Kristi Noem

Kristi Noem

SOUTH DAKOTA

Noem: Confronting Iran

2018/08/10

In 2015, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani defended the slogan “Death to America.” That same year, President Barack Obama signed a faulty nuclear deal with Iran that failed to stop them from acquiring nuclear capabilities, undermined the security of our ally Israel, and flooded Iran with cash, producing a $150 billion economic impact for one of the world’s leading state sponsors of terror. 

Despite the generous deal Iran received, its threats have continued, particularly against Israel. In 2018 alone, top-ranking Iranian officials have called for Israeli cities to be “razed to the ground” and that Israel itself be “destroyed” and “annihilated.” That matters to Americans, not only because we ought to stand against threats like this against our allies, but because the national security interests of Israel and the United States are so closely intertwined.

Israel has played a critical role in our efforts to defeat ISIL, Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations.  Our countries have collaborated on improving stability in the region and teamed up on counterterrorism efforts that make each of us a little safer. We’ve worked together to improve behavioral screening techniques at airports and shared information about anti-tunnel technology that could help secure both of our borders. Moreover, Israel is a beacon of democracy in a tumultuous region.

Earlier this year, the United States began the process of stepping away from President Obama’s Iran Nuclear Deal. Then, in August, President Trump applied additional sanctions on Iran, slowing down their economic engine and limiting their ability to invest in destructive weapons programs. A second phase of sanctions, which would target Iran’s oil industry, are expected to go into effect in November.

When the Iran Nuclear Deal was initially being discussed, I argued that “no deal would be better than a bad one.” I stand by that. If we’re going to strike a deal, we must make sure Iran’s nuclear infrastructure is dismantled and that inspectors gain complete access to suspicious sites – anytime and anywhere. Sanctions shouldn’t be lifted automatically; instead, Iran should have to prove they’re upholding their end of the deal. And maybe most importantly, the agreement shouldn’t set an arbitrary timeline for the nuclear restrictions to expire, as the Obama-era deal did. If Iran knows restrictions will expire, they’ll exploit that timeline.

It’s critical we take steps toward ending Iran’s nuclear weapons program. But the deal negotiated under President Obama infused Iran’s economy with financial resources without ultimately stopping their nuclear ambitions.

Read More

Noem: Not Done Yet

2018/08/03

The U.S. economy is booming right now. After years of snail’s-pace growth, it surged ahead 4.1 percent last quarter, which economists called a “blockbuster” and “rip-roaring” number. What’s more, worker pay reached the highest level since 2008, with wages, salaries, and benefits all increasing by significant margins.

This economic resurgence didn’t just happen, however. Over the last two years, we have dramatically reduced both taxes and regulations, giving families and businesses the freedom to grow they’ve been waiting for.

More specifically, since President Trump took office, we have dismantled 2,000+ regulations – one of the most significant government rollbacks in recent memory.

Additionally, the administration has dramatically slowed the creation of new regulations. According to the National Association of Manufacturers, “Compared to the Obama administration, during its first 18 months in office the Trump administration has approved 53.1 percent fewer new ‘major’ rules (i.e., those having an economic impact of $100 million or more…) and 64.4 percent fewer new ‘minor’ ones.”

The regulatory reversal has created a newfound hopefulness for many job creators. In fact, small businesses report in a National Federation of Independent Businesses survey that they are more optimistic today than at any point in the last three decades, setting the stage for continued growth.

Beyond the regulatory changes, President Trump signed the historic tax cuts bill I helped negotiate. As a result of the legislation, the average South Dakota family of four will see their after-tax incomes rise by $2,400. How? We made it so the first $24,000 a couple makes is now tax free. We doubled the Child Tax Credit to $2,000 per child. We eliminated the marriage penalty and built in pro-growth reforms that produced higher wages, lower utility bills, and a booming job market.

Just like Ronald Reagan did, we’ve proven the true value of tax cuts and deregulation. And we’re ready to do more. Right now, as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, I’m working on what we’re calling Tax Cuts 2.0. This legislation would lock in the tax cuts for families, help incentivize entrepreneurship, and much more.

