Questions from My Latest Town Hall
By Rep. Kristi Noem
It often goes unreported, but the House has passed more than 250 bills this year, many following through on the conservative priorities I’ve been discussing for nearly a decade. These 250 House-passed bills include the repeal and replacement of Obamacare, resources for President Trump’s border wall proposal, protections for unborn children, VA reform, and a rollback of numerous Obama-era regulations.
More than 50 of these bills have become law, including many regulatory repeals and national-security legislation I wrote to bring more women into peace negotiations. Others, such as Obamacare repeal, continue to be debated in the Senate. This was the opening report I gave at a recent town hall in Mobridge – one in a series of town halls and telephone town halls I’ve done in recent months.
After that initial report came questions. The first was from Carson, a senior at Mobridge-Pollock High School. He wanted to know what had been done on the issue of abortion. I talked to him about how I helped introduce legislation that would define life as beginning at conception. While we haven’t had the opportunity to vote on that specific provision yet, the House did recently pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which bans abortions after 20 weeks (the point at which studies indicate babies can feel pain). We were also able to get legislation signed into law this year that would empower states to withhold family-planning funds from organizations like Planned Parenthood.
The next question came from Jayden, who was wondering what I thought of President Trump. I explained that I was pleased the president was strong on national security, which is his number one job. President Trump also campaigned on building a wall on the southern border, repealing Obamacare, and reforming the tax code – all of which are priorities that I share. Additionally, he put a pro-life Supreme Court justice on the bench, which was a huge accomplishment.
Then, a Navy veteran from the area asked about the inefficiency that happens in many government-run agencies. I’m incredibly grateful for this man’s service and believe his concerns are well founded. I’ve fought this kind of inefficiency and waste many times, including through my CUFF Act. This legislation, which has passed the House and is awaiting action in the Senate, would stop certain Social Security benefits from going to people wanted for felonies and parole violations.
The grand finale question came from a young woman interested in my thoughts on unions. South Dakota is a “Right to Work” state, which means individuals can’t be required to join unions or be forced to pay for union dues as a condition of employment (something that’s required in other states). I think “Right to Work” is the right approach.
I was grateful to everyone who made it to my town hall in Mobridge, and I hope to either see you at one in the near future or talk with you during one of my upcoming telephone town halls. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to visit one of my offices, give us a call, or send me an email. To get the location of the office nearest you, please visit my website: noem.house.gov