Home > SD 2014 Ballot, South Dakota > Kristi Noem stops by Aberdeen

Kristi Noem stops by Aberdeen

August 11, 2014
Congresswoman Kristi Noem speaking with constituents in Aberdeen. Photo by Ken Santema

Congresswoman Kristi Noem speaking with constituents in Aberdeen. Photo by Ken Santema

Today Congresswoman Kristi Noem was in the Aberdeen area and paid a visit to the Brown County Republicans Victory Office. This kicks off what I assume is one in a series of stops around the state during the five-week summer break for Congress. Noem took a few minutes to address the crowd with some talking points and briefly answer a few questions. She didn’t really go into any detail on any of the answers. Yet I can’t really beat her up on it too much. Her Democrat opposition in the House race, Corinna Robinson, has had a very quiet campaign. Without a strong opponent it is hard to get candidates to say much of anything holding substance.

Noem opened by talking about the Hot Springs VA Hospital. Over the last two years Noem has fought to keep the hospital open. Just last week she announced a House Veterans Affairs Committee hearing she will be hosting in Hot Springs later this week. It appears that Noem sees this as a way to make sure the needs of South Dakota veterans are foremost in any decision made. A pretty good stance to take in an election year; even if it a somewhat boring race that Noem will likely win with little opposition.

Noem did mention immigration briefly. She stated the House had worked hard and actually passed an immigration bill. The bill is currently sitting in the Senate and it is unlikely Senator Reid will allow the bill to reach the floor for a vote. Personally I think there are a lot of problems with the bill passed by the House. Yet Noem does have a point. The House did pass something and the Senate Majority Leader is unlikely to allow Senators to even try improving the bill.

On that note, Noem mentioned it would be good for the Republicans to retake the Senate because bills could once again start flowing to the President’s desk. It is quite possible Obama would veto many of those bills. But it would theoretically stop some of the current gridlock. She did mention there are always five or six “squishy” Senators in the Senate caucus that could potentially still hold up any party agendas. Some of these referenced Senators are more libertarian leaning and have been somewhat of a thorn in sides of both parties. Personally I am thankful for these politicians that are willing to put civil rights before partisan politics.

Noem also mentioned how pleased she was to get the Black Hills Cemetery Act passed and signed by the President. The bill had quite a journey. It had technically passed in the House twice, since Senate Majority Reid wouldn’t let it come up for a vote the first time. This year it was allowed to be voted on, but only because it had mass bi-partisan support. Noem noted that Obama waited until about two hours before his deadline to actually sign the bill. I may not be a big fan of Noem, but I must admit she ran with a winning bi-partisan bill in the Black Hills Cemetery Act.

The USDA was also briefly mentioned. I last blogged about Noem’s battle with the Dept of Ag over its school lunch overreach back in May. She didn’t really have any update to the issue other than to say she is still trying to work with other members of Congress to repeal the bad regulations set forth by the USDA. Noem noted that she is all for guidelines and recommendations, but that the USDA had gone too far. It’s an issue I gladly support her on.

Finally when talking about transportation funding she said something I find interesting. She has seen a huge push in DC for the states to take care of their own transportation funding needs. She took the stance that this would hurt low population states such as South Dakota. I disagree. Such a move would force states such as SD to actually maintain their infrastructure in the way best suited to that state. It would also allow states such as SD to get rid of the many requirements the federal government places upon the state in order to keep those highway funds. Perhaps that will become a Republican stance some time in the future…

I really wish Noem had some competition in this race. Personally I would prefer a candidate with a bit more fiscal conservatism and a bit more focused on civil liberties. But since that isn’t going to happen I guess I’ll just have to be content with the fact she actually seems to be traveling the state and meeting with constituents. Maybe in 2016 Noem will get some competition. It would be interesting to see how a more experienced Noem handles some true competition.

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