Rep. Dusty Johnson Back in South Dakota

February 21, 2019
In The News

It’s already been a busy year in Washington and Congressman Dusty Johnson has been there for it all, while trying to settle into his new role as South Dakota’s US Representative. KDLT’s Miranda Paige caught up with him to see how the new job is going.

It’s important to Representative Dusty Johnson that he visits South Dakota.

“This is where you get an opportunity to talk with the people who really understand what’s going on,” said Rep. Johnson.

Right now he’s on the House Education and Labor Committee, so he’s toured the Health Care Center at Southeast Technical Institute.

“I’m here to learn. I’m trying to figure out: what can we do to make sure the federal government gets out of the way and are there beneficial things our federal government can do to help give these students an even brighter future?” said Rep. Johnson.

He also comes home every weekend because his wife and three kids are here in South Dakota. It’s been a balancing act, but so far he’s enjoying his time in Congress.

“The job in Congress can be pretty challenging, but I would tell you it is rewarding. There are good things that can get done. You’ve got to work a lot harder than you want to to get them done, but if it’s one thing I understand, it’s hard work,” said Rep. Jonson.

It’s not all what he expected

“I thought the whole thing would be kind of a burden. I thought that it was work worth doing, but that it wouldn’t be all that interesting or all that fun. I thought it would be kind of a grind,” said Rep. Johnson.

“The reality is if you are willing to work with the people who are motivated by the future of this country, you can actually get some things done.”

What’s surprised him the most?

“There are lots of good people in Washington. You assume they’re all going to have horns and scales and they’re all swamp creatures. There are definitely some of those types out there, but there are also some decent people who are working hard to make this country better,” said Rep. Johnson.

He’s working hard to make sure his time in office is more visible. He’s focusing on social media, trying to make it easy for folks to follow his journey by posting updates, photos and videos to Facebook, Twitter and even Instagram.

“I have an obligation to meet them where they are. I would not use Instagram in my personal life if it was just me, but that’s where my bosses are and I need to be willing to talk to them on platforms that they use,” said Rep. Johnson.

As he posts to social media and spends his time in Congress, he says most importantly he’s working to represent the people of South Dakota. As for the near future, Johnson says there’s a big vote expected next week in Congress that actually deals with a South Dakota airport. There’s a measure to transfer land from the US Forest Service to the Custer County Airport, so improvements to the airport can be made. Johnson says another one of his priorities is making sure the new farm bill is implemented correctly.