Kristi Noem

Kristi Noem

SOUTH DAKOTA

Weekly Column: Joy of Giving

2014/12/19

I am the epitome of your last-minute shopper.  Bryon and I usually know what we’re getting the kids weeks in advance.  But between going to school Christmas programs, decorating the house, addressing Christmas cards, and finishing up legislative work for the year, the purchases are typically made just in time to get the gifts wrapped.  As parents know though, the joy of watching your kids (no matter how old they are) tear open those gifts on Christmas morning makes all the stresses of shopping worth it.  It’s perhaps the best reminder we have of the age-old adage:  It is better to give than to receive. 

For many in South Dakota, the joy of giving is shared not only during this season, but throughout the year.  In fact, 35 percent of South Dakotans spent time volunteering in 2013, according to a study by the Corporation for National and Community Services that was released last week.  When you add it all up, we spent 21.5 million hours serving others that year and what a powerful message that sends.

Of course, only a small portion of South Dakota’s sense of giving can even be quantified by the hours we spend volunteering.  I am still struck by the viral video of Carol Flynn purchasing diapers for the young mother ahead of her in line at Wal-Mart.  And the story of the young girl from Mitchell who donated some of her toys to the kids in Wessington Springs after a tornado swept away all they knew.  And the nine-year-old girl who heard that Rainbow Bible Camp near Sturgis had lost 90 horses in Winter Strom Atlas and sent the camp $28.39 – mostly in coins – to help them recover.  She said in her letter to them, “I thought you might need this.  I’ll try to get more.  Every bit counts.”

These actions by individuals are only enhanced by the generosity of the many, many organizations in South Dakota dedicated to serving their community.

This year, the Toy Industry Foundation donated 500 toys to three of these generous local charities – the Ronald McDonald House Charities in Sioux Falls, the Children’s Home Society in Sioux Falls, and the Northeast South Dakota Head Start Program in Aberdeen – after I was named a “Champion of Play” for my work in Congress.  The donation enables children who are victims of abuse, suffering from illnesses, or living in poverty to give and to receive.  It shows them that there is a community surrounding them that wants them to succeed – that wants them to find joy.  Truly, a special gift.

This holiday season, it is my hope that you experience the incredible joy of giving.  From my family to yours, merry Christmas.

Read More

Weekly Column: A Look Back

2014/12/12

I almost can’t believe how fast 2014 has gone.  My son Booker is about three inches taller while his Christmas list is about half as long (although somehow twice as expensive!)  As we look to wrap up the year, I wanted to share with you some of the successes I’ve had in Congress during the last twelve months.

The year kicked off with passage of the long-awaited Farm Bill.  I was honored to serve as the first House Member at the Farm Bill negotiating table in nearly two decades and even more thrilled to get so many provisions in place for South Dakota producers and consumers.  Among other items, we got a strong crop insurance program, revived the livestock indemnity program, and built support for pine beetle mitigation efforts.

A few months later, the House passed a provision I wrote that would allocate a total of $31 million to a rural water project fund that the Lewis & Clark Regional Water System is eligible to draw from.  Our communities have put in more than their share of the funding for Lewis and Clark, but the federal government has not kept their end of the deal.  This provision moves us in the right direction and I was glad to see it included in the final funding bill.

In July, the Black Hills Cemetery Act, a bill I wrote after many conversations with West River communities, was signed into law.  To reduce liabilities for taxpayers and honor those who have been caring for these nine historic Black Hills cemeteries for generations, this legislation returns the cemeteries’ ownership to the generous communities who maintain them.

Later that month, the U.S. House of Representatives passed another piece of legislation I wrote.  This one addressed human trafficking and would have opened an existing Department of Justice grant program to shelters that are looking to house survivors of human trafficking.  With only around 200 beds available to underage human trafficking survivors nationwide, it was a need I spoke with many South Dakota groups about.  I was disappointed the Senate did not take up the bill, but I’ll continue the fight in the years to come.

In August, I was proud to welcome the Chairman of the House Veterans Affairs (VA) Committee to Hot Springs to hold a congressional hearing.  I’ve visited the VA hospital in Hot Springs many times and have always been impressed by their commitment to our veterans, but the impassioned showing at that congressional hearing blew me away.  It earned them the support of the House VA Committee, which is critical.  Through an end-of-the-year funding agreement, we were able to restrict any FY2015 funds from being used to move forward on closing the facility.

