As a way to let voters know what I will fight to accomplish in Washington, I am making a series of promises to you of what I will do and what I won’t do as South Dakota’s lone congressman. I call it my Promises to South Dakota.
This promise has to do with our current Leadership in Congress. No government can function well without strong leadership, and one of the key reasons that our Congress isn’t functioning well is that the leadership—in both parties—is awful. Our government lurches from shutdown to shutdown, creating artificial crises, because Congress has mostly abandoned the discipline of enacting appropriations bills to fund government, something that requires compromise.
Major bills that repeal large pieces of the Affordable Care Act and add $1.5 trillion dollars to the national debt are passed without a single hearing, and our leaders have such contempt for each other that they rarely speak.
It’s no wonder that our federal government barely functions! Because of that, little ever gets done, and the American people pay the price for a government that doesn’t work.
So, my first pledge is one I have spoken of since the day I announced my candidacy back in July of last year: that as South Dakota’s lone Congressman, I will not support Nancy Pelosi for Speaker of the House or any other leadership position.
Ms. Pelosi has been the Democratic leader for 15 highly contentious years. She represents a wealthy San Francisco district that couldn’t be more unlike South Dakota.
But the biggest reason I can’t support her is that Congress is in need of major reform and it won’t come from our current leadership. Ms. Pelosi, along with Paul Ryan, chooses to preside over the deeply troubling Congressional Dues system which they could together abolish, but which sustains their leadership. As I’ve stated months ago, I won’t vote for anyone who maintains it.
I’ll vote for someone as leader who reflects our interests and can relate to and will be responsive to our needs.
I’ll be sharing more of my promises to South Dakota over the coming weeks.