WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today issued the following statement on the 14th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks:
“Today we honor and remember the nearly 3,000 victims whose lives were lost on September 11, 2001, during the deadly terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and Flight 93. We also remember with gratitude the heroes who emerged to save lives and rescue those in trouble, and how in the dark days after the attacks, our nation rallied to show the very best of the American spirit.
“Today is also a day to thank our first responders and the men and women of our armed forces, and their families, who continue to serve at home and abroad as our nation continues to fight terrorism. We must never forget those we lost on 9/11 and the current threats we face from those who hate our nation and what she represents.”
Without an attorney or, it seemed, a clue on how to mount a credible defense of her actions, Annette Bosworth stayed true to her script to the end, regardless. From KELOland:
The South Dakota Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners has voted to remove Dr. Annette Bosworth’s medical license.
It comes after a felony conviction for election law violations. A judge sentenced Bosworth to three years of probation and 500 hours of community service. She’s been doing that community service by working at an addiction-treatment program on the Pine Ridge Reservation.
Watching it, it seemed an ignoble end as Bosworth kept repeating the same lines we’d heard throughout her entire campaign tenure. And they had been worn threadbare by election day, much less when used as a defense for her actions, which she never really fessed up to.
Thune: Senate Democrats Silence Voices
of American People on Iran Deal “Unfortunately, extreme party loyalty has prevailed over national security, and now the American people are stripped of an opportunity to make their voices heard …”
WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) issued the following statement after Senate Democrats blocked a vote on the president’s nuclear concession deal with Iran, effectively silencing the voices of the American people:
“Just a few short months ago, Senate Democrats and Republicans agreed the American people deserve to have their voices heard on the president’s nuclear concession deal with Iran. But today, a majority of Senate Democrats reversed course completely and refused to vote on an agreement that poses a significant threat to the safety, stability, and security of the American people.
“This is a bad deal. It provides Iran with billions of dollars to fund acts of terrorism in the region while failing to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran. Even many Senate Democrats who are opposing an up-or-down vote admit this agreement has major problems. Unfortunately, extreme party loyalty has prevailed over national security, and now the American people are stripped of an opportunity to make their voices heard on an agreement that will last long beyond the current administration.”
Rounds Statement on Democrat Filibuster of Iran Nuclear Concession Deal
“By refusing to let the Senate take an up-or-down vote on the president’s nuclear deal with Iran, the American people are being robbed a voice in one of the most consequential issues of our time.”
WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) today issued the following statement on the Democrat filibuster of the Iran nuclear concession deal. Earlier this year, all but one Democrat Senator voted in favor of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, which is based on the principle that Congress should have a say on whether the U.S. should adopt the President’s nuclear deal with Iran.
“By refusing to let the Senate take an up-or-down vote on the president’s nuclear deal with Iran, the American people are being robbed a voice in one of the most consequential issues of our time,” said Rounds. “We are being prevented from voting on a deal that is opposed by bipartisan majorities in both chambers of Congress and an overwhelming majority of Americans. Meanwhile, Iran continues to be the number one sponsor of terrorism in the world and continues to promote hatred of the West. Just this week, Iran’s Supreme Leader called the U.S. the “Great Satan” and vowed to obliterate our friend and ally Israel in the next 25 years. If we are going to give this regime access to nuclear warheads and nuclear research, new markets for their oil and tens of billions of dollars in cash which officials have admitted could be used to advance terrorism, the American people deserve to know where their elected officials stand on the issue.”
Rounds Cosponsors Legislation to Roll Back NLRB Decision
WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) signed on as an original cosponsor to legislation that would roll back the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) “joint employer” decision, which the chairmen of the House and Senate labor committees say “threatens to steal the American dream from owners of the nation’s 780,000 franchise businesses and millions of contractors.” The Protecting Local Business Opportunity Act would roll back the NLRB ruling and reaffirm an employer must have “actual, direct and immediate” control over an employee to be considered a joint employer.
“Once again, this Administration and the NLRB have bypassed Congress with their joint-employer ruling that would have major repercussions for millions of Americans who provide work as subcontractors and hundreds of thousands of franchise owners,” said Rounds. “Under this new standard, franchises could be held liable for the wage and hiring practices of its franchisee owners –removing any incentive for a corporation to sell franchises. Our legislation would overturn the NLRB decision and restore a legal standard for determining who is a joint employer.”
For approximately 40 years, federal labor policies held that two separate employers are “joint employers” if both employers have direct and immediate control over employment terms and working conditions, such as being responsible for tasks like hiring and firing, setting work hours, issuing direction to employees, determining compensation and handling day to day record keeping.
Under a new standard adopted last month by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in a case involving Browning Ferris Industries (BFI), a 3-2 partisan majority said that merely “indirect control” or even “unexercised potential” to control working conditions will now make two separate employers joint employers. This new standard will be applied retroactively.
The new standard means that in many more cases multiple employers will have to jointly negotiate working conditions with unions and share liability for labor law violations. As a result, larger business will exert greater control over the smaller employer who actually owns and operates the business, such as stores, restaurants and day care centers. Additionally, fewer employers will parcel out business to local subcontractors, suppliers or subsidiaries, for fear that they will now be liable for the subcontractor’s employment decisions. Millions of employees will also lose the ability to negotiate things like pay, hours and leave time with their direct supervisor, because those decisions will now be made between the larger employer and the union.
Originally introduced by Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Senate HELP Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety Chairman Johnny Isakson (R-GA), other original cosponsors of the Protecting Local Business Opportunity Act include Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), David Perdue (R-Ga.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), David Vitter (R-La.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.).