Earlier this month, the House passed the ABLE Act, which would allow those with disabilities or their families to open tax-free savings accounts – similar to the 529 investment plans many people use to save for their kids’ college.  The funds in these tax-free accounts could be used for medical expenses, housing, transportation, and higher-education.  As a co-sponsor of this bill, I always knew how important it was to extend this benefit to families, but it really hit me when I received a Facebook message from a father in southeastern South Dakota just hours before the vote.  He wrote that the bill would help his family “save for a brighter tomorrow for our son.”  The impact of this bill is real and will open new doors for many families like this.

On these issues and many others, I relied on your voice and am so grateful for those who have called, written, or emailed me with their thoughts.  I also believe it is my responsibility to keep you informed on what I’m doing, as I am ultimately accountable to you.  As a result, my office has made more than 150,000 phone calls to South Dakotans this year and written 104,000 letters and emails. 

Perhaps our most important accomplishments, however, are found in the hundreds of South Dakotans we’ve helped receive veterans benefits, navigate Social Security, adopt a child, or guide through countless other federal bureaucratic processes.  It’s truly been an honor to serve you this year and I am looking forward to tackling new challenges in the year to come.

Read More

Spending bill could keep Spearfish hatchery open

2014/12/10

The D.C. Booth Fish Hatchery in Spearfish could live on, at least for a while longer.
That's if the massive $1.3 trillion federal spending bill under debate in Washington makes it through Congress.

In a release, South Dakota Democratic Senator Tim Johnson says the omnibus appropriations bill has a provision to keep the Spearfish hatchery open and keep the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's national fisheries archives at the D.C. Booth Hatchery.

The bill would prevent the Fish and Wildlife Service from using funding to terminate operations or to close any facility in fiscal year 2015.

Representative Kristi Noem says she's happy the Sanford Underground Lab would maintain its $15 million funding level.

Federal lawmakers on Thursday will take up the measure to fund the government through September of 2015.

Read More

Spending bill in Congress would boost S.D.

2014/12/10

South Dakota would be a big winner if Congress passes a $1.01 trillion spending package this week, with the Lewis & Clark project and hunters and fisherman benefiting from the sweeping legislation.

Congress is expected to approve the 1,603-page annual spending package that includes $512 billion in defense spending and $492 billion in non-defense spending as early as Thursday. The legislation covers the entire discretionary budget of the federal government for the fiscal year that ends Sept. 30.

While the bill increased the amount of money a person can contribute to a national political party and allocated billions to treating and fighting Ebola in the U.S. and abroad, among other issues, several items embedded in the measure would have a direct impact on South Dakota residents.

“The best news about the omnibus appropriations agreement is that there will be no government shutdown,” said retiring Sen. Tim Johnson, a Democrat. “Tucked into the bill is good news for South Dakota.”

The entire Lewis & Clark system, which is 65 percent completed more than a decade after construction began in 2003, stretches from well fields and a water treatment plant south of Vermillion to Sioux Falls and has reached the Minnesota border just northwest of Rock Rapids, Iowa. Several communities are still awaiting service.

Congress initially doled out $2.42 million in funding targeted for Lewis & Clark, while the spending bill provided an extra $31 million that would need to be distributed among five rural water projects. Last year, Lewis and Clark got a total of about $8 million to help build the long-delayed project.

“Lewis & Clark should come out in even better hands in this negotiation and keep competing for those dollars because so many of the other projects are nearing completing or have been completed,” Noem told reporters. “This is an amazing opportunity for Lewis & Clark to get access to that $31 million, which would be huge in making sure we get closer to completion.”

Sen. John Thune, the No. 3 Republican in the Senate leadership, noted the spending bill would ban the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating lead in ammunition and fishing tackle gear.

“This is a win for sportsmen and women in our state,” Thune said. “If the EPA bans lead in hunting ammunition and fishing tackle, it would dramatically increase the cost, pricing many hunting and fishing enthusiasts out of the market.”

