Rounds Questions Pentagon Officials on BRAC Process

Rounds Questions Pentagon Officials on BRAC Process

Continues Commitment to Protect Ellsworth Air Force Base

 

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support, Wednesday questioned Department of Defense (DoD) officials about the Administration’s proposal for another Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) round. When Rounds was working as governor during the last BRAC round (2005), Ellsworth Air Force Base was removed from DoD’s proposed closure list as a result of extensive information that South Dakota presented to the BRAC Commission. The BRAC Commission was created by Congress to conduct an independent and impartial review of DoD’s closure recommendations.

 

“Ellsworth Air Force Base is an important part of a long-term defense strategy,” said Rounds. “Because of the critical role it plays in protecting our nation, I want to make sure the Pentagon is using the best possible information should there be another BRAC round. As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I will continue to seek ways to protect Ellsworth and the vital mission it performs for America.”

 

Full video of his questioning is available here: 

 

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Thune Leads Call for USDA, HHS to Include Lean Red Meat in 2015 Dietary Guidelines

Thune Leads Call for USDA, HHS to Include Lean Red Meat in 2015 Dietary Guidelines

 

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today led 29 of his colleagues in sending a bipartisan letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Burwell calling on the secretaries to stay within statutory guidelines, consider the most relevant nutrition scientific literature, and reject the committee’s inconsistent conclusions and recommendations regarding the role of lean red meat in a healthy diet. The letter also requests an extension of the 45-day comment period to ensure stakeholders have enough time to review and comment on the lengthy report.

 

Every five years, USDA and HHS review the dietary guidelines for American food consumption. A recent advisory committee report recommends to the agencies what foods should be included in the new dietary guidelines. The nearly 600-page report leaves lean red meat out of what it considers to be a healthy diet, which greatly concerns dietitians who support consumption of lean red meat and is alarming to the livestock, pork, and poultry industries.

 

The senators write in their letter, “We are concerned about this committee’s suggestion to decrease consumption of red and processed meats … this statement ignores the peer-reviewed and published scientific evidence that shows the role of lean red meats as part of a healthy diet … we have strong concerns with the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee going beyond its purview of nutrition and health research to include topics such as sustainability … We encourage you to carefully consider the most relevant nutrition scientific literature and reject the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s inconsistent conclusions regarding the role of meat in Americans’ diets as you finalize the Dietary Guidelines.”

 

Joining Thune in his letter are Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Angus King (I-Maine), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Rand Paul (R-Ken.), David Perdue (R-Ga.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.).

 

The full text of the senators’ letter is available here:

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March 12, 2015

 

The Honorable Sylvia Mathews Burwell

Secretary

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

200 Independence Avenue, SW

Washington, D.C. 20201

 

The Honorable Thomas J. Vilsack

Secretary

U.S. Department of Agriculture

1400 Independence Ave, SW

Washington, DC 20250

 

Dear Secretaries Burwell and Vilsack,

 

We are concerned with the scientific integrity of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s recommendation to remove “lean meat” from the statement of a healthy dietary pattern, and we seek an extension of the 45-day comment period for stakeholders to comment on the “Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee.”

 

We are concerned about this committee’s suggestion to decrease consumption of red and processed meats.  The report suggests that dietary patterns with positive health benefits are described as high in vegetables, fruit, whole grains, seafood, legumes, and nuts and moderate in low- and non-fat dairy products.  Dietary patterns with positive health benefits are also described as lower in red and processed meat. 

 

Unfortunately, this statement ignores the peer-reviewed and published scientific evidence that shows the role of lean red meats as part of a healthy diet.  Furthermore, the statement is misleading as it suggests current American diets include too much meat.  Government data shows the protein food category is the only food group being consumed within the 2010 daily recommended values.  It is misleading for the report to suggest eating less meat when lean meat is not being overconsumed based on the 2010 Dietary Guidelines recommendations.   

 

Additionally, we have strong concerns with the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee going beyond its purview of nutrition and health research to include topics such as sustainability.  The 14-member advisory committee does not have the background or expertise required to make these suggestions in this report.  We strongly encourage you to stay within the statutory authority of your respective departments when finalizing the 2015 Dietary Guidelines.  

 

Not only do we represent farmers and ranchers who raise animals to provide healthy meat products, but we also represent consumers who enjoy lean meat as an important food in their diet.  The inconsistencies brought forward in the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s report are significant.  We encourage you to carefully consider the most relevant nutrition scientific literature and reject the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s inconsistent conclusions regarding the role of meat in Americans’ diets as you finalize the Dietary Guidelines. 

 

We request that you grant an extension of the comment period beyond the allotted 45 days, which expires on April 8, 2015.  It is important to allow enough time for interested stakeholders to carefully review the 571-page report.

 

Sincerely,

 

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Company from Obamacare web site debacle working to get SD Bill collector project.

There are complaints and accusations on the house floor over HB 1228 that the measure is designed for the company, CGI, from the Obamacare website debacle, is working to get the SD Bill collector project being organized by the 1228.

One legislator commented that they’re concerned that the RFP is specifically designed for CGI and that they have 5 lobbyists roaming the halls. (Although, I’m told it was actually 2 who lobbied).

