party,” said Parkinson. “The Party is seeing a new surge of interest and energy from South Dakotans looking for a change from the corrupt and out-of-touch political establishment in Pierre. I am committed to build upon this great new energy so Democrats have a successful election in 2018.”
Parkinson has served as Finance Director for the South Dakota Democratic Party since August of 2015 and became Interim Executive Director in April of this year. Parkinson holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of South Dakota, majoring in Political Science. He grew up in Rapid City and is a graduate of Rapid City Stevens High School. Parkinson previously interned in the South Dakota Legislature for then-House Minority Leader Bernie Hunhoff and was a Young Elected Legislative Leaders Fellow during the 2014 election cycle.
South Dakota Republican Party Decides to Embrace Hate
“While Democrats work to bring South Dakotans of all backgrounds and religions together to create an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top, it is troubling to see the South Dakota Republican Party embrace hate groups and anti-Muslim extremists. The choice of the Pennington County Republican Party to sponsor an event featuring disgraced ex-FBI agent and anti-Muslim extremist Dan Guandolo and Mr. Lederman’s choice to defend this action are just the latest examples of a disturbing trend of the South Dakota Republican Party embracing groups and speakers identified as hate groups or anti-Muslim extremists:
- In May, South Dakota Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial candidate Marty Jackley and South Dakota Secretary of State and congressional candidate Shantel Krebs reportedly attended an event sponsored by ACT for America, a group the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) calls the ‘largest grassroots anti-Muslim group in America.’
- Also in May, the South Dakota Republican Party sponsored an event featuringDavid Horowitz, a man the SPLC termed ‘the godfather of the modern anti-Muslim movement.’
“While reasonable people can disagree about immigration and refugee policy, conspiracy theories and bigotry targeting a minority population should have no place in our political debates. Republicans should denounce this type of hateful rhetoric, not embrace it. Since Mr. Lederman refused to take the lead in denouncing hate, I call Republican elected officials and candidates like John Thune, Mike Rounds, Kristi Noem, Marty Jackley, Shantel Krebs, and Dusty Johnson to show some important leadership and make it clear that this kind of hate does not belong in their party or our state.”
Rounds, Thune, and Senate GOP Using Rushed and Secretive Process to Take Healthcare Away from Millions
“Senate Republicans, including John Thune and Mike Rounds, are in the process of writing legislation which could dismantle our country’s healthcare system and take healthcare away from 23 million Americans (including 19,000 South Dakotans) while also causing unnecessary spikes in premiums and costs for low-incomes families, older Americans, and those with pre-existing conditions. Despite the enormous negative ramifications of this legislation, they have used a secretive and rushed process to ram this legislation through the Senate with no public debate or scrutiny:
- For weeks, thirteen Republican Senators – including John Thune – have been meeting behind closed doors to craft this legislation.
- Senate Republicans filed a motion last week to fast-track the bill with no hearings or amendments.
- Senate Republicans have made clear they will not release a draft of their bill to the public.
- In an unprecedented move, the Republicans on the Senate Rules Committee put new restrictions on reporters to limit press coverage, before backing down after intense backlash from congressional reporters and Democrats in the Senate.
“What are John Thune, Mike Rounds, and the Senate Republicans trying to hide by rushing to craft this bill behind closed doors? On an issue that will profoundly impact the healthcare of the people of South Dakota, and the rest of the country, we deserve a transparent and open process with public debate and input. If they truly think their legislation is good enough to become law, they should not be ashamed or afraid to release it to the public. I call on them to open this process up to the light of day immediately.”