Noem and Thune also noted the legislation would prevent the Fish and Wildlife Service from placing the sage grouse, a Western bird whose population has declined the past three decades, on the Endangered Species List next year. Keeping the bird off has been a goal of some residents and businesses in the West River who use land shared by the sage grouse for ranching, energy development and other purposes.

Environmental groups criticized lawmakers for ignoring efforts to protect the iconic bird.

“This latest blow could delay conservation efforts for years, rendering sage-grouse recovery more expensive and more disruptive in the future, and putting the smaller populations of “bi-state” and Columbia Basin sage grouse at an even higher risk of extinction,” said Jamie Rappaport Clark, president of the Defenders of Wildlife.

The spending bill maintains the country-of-origin labeling program, a law that requires steaks, pork chops and other meat to carry labels that identify where animals were born, raised and slaughtered. It also includes funding for agricultural research programs at South Dakota State University.

Read More

Weekly Column: Preserving the Veterans Town

2014/12/08

It’s hard to believe it’s been three years since our fight to save the Hot Springs VA Hospital began.  On December 12, 2011, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) issued a reorganization proposal that included plans to close the doors of the VA hospital in Hot Springs – a community so dedicated to those who’ve served that it has earned the title “Veterans Town.”

The Hot Springs VA Hospital is a special place.  I’ve had the privilege of visiting the community and facility numerous times. I’m always taken aback by how relaxing its surroundings are and the beauty of the Battle Mountain Sanitarium, a short-term home for veterans recovering from injuries or illness that has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  The hospital employs hundreds in the Hot Springs community, many of whom are veterans themselves.  And I’ve spoken to many of the nearly 31,000 veterans served by the hospitals in Hot Springs and Fort Meade – the vast majority of which have been very passionate about keeping the hospital open.  Needless to say, it would be a shame to lose this facility.

Since the proposal was initially put forward, we’ve been asking for more information on the Native Americans who are served at the hospital, the land valuation in the VA’s cost-benefit analysis, and simple estimates for key provisions.  The numbers have never added up nor have they been consistent with community stakeholder data.

In August, I held a Congressional Field Hearing with the Chairman of the House VA Committee where these same questions about data discrepancies and transparency arose.  Once again, the answers we received from the VA were far from sufficient.  The Hot Springs Hospital did, however, earn the respect and support of Chairman Miller at the hearing.  He’s an important ally to have in Congress.

Despite the data discrepancies, the VA is pushing forward with an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), one of the last items needed to finalize their proposal.  I helped the U.S. House of Representatives pass a provision earlier this year that would stop the VA from using any FY2015 funds to conduct an EIS on facilities like the Hot Springs hospital, but the provision has not yet been taken up by the Senate.

Two weeks ago, I spoke with VA Secretary Robert McDonald about next steps.  He was aware of what’s been going on in the community and I requested that he come out to Hot Springs to see it for himself – an invitation I also made in writing shortly after he was confirmed as Secretary in July and again last week.  It’s something we continue to work on.

This fight is far from over.  Hot Springs has been providing critical care to South Dakota veterans for more than a century and I’m committed to doing all I can to ensure Hot Springs can serve veterans in this way for a century more.

Read More

Noem Staff to Hold Mobile Office Hours in Lennox on December 4

2014/12/04

U.S. Representative Kristi Noem today announced that Kari Weller of her Sioux Falls office will hold Mobile Office Hours in Lennox on Thursday, December 4.  If any Lennox resident needs help with a federal agency or has comments they would like passed along to the Congresswoman, they may schedule an appointment with Weller by calling 275-2868.

While in Lennox, Weller will also be holding meetings with community organizations and local businesses.  To get immediate assistance, please contact Rep. Noem’s Sioux Falls office at 275-2868 or visit her website at www.noem.house.gov

- THURSDAY, DECEMBER 4 -

WHAT: Noem Staff Hold Mobile Office Hours in Lennox   
WHEN: Thursday, December 4, 2014
SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT: Please call Kari Weller at 275-2868
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:  Lennox residents may meet with Kari Weller of Rep. Noem’s Sioux Falls office to get help with a federal agency or pass on any concerns or comments they have for the Congresswoman.

