U.S. Representative


Your opponent’s campaign ads criticize you for voting in line with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi 90 percent of the time, while Sen. Al Franken used your support of Pelosi as a positive. If re-elected, would you vote for Rep. Pelosi for Speaker of the House again?

I’ve disagreed with the speaker a lot and I don’t think she fully understands our part of the country.I voted against the Wall Street bailouts, the trillion dollar health care legislation and cap-and-trade because they weren’t right for South Dakota. While we don’t know who will run for speaker in the leadership election, I will look at all the options the same way I look at every vote.

How are you going to serve your student constituency and higher education?

I am committed to ensure that South Dakotans have access to an affordable, high quality education. I support expanding the Pell Grant and Perkins Loan Programs. While I’m proud of these investments, continued reform and adjustments will be necessary going forward to ensure the funding provided through these programs keeps pace with the rising cost of tuition and an increasingly competitive global economy.

You went against your party by voting against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. You were against it then, so if re-elected, and this issue came up, would you vote to repeal or deny funding to the act?

I voted against the trillion dollar health care bill and stood up to my party leadership.Although I worked to improve the health care bill, in the end, it was simply too expensive, and I wasn’t satisfied that it would bring down costs over the long term.My position on repeal is simple: I want to keep the good parts of the bill and fix the bad parts. We shouldn’t throw out the baby with the bath water. There are provisions of the legislation that enjoy widespread bipartisan support. Repealing the entire bill, as my opponent advocates, would repeal these good provisions too.

Your opponent has said numerous times you’re “wrong for South Dakota.” Why are you right for South Dakota?

The last thing Congress needs is another politician who puts partisan politics ahead of what’s best for South Dakota. Our lone voice in the House needs to do what’s right for our state with every vote.For me, that often includes working across party lines to represent our interests.There’s too much at stake to put politics ahead of what’s best for South Dakota.