Noem Puts Wall Street Before South Dakota Families
“Yesterday, House Republicans – joined by Kristi Noem – rammed a bill through the House to slash consumer protections and turn Wall Street greed loose on Americans once again. In voting for the Choice Act, Kristi Noem was voting to gut the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which has worked to protect consumers and has provided relief to millions of consumers. She was voting to repeal the Labor Department’s Fiduciary Rule, which was put in place to ensure financial advisers always act in the best interests of their clients. She was voting to roll back a rule that bars financial institutions from engaging in the type of risky trades that contributed to the financial crisis. In short, she was voting to put the financial stability of the country, including hardworking South Dakota families, and the welfare of consumers at the mercy of Wall Street greed again. While Kristi Noem works to put Wall Street ahead of South Dakota families, Democrats will keep working to protect their economic and retirement security.”
South Dakota Democratic Party Statement on Former FBI Director Comey’s Testimony
“Director Comey confirmed under oath that President Trump made repeated attempts to interfere in an FBI investigation, and made it clear that he interpreted President Trump’s request that the FBI drop the probe as a directive. Whether President Trump fully understood the impropriety of these actions or not, demanding the FBI Director’s loyalty, requesting that FBI drop investigations into Trump associates, and then firing the FBI Director when the FBI does not cease its investigations, is shocking and unacceptable behavior from a president.
“Senators Rounds and Thune, Rep. Kristi Noem, and Republican congressional candidates Dusty Johnson and Shantel Krebs have a decision to make. Will they continue to defend or dismiss President Trump’s actions despite all mounting evidence? Or will they stand with Democrats to make sure a full and independent investigation into these matters takes place, along with an investigation possible ties between the Trump campaign and the Russian government? How they answer this question will define their careers and legacies. We hope they remember their ultimate loyalty as public servants should be to the Constitution and people of South Dakota, not a president or political party.”
South Dakota Democratic Party Statement on Today’s CBO Score of the GOP Healthcare Bill
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The South Dakota Democratic Party released the following statement from Chairwoman Ann Tornberg responding to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) releasing its analysis of the Republican healthcare bill:
“Today’s release shows again just how devastating the Republican healthcare bill – voted for by Rep. Kristi Noem – would be to the the healthcare of working families in South Dakota and around the country. 23 million people would lose their insurance – including 14 million people who would lose it thanks to the proposed $800 billion cut to Medicaid, which will disproportionately impact children, the poor, those in nursing homes, and those with disabilities. Older South Dakotans will pay more. South Dakotans with pre-existing conditions will be forced to seek coverage in expensive high-risk pools. Insurance companies will have the ability to place lifetime limits on coverage, even on those South Dakotans with chronic illnesses. As with most Republicans policies, the only ones who will benefit from this bill are millionaires and billionaires, who will receive a huge tax cut.”
“We know how Rep. Noem feels about this bill – she voted for taking healthcare away from her constituents, or at very least to make it worse or more expensive, to give tax cuts to the wealthy. Senators Rounds and Thune and Republican congressional candidates Dusty Johnson and Shantel Krebs owe South Dakota voters answers about where they stand on this cruel bill. Do they stand with Kristi Noem, Donald Trump, and the millionaires and billionaires who will get a tax cut from this bill, or with the hardworking families of South Dakota whose healthcare would be devastated by it?”
South Dakota Democratic Party Statement on President Trump’s Cruel Budget
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The South Dakota Democratic Party released the following statement from Chairwoman Ann Tornberg responding to the release of President Donald Trump’s cruel and regressive budget:
“While Democrats are working to create more opportunity for working families to succeed, President Trump’s first full budget submission makes clear that he puts the interests of millionaires and billionaires like his family over the interests of working families. Trump’s plan would gut Medicaid, decimate college loan programs, loan assistance programs, andpublic schools, and make deep cuts to middle and working class tax credits, farm subsidies, rural development programs, and more – all to fund a massive tax giveaway to the wealthy. Senators Rounds and Thune, Rep. Kristi Noem, and Republican congressional candidates Dusty Johnson and Shantel Krebs owe South Dakota voters answers about where they stand on this backwards budget. Do they stand with the millionaires and billionaires who will benefit from this budget, or with the hardworking families of South Dakota who would be devastated by it?”