The bottom line is this: We know what works. When we reduce the size, scope, and cost of government, ‘We the People’ have room to grow. I’m proud of what’s been accomplished so far, but we’re not done yet. Read More

Noem’s House-approved bill to uphold honesty at IRS advances to Senate

2018/07/30

U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem’s (R-SD) bipartisan bill, Ensuring Integrity in the IRS Workforce Act of 2018 unanimously passed the U.S. House of Representatives this week by voice vote.

“This bill puts commonsense oversight provisions on the agency handling our personal information and makes sure people who don’t respect taxpayer resources don’t work at the IRS,” said Rep. Noem following House approval of the bill.

H.R. 3500, which would prohibit the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) from rehiring employees previously fired for certain kinds of misconduct, has been referred for consideration to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, which is also reviewing the same-named S. 1643, introduced by U.S. Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) last July.

Rep. Noem first introduced the proposal during the 114th Congress. The House passed the measure, but the Senate did not, so the congresswoman reintroduced the bill on July 27, 2017, with Sen. Burr following suit in the Senate.

“I am hopeful the Senate will move quickly to put these practical protections in place,” she said earlier this week.

H.R. 3500, which has six cosponsors, including U.S. Reps. Peter Roskam (R-IL), Tom Rice (R-SC), Diane Black (R-TN), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), materialized after a U.S. Treasury Department investigation and report revealed that between January 2015 and March 2016, the IRS had rehired more than 200 former employees previously fired for misconduct or performance issues, according to Rep. Noem’s office.

For example, “one rehired employee had several misdemeanors for theft and a felony for possession of a forgery device,” according to the department’s 2017 report, and “two rehired employees had repeatedly falsified employment forms by omitting prior convictions or terminations.”

“South Dakota taxpayers shouldn’t have to worry that someone who has already been fired for mismanaging their hard-earned dollars will be hired again,” said Rep. Noem. “We need to know there is integrity in the IRS, and when they rehire people who have already mishandled our most sensitive data, that integrity is broken.”

Read More

Noem: Applying Lessons from Tax Reform to Healthcare

2018/07/26

In December, President Trump signed our historic tax cuts bill. As a result, the average South Dakota family of four will see their after-tax incomes rise by $2,400. How? We made it so the first $24,000 a couple makes is now tax free. We doubled the Child Tax Credit to $2,000 per child. We eliminated the marriage penalty and built in pro-growth reforms that produced higher wages, lower utility bills, and a booming job market.

Just like Ronald Reagan did in the 1980s, we’ve proven the true value of tax cuts and are ready to do even more. This July, we targeted additional tax cuts toward the healthcare system, passing a series of bills in the House to reduce Obamacare’s burden.

Under Obamacare, we pay a 2.3 percent tax on medical devices, which include everything from powered wheelchairs to replacement heart valves to examination gloves. This tax has led to an estimated 22,000 job losses between 2013 and 2015 and as much as a $2 billion reduction in research budgets. The House-passed bill, which I helped introduce, would repeal this tax.

Additionally, we passed provisions I wrote to delay the Health Insurance Tax (or HIT). This tax is supposedly paid by health insurance companies, but like any tax, consumers ultimately pay. The tax costs families and small businesses an estimated $400 per year, although the overall economic impact is much higher. According to one recent survey, 80 percent of respondents reported concerns about the HIT’s impact on small businesses and 74 percent said the tax “puts affordable health care further out of reach for hard-working Americans.”

As we pursue additional tax cuts, we also need to make sure the agency responsible for implementing them is accountable. The IRS has been plagued by scandal and mismanagement for years, and work to correct previous indiscretions continues. In late-July, the House passed legislation I authored to bring a bit more commonsense to the agency’s hiring and firing process.

In 2016, the Treasury Department reported that over a 15-month period, the IRS had rehired more than 200 people who had previously been terminated for misconduct or performance issues. Some had mishandled sensitive taxpayer information; others had abused taxpayer resources; one even had “DO NOT REHIRE” stamped on their employment folder and still was rehired.

We need to know there is integrity in the IRS, and when they rehire people who have already mishandled our most sensitive data, that trust is broken. My bill to prohibit this practice passed the House unanimously, so I’m hopeful we have the momentum needed to get through the Senate as well.