South Dakota’s Congresswoman Kristi Noem continues to grab national attention, and was just featured in the Washington Examiner newspaper as one of 11 political women on the move, alongside such other honorees as Carly Fiorina, Jodi Ernst and Amy Klobuchar:
REP. KRISTI NOEM
Republican from South Dakota
Elected to the South Dakota legislature, she quickly rose to a leadership position and gained a reputation for pragmatism and determination. She ran for the House in 2010, attracting Ted Hustead as her treasurer, one of the state’s leading money men, and won (narrowly) against an opponent who had won the two prior elections with more than 70 percent of the vote.
She was quickly chosen as one of two freshmen members to represent her class in Republican leadership meetings.
Now in her third House term, Noem has concentrated on tax policy and trade issues. She holds a seat on the House Ways and Means Committee.
When asked how the candidacies of Clinton and Fiorina would affect the discussion of women’s issues in 2016 campaign debates, Noem said, “Every issue is a women’s issue. There really aren’t women’s issues — just women’s perspective on all issues.” It’s a mistake, she said, to let women be boxed in on certain issues because they are concerned about everything going on in America.
Noem pointed out that women are the majority of voters. They pay the bills and make most family decisions on healthcare. The rapid and continuing rise in the cost of living leads American women to look for a candidate who shares their views and can chart a better path for the nation.
Noem believes that President Obama’s policies have hit women disproportionately hard. There have been, she said, many women-owned businesses that have failed in the past six years. Under Obama, women have lost their jobs, and those who can work haven’t seen wages increase as they should. She thinks women won’t vote for someone who is the most charming, but rather, someone who agrees with them and can solve problems.
“If wishes were fishes, we’d all cast nets into the sea.” – borrowed from a Scottish Nursery Rhyme.
There are many people out there who think educators deserve more money in their paychecks. As Bob Mercer writing for the Rapid City Journal notes today, the Blue Ribbon Panel notes that teacher raises are possible. It’s just that pesky part of paying for it which causes headaches:
Teacher raises are possible in the next few years, a state education task force said on Wednesday, but members left out something important: where the money would come from.
Public school teachers in South Dakota might see their salaries increase $8,000 to $10,000 apiece over the course of three to five years under goals discussed by the governor’s Blue Ribbon task force on teachers and students.
But the panel of educators, legislators and businesspeople didn’t specify the tax package to generate the $80 million to $100 million that would be necessary. The members said they hoped to have financial data at the next meeting on Oct. 1.
Where the task force might head in its deliberations on Oct. 1 isn’t clear. Financial information will be brought back, such as estimates of costs and possible sources of tax revenue.
Some members want changes in the state funding formula. Some want efficiency requirements. Some want school boards to face new limits on the amounts of non-obligated cash that they hold. Some want compensation tied to mentoring. Some want property-tax relief. Some want capital-outlay tax levies on property changed.
But who out there thinks that – especially in an election year – legislators are going to pass $100 million in new taxes for teacher salaries?
Alternatively, I know Lee’s not afraid to propose bold solutions. But will Paula put her name on the sponsorship line for a state income tax, or is she just a lot of talk now that she’s running for Congress?
Paying teachers more is easy. But paying for it is the ultimate question to be faced.
What are your thoughts? Do we need to do it? And Is it going to take a new tax?
Thune, Stabenow Praise CMMI Decision to Evaluate Value-Based Insurance Design
WASHINGTON, D.C.— U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) today praised the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) for establishing a Medicare Advantage (MA) demonstration program to evaluate how value-based insurance design (V-BID) could reduce copayments and coinsurance for certain high-value medications and services for some MA enrollees with specific chronic conditions. CMMI’s decision comes just months after Thune and Stabenow introduced legislation that highlighted this need.
“I applaud CMMI’s effort to solve a central challenge in reforming America’s health care system — testing policy solutions that lower the cost of health care while simultaneously improving patients’ health outcomes,” said Thune. “With V-BID, both patients and taxpayers win, demonstrating that it’s possible to improve the value of care delivered when money is spent in a more targeted, effective way.”
“Testing this new, innovative model is an important step towards lowering the costs of critical services and helping Medicare patients better manage their chronic illnesses,” said Senator Stabenow. “This model is rooted in work being done at the University of Michigan and will help people with chronic conditions get the treatments they need for the best overall value. I look forward to seeing this program expand nationwide to help improve quality of care and lower insurance costs for even more seniors.”
V-BID is an insurance design concept that reverses the current one-size-fits-all approach to cost-sharing by embracing the simple, yet transformative idea that prices for prescription drugs and services should be structured to motivate patients to make healthy choices. When patients forgo high-value medications or health care services due to cost, they are more likely to suffer adverse; and often serious events that could have been prevented, ultimately driving up the cost of care. Studies show that reducing or eliminating copayments for high-value prescription drugs can increase their utilization, and ultimately improve clinical outcomes and lower health care expenditures.
CMMI will allow participating MA plans the option to use V-BID benefits to lower copayments and coinsurance and offer supplemental benefits. This will encourage the use of specific, evidence-based medications or clinical services and/or specific high-performing providers. To protect seniors, it also explicitly prohibits plans from increasing copayments or coinsurance to discourage use of services.
Commissioners say their decision was based on issues that came up before and during the fair, but they wouldn’t disclose any details under the argument that it is a personnel matter.
Pfeifer says commissioners told her their decision came after she forgot to order two trophies out of over 100 and didn’t submit two grant applications. She says she submitted the applications and “didn’t do anything wrong.”