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Broadcaster Press 5 November 6, 2018 www.broadcasteronline.com By Sen. Mike Rounds When you sent me to the Senate, I promised to do all I could to get Washington working again. For too long, the red tape and excessive bureaucracy of the federal government hindered the ability of South Dakotans to succeed. Overregulation made it difficult for farmers, ranchers, small business owners and local financial institutions to do their jobs. Families were paying so much money in taxes that they weren’t able to reinvest back into the economy. We still have work to do, particularly when it comes to improving our ag economy, but the Republicanled Senate has been able to deliver significant results to the American people. We reformed the tax code for the first time in 31 years. Since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was signed into law by President Trump, more than 1.8 million jobs have been created, unemployment is at the lowest level since 1969, incomes are rising and our economy is soaring. The economy grew at 4.2 percent in the second quarter of 2018, the fastest pace in nearly four years. We’ve also rolled back a record num- Delivering Results ber of excessive, Obama-era regulations. Over the past 19 months, Republicans have saved Americans at least $50 billion and 16 million hours of regulatory paperwork. This means Americans have more time and money to spend however they want. As a member of the Senate Banking Committee, we passed major legislation to roll back the Dodd-Frank Act. It included a number of provisions that I offered to limit the burdensome regulations on community banks and credit unions in South Dakota, so they can do what they do best: serve their customers and support businesses in their communities. This has helped our economy flourish. The Senate has confirmed a record number of judges who will interpret the law as written, not based on their personal political leanings. So far, we have confirmed 29 circuit court judges, 53 district court judges and two Supreme Court justices. The Senate Judiciary Committee is hard at work to send even more judges to the full Senate floor before the end of the year. These men and women have the opportunity to shape the direction of our country for a generation or more. We also passed and the president signed into law the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which included investments to strengthen our military long-term. It gave our troops the largest pay increase in nearly 10 years. Protecting our nation through a strong military is a fundamental role of the federal government. My priority as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee is to make sure our military remains the best in the world. To do this, our military must be properly funded, trained and equipped with state-of-the-art technology. Additionally, I continue working to make sure Ellsworth Air Force Base plays a vital role in our national defense now and in the future. It was recently announced that Ellsworth will be one of three bases that will be home to the new B-21 Raider bomber. South Dakota is home to more than 72,000 veterans, many of whom have had problems dealing with the VA. My office works directly with South Dakota veterans to help cut through red tape so they can get the care and benefits they were promised. We confirmed a new secretary at the VA who has publicly committed to cleaning up the agency’s scandals and mismanagement. I sit on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee and will continue monitoring the VA to make sure it supports our veterans and follows through on our country’s promises to them. Senate Republicans have made good on our promise to get Washington working again, but we aren’t done yet. With farm income down 50 percent in the past five years, we continue working to improve the ag economy. This includes assuring year-round sales of E-15 during next summer’s driving season and finalizing trade deals so we can export our commodities like soybeans, corn, wheat, beef, pork and more. We also need to finalize the farm bill so farmers and ranchers have some stability as they work to feed and fuel the world. These are a number of the issues that I look forward to taking up in the coming months when the Senate is back in session. Promises Made And Promises Kept By Sen. John Thune Two years ago, when Republicans took control of the White House and Congress, we promised the American people that growing the economy was going to be our top priority, and we wasted no time getting to work. We knew the American people were all too familiar with an economy that was completely stuck in neutral. It wasn’t working to its potential, and there were too many politicians in Washington who seemed content with the status quo. Workers and businesses were facing too many obstacles. Families were seeing tighter budgets and flattening paychecks. Aside from the legislative complacency that got us there, much of the economic stagnation was the result of overly burdensome federal regulations and a tax code that was working against American taxpayers. So, it was time for a new approach. We set our sights on cutting government red tape – the kinds of heavy-handed regulations that can affect people throughout the country, including South Dakota, but are dreamed up by inside-the-Beltway Washington bureaucrats. We used a congressional oversight tool (a record number of times, I might add) to roll back more than one dozen Obama-era regulations that were holding people and businesses back from potential growth and opportunity. Those rollbacks, plus complementary actions by the Trump administration, which has been a true partner in this effort, have saved the American people at least $50 billion in regulatory costs in the last year and a half alone. That’s real relief that will help businesses free up time and money that can be used more efficiently and effectively to grow their operations and hire more workers. Reforming our nation’s outdated tax code was another step toward getting the economy growing again. Our once-in-a-generation effort to modernize the tax code resulted in lower rates across the board. It doubled the child tax credit and nearly doubled the standard deduction. Americans have already seen some of this relief in their paychecks, and many of them will see more of it when they file their tax returns early next year. We also lowered the corporate tax rate so it is now more in line with our global competitors and expanded business owners’ ability to recover costs from investments they make in their operations more quickly, which, again, frees up cash that can be reinvested in a business and its employees. Today, the American people are seeing the results of the promises we made and, more importantly, the promises we kept. According to recent estimates, the economy grew by 3.5 in the third quarter of 2018 alone. Not only does that far exceed the anemic economic growth the United States had grown accustomed to under the previous administration, but it’s also right in line with historic trends and puts us on pace for a strong yearly growth rate. In the months after tax reform became law, nearly 2 million jobs have been created, wages and incomes are on the rise, and the unemployment rate is at a historic low, which means more Americans are earning a paycheck (and in many cases, a bigger one). In fact, the unemployment rate is so low that you’d have to go back to 1969, the year Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, to find similar figures. For businesses, investments and optimism are on the rise and so is consumer confidence. A growing economy is good for businesses, workers, and consumers, which is why it was so important to congressional Republicans to implement the pro-jobs, pro-growth agenda we’d promised to pursue. There’s no limit to what the economy can do when the heavy hand of government is lifted and when it’s empowered with the tools it needs to grow and expand. Hopefully this is just the beginning. Find the Right People Advertise your job openings in the Broadcaster. 201 W Cherry Vermillion 624-4429 For every Medicare question. Announcing a new Medicare partnership in North Dakota and South Dakota. Sanford Health has teamed up with HealthPartners, a Minnesota-based non-profit health organization, to offer North Dakota and South Dakota a different perspective on Medicare. One with local care, expert customer service and health plan options all working together for you. Don’t settle for any health plan. Get yourself a health partner. Medicare answers from Enroll today at healthpartners.com/newpartner or call us at 800-247-7015 (TTY: 711) HealthPartners is a Cost plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in HealthPartners depends on contract renewal. Other providers are available in our network. We take calls October 1 to March 31, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., CT, seven days a week. April 1 to September 30, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., CT, Monday through Friday. 19534 (9/18) ©2018 HealthPartners H2462_113150_C IR 09/2018
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