Read More

Noem Staff to Hold Mobile Office Hours in Tea on December 2

2014/12/02

U.S. Representative Kristi Noem today announced that Kari Weller of her Sioux Falls office will hold Mobile Office Hours in Tea on Tuesday, December 2.  If any Tea resident needs help with a federal agency or has comments they would like passed along to the Congresswoman, they may schedule an appointment with Weller by calling 275-2868.

While in Tea, Weller will also be holding meetings with community organizations and local businesses.  To get immediate assistance, please contact Rep. Noem’s Sioux Falls office at 275-2868 or visit her website at www.noem.house.gov

- TUESDAY, DECEMBER 2 -

WHAT: Noem Staff Hold Mobile Office Hours in Tea   
WHEN: Tuesday, December 2, 2014
SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT: Please call Kari Weller at 275-2868
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:  Tea residents may meet with Kari Weller of Rep. Noem’s Sioux Falls office to get help with a federal agency or pass on any concerns or comments they have for the Congresswoman.

Read More

Noem Staff to Hold Mobile Office Hours in Worthing on December 2

2014/12/02

U.S. Representative Kristi Noem today announced that Kari Weller of her Sioux Falls office will hold Mobile Office Hours in Worthing on Tuesday, December 2.  If any Worthing resident needs help with a federal agency or has comments they would like passed along to the Congresswoman, they may schedule an appointment with Weller by calling 275-2868.

While in Worthing, Weller will also be holding meetings with community organizations and local businesses.  To get immediate assistance, please contact Rep. Noem’s Sioux Falls office at 275-2868 or visit her website at www.noem.house.gov

- TUESDAY, DECEMBER 2 -

WHAT: Noem Staff Hold Mobile Office Hours in Worthing   
WHEN: Tuesday, December 2, 2014
SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT: Please call Kari Weller at 275-2868
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:  Worthing residents may meet with Kari Weller of Rep. Noem’s Sioux Falls office to get help with a federal agency or pass on any concerns or comments they have for the Congresswoman.

Read More

Weekly Column: Thanksgiving in Action

2014/11/21

Our Thanksgiving Day typically starts off with my husband, Bryon, convincing all of us to sit and watch the parade with him.  It’s not that we don’t enjoy seeing the floats and balloons barreling down New York City’s narrow streets as much as he does, but we’re an active family and at some point food must be prepared, chores done, and football games to get ready for.  This year, we will be spending the holiday with Bryon’s side of the family – after the parade, of course – where we’ll celebrate and give thanks for our blessings of the past year. 

But as I sit down to write this column and think about all our Thanksgiving traditions, I wondered: Do we do enough to show how grateful we are and put the blessings we’ve been given to work for others?

I feel incredibly fortunate to have such a wonderful and supportive family.  I have an outstanding partner by my side and my kids are surrounded by a loving and safe community that looks out for them day in and day out.  We have a roof over our heads and plenty of food on the table.  And to top it all off, we live in a secure country that promises opportunity and freedom. 

My family expresses our gratitude through our words often, but I don’t know that we adequately put our thanksgiving into action.  I’m reminded of a quote from the English preacher, W.T. Purkiser.  He said, “Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them is the true measure of our thanksgiving.”  It’s not just about giving thanks, it’s about showing thanks.

Perhaps no one deserves more gratitude than our women and men in uniform.  They put our values of justice and liberty to work in order to keep our nation safe.  Hundreds of South Dakotans who have exchanged snowstorms for dust storms have missed Thanksgivings, Christmases, and birthdays to do the job, but because of their sacrifices we can have freedom from fear.  For that, I am eternally grateful and committed to serving them as they have served us.

We all have so many reasons to be thankful.  Every year during our thanksgiving dinner, my family has gone around the table and listed out one thing we were thankful for that year.  Expressing that gratitude through our words can mean a lot, but showing it in our actions can change the world around you.  I hope you join me this year in putting thanksgiving in action.

From my family to yours, have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day.

Read More

Noem receives award from S.D. Farm Bureau

2014/11/21

U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem has been recognized by the South Dakota Farm Bureau.

The group awarded Noem its “Friend of Farm Bureau” honor.

Scott VanderWal is the group’s president. He says Noem’s relentless efforts to get the 2014 farm bill approved by Congress have given producers “a strong safety net for the always risky agriculture industry.”