We’ve seen tax cuts work. In the last few months alone, economic growth has exploded, work opportunities have expanded, and wages have risen. The same principles that worked there will work in healthcare. I believe Obamacare needs to be repealed, and I’ve voted to do that. But until a majority of Congress can agree on repeal, we need to lift the tax burden on healthcare. 

Of course, we began doing that through tax reform by eliminating the individual mandate, but more must be done. With this recent legislation, the House has voted to remove two of the largest remaining Obamacare taxes. This, combined with my IRS integrity measures, would be yet another step in the right direction.

Read More

House Passes Noem Provision to Reduce Health Insurance Costs

2018/07/25

Today, Rep. Kristi Noem led the U.S. House of Representatives in passing a provision to delay Obamacare’s costly Health Insurance Tax (HIT) an additional two years. If enacted, the legislation could save families and small businesses as much as $400 each year in healthcare premium costs.

“Families and small businesses in South Dakota can’t afford the expensive insurance fees passed down to them because of Obamacare’s Health Insurance Tax,” said Noem. “Delaying the HIT is a commonsense fix that offers people immediate cost savings.”

“As a small business owner in South Dakota, I am grateful that our Congresswoman Kristi Noem has sponsored legislation to delay the HIT tax,” said Jerad Higman, owner of Masaba Inc. in Vermillion. “The HIT tax has raised the cost of healthcare premiums for my employees, but a two year delay of this tax will mean lower health care premiums and money that I can reinvest back into my company.”

“Since the HIT tax was passed alongside Obamacare, it has driven up healthcare costs for seniors, small business owners and their families,” said Dr. Bill Cohen, head of the American Pain Relief Institute in Yankton. “I’m thankful for Congresswoman Noem and the work she is doing to lower my healthcare costs and the healthcare costs of thousands of South Dakotans.”

The HIT is a direct tax on health insurance providers that could significantly drive up health insurance costs for more than 80,000 small businesses in South Dakota. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, this tax is passed on to consumers in the form of higher premiums and out-of-pocket costs. Additionally, researchers estimate that the HIT will cost between 152,000 and 286,000 jobs by 2023, with 57 percent of those lost jobs represented in small businesses. Noem successfully delayed the HIT in 2019 through legislative language she wrote and President Trump signed. She has also voted more than 50 times in support of repealing Obamacare, in part or in whole.

Noem’s HIT delay today passed as part of a larger House package to reduce healthcare costs and allow families to better save money for health-related expenses. More specifically, H.R. 6311 increases the amount that can be saved tax-free for health care and includes provisions allowing more choice for Health Savings Accounts. Earlier this week, the House also passed a bill, which Noem helped introduce, to repeal Obamacare’s 2.3 percent medical device tax.

Read More

Noem Joins Trump in Announcing New Market Opportunity for US Soybeans

2018/07/25

Rep. Kristi Noem today joined President Donald Trump in announcing that the European Union has agreed to import more U.S. soybeans. In a Rose Garden address, President Trump announced a “new phase” of the US-EU trade relationship, one in which the two economies would work toward “zero tariffs” on non-auto industrial goods.

“Markets around the globe are eager to buy our commodities, because there is no one who produces better quality products than American farmers and ranchers,” said Noem. “Today is a meaningful step toward restoring market access for producers, who have borne the brunt of China’s retaliatory tariffs. But we must keep charging forward with proposals to approve year-round E-15 and increase market access in the Asia-Pacific and beyond, among others. Farmers and ranchers don’t want to rely on aid packages, they crave new market opportunities, like the one secured today.”

As a member of the House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee, Noem has emerged as a leader on ag-related trade issues. Earlier this month, Noem welcomed Scott VanderWal, a Volga-area farmer and president of the South Dakota Farm Bureau, to testify before the Subcommittee on the impact of China’s retaliatory tariffs. The hearing gave Congress the opportunity to hear directly from producers about the effects of tariffs on U.S. agriculture and rural communities.

