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South Dakota congressional delegation reacts to Biden’s speech

Sen. Mike Rounds (R, S.D.), Sen. John Thune (R, S.D.), Rep. Dusty Johnson (R, S.D.)
Sen. Mike Rounds (R, S.D.), Sen. John Thune (R, S.D.), Rep. Dusty Johnson (R, S.D.)(KSFY)
Published: Apr. 29, 2021 at 11:16 AM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - While President Joe Biden expressed plenty of optimism in his first address to Congress Wednesday, all three members of South Dakota’s congressional delegation are expressing concerns with his proposals.

Sen. John Thune, Sen. Mike Rounds, and Rep. Dusty Johnson joined the chorus of conservative voices frustrated over what they say is a lack of bipartisanship from the White House. They also raised concerns over the cost of elements of Biden’s plan.

Below are statements released by each congressman following Biden’s address

Sen. John Thune

“The past year has challenged Americans as our country continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic and recover from the economic crisis it caused. I believe our brightest days lie ahead – but only if we work together.

“President Biden tonight echoed themes of bipartisanship and unity from his inaugural address, but South Dakotans can clearly see the difference between talk and action. While the president is quick to talk about bipartisanship, he has yet to meaningfully work with Republicans and has given cover to the far-left wing of his party as it works to undermine the Supreme Court, the Second Amendment, and even the very nature of the Senate designed by our Founding Fathers. One of his first acts as president was caving to the extremist left wing of his party at South Dakota’s expense by cancelling the Keystone XL pipeline and killing thousands of good-paying jobs.

“With a 50-50 split in the Senate and one of the slimmest majorities in the House of Representatives in modern history, the president must realize he does not have a mandate for his partisan, big-spending policies. If President Biden sincerely wants to work with congressional Republicans to fix our nation’s infrastructure and create a greater quality of life for every American, he will not find a more willing partner than me. But if the president continues to pursue a costly and one-sided agenda, he can expect fierce opposition from Republicans in Congress.

“On the eve of his 100th day in office, it’s time for President Biden to choose whether the rest of his presidency will be defined by the rank partisanship seen in his first 100 days or if he will live by the words of his inaugural address.

“For the sake of South Dakota and the United States, I sincerely hope the president reverses course. The challenges we face as a nation are too great to go it alone.”

Sen. Mike Rounds

“President Biden continues to talk about bipartisanship but his actions in the first 100 days reflect a more partisan agenda. His $6 trillion spending proposals reflect a far-left approach to growing government and increasing regulations. In particular, his infrastructure proposal is long on unsustainable social welfare spending and short on real infrastructure. Republicans look forward to working with the president if he decides he wants to find common ground on a significant infrastructure development plan that allows for local input.

I am disappointed in President Biden’s continued attack on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens as well as his lack of support for the law enforcement community. Republicans will continue to offer solutions for criminal justice reform that still provides protections for our society from those who would do us harm.

I agree with the president’s “Buy American” approach, specifically when it comes to the livestock industry. The Department of Agriculture should change their existing rules that do not help our producers compete with foreign imports of beef. Additionally, I was pleased to see the president also focus on finding specific cures for cancer, Alzheimer’s and other significant health threats.”

Rep. Dusty Johnson

“Tonight, President Biden said: ‘We can’t be so busy competing with one another that we forget the competition we have with the rest of the world.’ He went on to introduce proposals that will cost the American taxpayer trillions. Investment in our children and infrastructure don’t need to be partisan. President Biden, if you’re serious about working together, if you’re serious about passing bipartisan legislation, your proposals can’t all start with a “T.” Let’s get serious on prescription drug pricing, infrastructure, and job creation.”

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