The award is given to members of Congress who have a record of voting in support of Farm Bureau issues.

Read More

Noem Receives "Friend of Farm Bureau" Award

2014/11/21

Rep. Kristi Noem today accepted the “Friend of Farm Bureau” award from the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) for her work to expand markets, curtail irresponsible government regulations, and support small business. 

“It is an honor to accept this award today," said Noem.  "The last two years have been an uphill battle.  There were a lot of hours put into educating my colleagues in Congress about the importance of ag policy, but in the end, we passed one of the strongest and most reformed farm bills in history.  We have a lot more to do.  In the next few years, I’ll be looking to expand the market for our commodities through new trade agreements and reform the tax code to make it easier for farmers and ranchers to do business.  I’m looking forward to the challenge."

The award is given at the conclusion of each Congress to those members who were nominated by their respective state Farm Bureaus and approved by the AFBF Board of Directors.

“Producers across South Dakota understand that they have a friend and advocate in Rep. Noem,” said South Dakota Farm Bureau President Scott VanderWal.  “Rep. Noem understands the challenges farmers and ranchers face every day because she’s walked in our boots.  She fought relentlessly to get a farm bill passed this last Congress, and as a result, we have a strong safety net for the always risky agriculture industry.  I look forward to all she will accomplish in the coming years.” 

Read More

Noem Looks for a Real Fix, Not Quick Fix on Immigration

2014/11/20

Rep. Kristi Noem today urged President Obama to work with Congress to explore permanent, long-term solutions on immigration, rather than pursuing unilateral action. 

“We need to look for real, permanent solutions on immigration, not quick fixes,” said Noem.  “There is no doubt that we have a problem on our borders.  They are extremely porous and that raises serious concerns about our national security.  I’m willing to work together to find a commonsense solution that first and foremost secures our borders, but a ‘my way or the highway’ negotiation won’t work.”

Noem has long supported a step-by-step approach to immigration reform, which would begin by taking steps to secure the border and putting in place a system that works for South Dakota agriculture.  This summer, Noem supported H.R.5230, which would have authorized the deployment of the National Guard to the southern border, provided funding to increase security, accelerated judicial proceedings, and ensured U.S. Customs and Border Protection had access to federal land near the border.  The legislation passed the House, but was blocked in the U.S. Senate.

“I am confident the House will use available tools at its disposal to bring an end to the President’s unilateral executive action,” continued Noem.  “The President is blatantly disregarding the will of the people of South Dakota and the Constitution’s separation of powers.  It’s unacceptable and must be stopped.”

Read More

Noem Promises to Continue Fight for Keystone XL Pipeline

2014/11/18

Rep. Kristi Noem today promised to continue the fight for the Keystone XL Pipeline’s construction in the wake of the U.S. Senate voting down legislation to advance the pipeline.  Noem helped the House pass the legislation on November 14.

“I was extremely disappointed to see the United States Senate vote down bipartisan legislation to construct the Keystone XL Pipeline,” said Rep. Noem.  “This pipeline would create jobs, alleviate pressure on our road systems and rails, and generate revenues for our states to support local schools and infrastructure.  This is not the end of this fight and I look forward to resurrecting this debate in the new year.”

Noem has been a vocal supporter of the Keystone XL Pipeline’s construction.  She is a co-sponsor of H.R. 3, the Northern Route Approval Act, and has strongly urged President Obama and Secretary Kerry in writing to support immediate approval of the pipeline.  

Read More

Noem To Continue Fight For Keystone XL

2014/11/18

South Dakota Representative Kristi Noem has promised to continue the fight for the Keystone XL Pipeline’s construction in the wake of the U.S. Senate voting down legislation to advance the pipeline. Noem helped the House pass the legislation on November 14th.

“I was extremely disappointed to see the United States Senate vote down bipartisan legislation to construct the Keystone XL Pipeline,” said Rep. Noem. “This pipeline would create jobs, alleviate pressure on our road systems and rails, and generate revenues for our states to support local schools and infrastructure. This is not the end of this fight and I look forward to resurrecting this debate in the New Year.”

Noem has been a vocal supporter of the Keystone XL Pipeline’s construction. She is a co-sponsor of H.R. 3, the Northern Route Approval Act, and has strongly urged President Obama and Secretary Kerry in writing to support immediate approval of the pipeline.