And there was grumbling that the bill is definitely not going to allow local companies to bid on the project.

What do you think about all of this?

Rapid City Civic Center proposal goes down.

from the Argus:

RAPID CITY — Rapid City residents have rejected a proposed $180 million expansion of the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.

Unofficial returns from Tuesday’s election show 61 percent of the 12,902 voters were against the idea.

Read it here.

Was it a civic center too big to chew on? Or did supporters fail to make the sale?

And does it affect the mayor’s so far unopposed re-election at all?

SDHSAA was demanding hold harmless from religious high schools on transgender issue in November

It happened back in November, in a somewhat quiet manner, that the South Dakota High School Activites Association gave religiously affiliated schools an out on the transgender policy… Albeit, an expensive out:

SDHSAA passed a policy demanding that, if religiously affiliated schools wished to deny a high school student the opportunity to play sports as a gender other than what is on their birth certificate, the activities association was to he held completely harmless.

So, what about secular schools who wanted the same choice?

Bradford death threat yesterday.

i heard from the lobbyist corps yesterday that towards the end of session, Democratic State Senator Jim Bradford recieved a death threat on his cell phone threatening the life of himself, and his daughter.

A legislator confirmed for me this morning that it was correct, and that the highway patrol was looking into the matter which came from a Rapid City Cell phone number.

No other details are immediately available.

Herseth Sandlin acting as Raven mouthpiece for mass firing

Well, that’s one way to stay in the news:

Earlier this year, Raven had about 1,180 employees, including 113 acquired when the company bought Madison-based Integra Plastics. Some vacancies since then have gone unfilled, and the company will have about 1,000 employees by the time the restructuring is over.

 “We are one of the larger employers in Sioux Falls, but we’re by no means such a large company that we don’t know our employees on a personal level,” said Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, Raven’s general counsel and vice president of corporate development. “No company wants to do this, but it’s appropriate and necessary for the long-term future of the company.”

Read it here.

Thune: Trafficking a Brutal Violation of the Innocent

Thune: Trafficking a Brutal Violation of the Innocent

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today voiced his concern for the victims of human trafficking and his support of the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015, which is currently being debated in the Senate.

“[T]he truth is, human trafficking occurs in every country, including right here in the United States. Every year, thousands of Americans, most frequently women and children, are trafficked within the borders of the United States itself. A large number of the victims are children who are bought and sold to feed the twisted desires of sexual predators. … This week, we’re considering the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, a bill put together by my colleague, the senior senator from Texas. I’ve co-sponsored this legislation because I think it provides a number of important tools to strengthen our efforts to eradicate trafficking in this country and help its victims.”


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After Pointed Questions from Noem and Others, ATF Retracts Ammunition Ban Proposal

After Pointed Questions from Noem and Others, ATF Retracts Ammunition Ban Proposal


Washington, D.C. – After pointed questions from Rep. Noem and others, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) retracted a controversial proposal to ban certain ammunition that is popular with hunters and sportsmen. 

“Under no circumstances should ATF adopt a standard that would ban ammunition that is overwhelmingly used by law-abiding Americans for legitimate purposes,” said Rep. Noem.  “Like many hunters and sportsmen across the country, I am relieved the ATF has withdrawn this inappropriate proposal from the Obama administration.  It would be a severe abuse of power to infringe upon law-abiding citizens’ Second Amendment rights and I’m pleased to see the administration back down.”

On February 13, 2015, the Obama administration issued a proposal that would ban the M855 5.56 x 45mm cartridge, saying it qualified as an “armor piercing” projectile and could therefore be banned as a means to protect law enforcement officers.  Numerous concerns have arisen since the administration’s proposed regulations were released.  Most notably, while millions upon millions of M855 rounds have been sold and used in the U.S., no evidence has been presented that even one such round has ever been fired from a handgun at a police officer.

Rep. Noem joined more than 200 Members of Congress in writing a letter last week that questioned the ATF’s “armor piercing” classification, their decision not to publish the proposed “Framework” as is required, and what other rounds the ATF is considering regulating as armor-piercing ammunition.

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Noem Honored with NAM Award for Manufacturing Legislative Excellence

Noem Honored with NAM Award for Manufacturing Legislative Excellence

Brookings, SD – Rep. Kristi Noem was honored with the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Award for Manufacturing Legislative Excellence at an event earlier this week in Brookings, S.D.   

“Every job creator started with an idea.  What makes the difference in South Dakota is that there’s an environment where those ideas are actively fostered,” said Rep. Noem.  “I’ve worked hard to try to replicate South Dakota’s successful policies on the federal level and I am honored to receive the NAM Award for Manufacturing Legislative Excellence.  But there’s more work to do.  I will not stop fighting for hardworking South Dakotans until they get a government that they deserve – a government that does more with less and unlocks the potential of the American people.”

Noem was given the award at a trade-focused roundtable held at Daktronics in Brookings on Monday.  The award recognized Rep. Noem’s pro-jobs voting record.  Additional information on the award can be found here.

Rep. Noem Receives NAM Award for Manufacturing Legislative Excellence from Reece Kurtenbach, CEO and President for Daktronics (3/9/15)

 

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