I’ve believed for a long time that technical and skilled labor education are the backbone of a strong national workforce. It’s one thing to hear about successful programs at the state and local level, but it’s a totally different experience to witness them firsthand and see the impact programs have on local communities.
As a self-described policy guy, I’ve spent a lot of time researching topics like agriculture and telecommunications. It’s no secret that when elected I was laser focused on gaining a spot on the Agriculture Committee for South Dakotans. Now as a member of two very different committees, I’ve appreciated how many topics Members of Congress have the opportunity to study and debate.
Trade is about more than exchanging goods and services. Trade can lift families and industries out of an economic slump and offer opportunities for growth. The absence of trade can result in uncertainty and struggle.
After seven consecutive weeks of session in Washington, DC, I was grateful to spend a full week working back in beautiful South Dakota. My first in-state work week was full of “firsts.”
I came to Congress to solve real issues for South Dakotans. This office has awarded me the opportunity to meet and engage with constituents that perhaps I would not have otherwise had the opportunity to know. Every meeting that comes through my door is important, but I am particularly impressed by the intentionality of South Dakota’s tribal members.
I may not be a farmer, but I know what it’s like to work hard. If you are a farmer during weeks like this one, where Antarctica looks balmy, there is no option to simply take the day off. Farmers endure. Agriculture endures.
As Congress buckles down over the next three weeks to deal with the government shutdown and improve border security, I also want to keep our eye on this important fact:
This should never happen again.
Back in November, I was first struck by the unabashed enthusiasm my colleagues expressed during the office lottery – a relatively mundane process where future members of Congress select their office space in an order depending on a number picked at random.