Read More

Weekly Column: Stopping a Federal Land Grab

2014/11/14

November 14 marked the last day where the public could comment on what could become the largest federal land grab in our country’s history.  So, what’s the next step?

Last March, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers proposed changing the definition of “waters of the U.S.”  It’s one of those things bureaucracies try to do to expand their control.  Currently, the term “waters of the U.S.” encompasses all waters that are navigable or waterways that significantly connect to navigable ones.  What the EPA and Army Corps are trying to do is expand the rule to include much smaller bodies of water and even some areas that are only seasonally wet. 

In practical terms, it could mean ditches, small ponds, and prairie potholes could be regulated by the EPA and Army Corps.  Farmers, ranchers, and homeowners could have to get permits for things like controlling bugs and weeds on their fields or lawn – or building a fence around their property.  If you fail to comply, fines could reach as high as $37,500 per violation per day.

It’s not difficult to see why folks are so concerned and why many I spoke to planned to submit a comment to regulators.  Even though the public comment period is now expired, our fight continues.

The strategy we’re taking is two pronged:  Cut off the resources needed to move the proposal forward and apply as much pressure as we can on the EPA and Army Corps to withdraw the proposal.  It’s a strategy that I’ve helped make work in the past. 

When I was first elected to Congress, the EPA was reviewing their regulations on dust, including dust that is part of many everyday farming activities.  We applied legislative pressure through a bill I wrote and the EPA moved in a different direction.  In another instance, we combined pressure from Congress and pressure from the public to get the Department of Labor to rescind a rule that could have banned kids from doing some chores on their relative’s or neighbor’s farms.  And when OSHA was attempting to impose hefty regulations and fines on small family farms, we took the agency head on and they reversed course.

Already, I have helped the House pass limited legislation to ensure FY2015 funds are not used to move the EPA’s proposal forward; the bill has not been taken up by the Senate, however.  I have thrown my support behind H.R.5078, which prohibits the EPA and Army Corps from developing, finalizing, adopting, implementing, applying, administering, or enforcing – in other words, moving forward in any way – the proposal.  Myself and more than 200 other Members of Congress – both Republicans and Democrats – have written the EPA and Army Corps about our concerns as well.  And I will continue to do all I can to fight this rule.

What I’ve had a hard time understanding – and what I bluntly asked an administration official who was testifying before the Agriculture Committee a few months ago – is why they are pursuing the rule they claim is helpful when almost everybody is opposed to it.  Needless to say, I didn’t get a straightforward response.

We all ought to be able to turn on the faucet or go fishing and know the water is safe.  But there has to be a way to do it without farmers, ranchers, homeowners, and property owners having to turn to the EPA when they want to put up a fence.  It’s just not practical.

Read More

Noem Helps Advance Legislation to Build the Keystone XL Pipeline

2014/11/14

Rep. Kristi Noem today helped advance H.R.5682, a bill to cut through regulatory red tape and allow the Keystone XL Pipeline to move forward.  Noem joined both Republicans and Democrats in passing the legislation, which would formally approve TransCanada’s application to construct the pipeline, through the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday.

“Many South Dakotans are paying twice as much of their after-tax income on energy than the national average.  We ought to be doing everything we can to bring those costs down,” said Rep. Noem.  “The Keystone XL Pipeline’s construction will create jobs and give America more leverage in the global energy marketplace.  It could alleviate pressure on our road systems and rails and generate much-needed revenue for communities and counties across the state.  This administration has run out of excuses.  It’s time to build.”

Noem has been a vocal supporter of the Keystone XL Pipeline’s construction.  She is a co-sponsor of H.R. 3, the Northern Route Approval Act and has strongly urged President Obama and Secretary Kerry in writing to support immediate approval of the pipeline.  

“For far too long, the politics of the Keystone XL Pipeline have blocked its construction as well as the jobs and economic activity it would generate,” continued Noem.  “10,000 miles of pipeline have been constructed since Keystone was initially proposed, which is the equivalent of eight Keystone XL Pipelines.  Let’s move beyond the politics and start pushing energy back into this economy.” Read More

Noem Staff to Hold Mobile Office Hours in Sturgis on November 12

2014/11/12

U.S. Representative Kristi Noem today announced that Kyle Holt of her Rapid City office will hold Mobile Office Hours in Sturgis on Wednesday, November 12.  Holt will be available that day between 9:00AM and 10:00AM at the Sturgis Public Library (1040 2nd Street, #101, Sturgis) to meet with residents who need help with a federal agency or have concerns or comments they would like passed along to the Congresswoman.

If area residents are unable to meet during the Mobile Office Hours from 9:00AM to 10:00AM, please contact Rep. Noem’s Rapid City office at 791-4673 or visit her website at www.noem.house.gov to schedule a separate appointment or get immediate assistance. 

- WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 12 -

WHAT: Noem Staff Hold Mobile Office Hours in Sturgis      
WHEN: Wednesday, November 12, 2014 – 9:00AM to 10:00AM (MT)
WHERE: Sturgis Public Library (1040 2nd Street, #101, Sturgis)
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:  Sturgis residents may meet with Kyle Holt of her Rapid City office to get help with a federal agency or pass on any concerns or comments they have for the Congresswoman.

Read More

Noem encourages volunteerism to mark Veterans Day

2014/11/12

Rep. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) encouraged Americans on Friday to demonstrate their appreciation for the contributions of veterans on Veterans Day.

Noem encouraged citizens to volunteer at Veterans Administration facilities or local charities to show their “gratitude and respect.”

“Of course, there have been many instances where our nation has fallen short of giving veterans the admiration they deserve,” Noem said. “Widespread mismanagement, data manipulation and subpar care within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) became a topic of national debate this year — and rightfully so. I was proud to help Congress pass a bill that the president signed to help address the VA’s most significant problems, but we must continue to implement this legislation and identify other areas where remedies are necessary.”

Noem said she has also worked to protect a VA facility in Hot Springs, S.D., that has provided critical care to thousands of veterans like Arthur Hilland, a World War II veteran.

Hilland’s family recently discovered a scrap book from his time in World War II that contained mementos from the places he was stationed, photos and newspaper clippings.

“While they’ll never know for sure, his family believes the scrapbook was perhaps a therapeutic exercise to cope with what he’d seen in battle,” Noem said. “Earlier this year, they donated the scrapbook to the Library of Congress as part of the Veterans History Project — an effort to collect, preserve and make personal accounts of American veterans accessible so we too could benefit from the story of a man on the front line.”

Read More

Noem Staff to Hold Mobile Office Hours in Belle Fourche on November 12

2014/11/12

U.S. Representative Kristi Noem today announced that Kyle Holt of her Rapid City office will hold Mobile Office Hours in Belle Fourche on Wednesday, November 12.  If any Belle Fourche resident needs help with a federal agency or has comments they would like passed along to the Congresswoman, they may schedule an appointment with Holt by calling 791-4673.

While in Belle Fourche, Holt will also be holding meetings with community organizations and local businesses.  To get immediate assistance, please contact Rep. Noem’s Rapid City office at 791-4673 or visit her website at www.noem.house.gov

- WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 12 -

WHAT: Noem Staff Hold Mobile Office Hours in Belle Fourche      
WHEN: Wednesday, November 12, 2014
SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT: Please call Kyle Holt at 791-4673
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:  Belle Fourche residents may meet with Kyle Holt of Rep. Noem’s Rapid City office to get help with a federal agency or pass on any concerns or comments they have for the Congresswoman.

Read More

Weekly Column: A Veteran's Story

2014/11/07

I first heard Arthur Hiland’s story from his daughters.  Born in Aberdeen, he was drafted to serve in the European Theatre during World War II.  He helped defeat the Nazis, earning him a Bronze Star Medal and the Purple Heart, and then returned home to South Dakota.   He rarely, if ever, spoke of his time in the military, but his account of wartime America was never lost.

After he and his wife passed, his daughters found a scrapbook.  It weighed maybe 20 pounds and contained much of his wartime story:  His draft notice.  Mementos from the places he was stationed.  Pictures.  Newspaper clippings.  His discharge papers. 

To his daughters, this book has been a peek into their father’s past.  To you and me, it is a snapshot of our nation’s history from a man on the front line.

This week, we celebrate the women and men who, like Arthur, have served our nation and earned the title of “veteran.”  We remember their stories and formally recognize their contributions to the moments that have defined the American spirit and our nation’s resilience.

We can never repay our veterans for these contributions, but I encourage you to take the opportunity this Veterans Day to actively demonstrate your appreciation for their service.  Participate in your hometown’s Veterans Day celebration.  Volunteer at a VA medical facility, the VFW, or a local charity that helps veterans or military families.  There are countless ways to show your gratitude and respect.

Of course, there have been many instances where our nation has fallen short of giving veterans the admiration they deserve. Widespread mismanagement, data manipulation and subpar care within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) became a topic of national debate this year – and rightfully so.  I was proud to help Congress pass a bill that the president signed to help address the VA’s most significant problems, but we must continue to implement this legislation and identify other areas where remedies are necessary. 

We also have work yet to do to protect the VA hospital in Hot Springs.  This facility has provided critical care to thousands of South Dakota veterans, including Arthur Hiland.  Like many of his comrades, he suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  He received treatment in Hot Springs and spent his career giving back to the facility, working as a switchboard operator and in the accounting department.

While they’ll never know for sure, his family believes the scrapbook was perhaps a therapeutic exercise to cope with what he’d seen in battle.  Earlier this year, they donated the scrapbook to the Library of Congress as part of the Veterans History Project – an effort to collect, preserve, and make personal accounts of American veterans accessible so we too could benefit from the story of a man on the front line.

This Veterans Day, please join me in honoring our veterans and recognizing the sacrifices they’ve made – and continue to make – so that our freedom, safety and independence remain secure.

Read More

Loading legislation ... one moment please
Loading votes ... one moment please

Contact Information

1323 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-2801
Fax 202-225-5823
noem.house.gov

Committee Assignments

Agriculture

Armed Services

U.S. Representative Kristi Noem is a wife, mother, experienced rancher, farmer, and former small business owner. Kristi was born and raised in rural Hamlin County in northeastern South Dakota and still lives there today with her husband, Bryon, and their three children, Kassidy, Kennedy, and Booker.

Kristi learned the value of hard work early in life from her father. He put Kristi, her sister and two brothers to work on the family farm at a young age caring for the cattle and horses and helping with planting and harvest. After graduating from high school, Kristi began attending college at Northern State University in Aberdeen. When her father died unexpectedly in a farming accident, Kristi returned to the family farm and ranch full-time. Her father’s death left a huge absence, so Kristi stepped up and helped stabilize the operation and provided leadership when it was needed most.

Kristi’s work on the farm and ranch didn’t go unnoticed. In 1997 she received the South Dakota Outstanding Young Farmer award and in 2003 she was honored with the South Dakota Young Leader award.

Kristi’s experience as a small business owner shaped her understanding of government and its purpose. Too often, government is inefficient and ineffective, simply getting in the way of small businesses and entrepreneurs who wish to create jobs and grow our economy. Realizing this, Kristi decided to get involved to try and make a difference.

Her service includes the South Dakota State Farm Agency State Committee, the Commission for Agriculture in the 21st Century, the South Dakota Soybean Association, and numerous other boards and committees. In the fall of 2006, Kristi was elected as the 6th District Representative to the South Dakota House of Representatives.

Kristi quickly realized she could serve her district, and the State of South Dakota, more effectively in a leadership position. So in her second term she ran for, and won, the position of Assistant Majority Leader in the State House, where she served until 2010.

Kristi was first elected to serve as South Dakota’s lone Member of the U.S. House of Representatives on November 2, 2010.

While keeping up with her Congressional duties in Washington, D.C. and work with constituents in South Dakota, Kristi continued to take undergraduate courses from South Dakota State University. In December 2011, Kristi graduated from SDSU with her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science.

On November 6, 2012, Kristi was re-elected to the U.S. House of Representatives where she continues to serve on the Agriculture Committee and House Armed Services Committee.

Kristi enjoys helping her daughters compete in rodeo and 4-H. She has been a 4-H leader for 14 years. Kristi is also an avid hunter. She particularly enjoys pheasant hunting on the homestead and archery elk with her brothers.


Serving With

Recent Videos