Furthermore, this spring, Noem led 46 members of the U.S. House of Representatives in a letter to President Trump on the issue. The letter warned: “All our hard-won gains in Farm Country are at serious risk of being wiped away because China is threatening retaliation against American farmers.” In July, she also partnered with Sens. John Thune and Mike Rounds in urging the Administration to prioritize ag producers.

Read More

Noem’s IRS Workforce Integrity Bill Passes House

2018/07/24

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed Rep. Kristi Noem’s legislation prohibiting the IRS from rehiring employees previously fired for certain kinds of misconduct. Noem’s Ensuring Integrity in the IRS Workforce Act comes after a Treasury Department investigation uncovered evidence proving the IRS rehired over 200 former employees between January 2015 and March 2016 who had been terminated for misconduct or performance issues.

“South Dakota taxpayers shouldn’t have to worry that someone who has already been fired for mismanaging their hard-earned dollars will be hired again,” said Noem. “We need to know there is integrity in the IRS, and when they rehire people who have already mishandled our most sensitive data, that integrity is broken. This bill puts commonsense oversight provisions on the agency handling our personal information and makes sure people who don’t respect taxpayer resources don’t work at the IRS. I am hopeful the Senate will move quickly to put these practical protections in place.”

The Treasury Department report found previously-fired employees had been rehired without investigation into previous performance issues. The report went on to detail examples of the misconduct that were overlooked:

  • “Two rehired employees had repeatedly falsified employment forms by omitting prior convictions or terminations.”
  • “Two rehired employees were previously terminated for failure to maintain a successful level of performance in multiple critical job elements as tax examining technicians. However, both of these employees were rehired as tax examining technicians less than six months later.”
  • “One rehired employee had several misdemeanors for theft and a felony for possession of a forgery device.”
  • “Another rehired employee had threatened his or her co-workers.”
  • “Three rehired employees had ‘excessive’ absence without leave for more than 270, 150, and 140 hours respectively.”

Noem first introduced the Ensuring Integrity in the IRS Workforce Act in the 114th Congress. While the bill passed the House with broad bipartisan consensus, the legislation did not receive a vote in the U.S. Senate before the 114th Congress closed. Noem reintroduced the bill on July 27, 2017.

Read More

Noem: Fighting for Farmers

2018/07/20

It’s been a tough few years for agriculture. Between a drought, hail, and low prices, net farm income has been cut in half the last four years.

The Farm Bill was designed to provide a safety net for our food supply during stretches like this. In 2014, we approved a five-year Farm Bill, which offered strong crop insurance and livestock disaster programs for producers. That legislation is now up for renewal, which we’re making steady progress on.

The House’s updated Farm Bill incorporates reforms I helped write to strengthen commodity programs. It also increases CRP acreage, updates the wetland determination process, and strengthens dairy policy. I’ve detailed many of these changes at noem.house.gov/FarmBill.

Because the Senate passed a separate version, we’re in the process of merging the two documents into a final proposal, and I’m hopeful we’ll be able to wrap up negotiations quickly.

The Farm Bill, however, is just one aspect of agriculture policy that we’re closely monitoring. For years, China has exploited the American people, and they need to be held accountable for that. But in recent months, farmers and ranchers have been forced to bear the burden of retaliatory tariffs.

In July, I invited Scott VanderWal, a Volga-area farmer and president of the South Dakota Farm Bureau, to testify before Congress about the impact of China’s trade and tariff threats. He explained: “We understand other countries, particularly China, have not played fairly, and we respect President Trump’s desire to remedy those situations. The problem is, those countries know just where to punch us back in a dispute by targeting our agriculture products. Through no fault of our own, and unintentionally, our industry ends up being used for leverage.”

I share these concerns and have personally expressed them to top administration officials and President Trump himself. In addition to phone calls and meetings, I wrote to President Trump this spring, warning that “All our hard-won gains in Farm Country are at serious risk of being wiped away because China is threatening retaliation against American farmers.”

Especially given the national security risks that would come if another country controls our food supply, the administration must help provide a strong safety net for America’s producers in the face of China’s retaliatory actions. Along with Senators Rounds and Thune, I urged President Trump in July to make U.S. agriculture exports a priority with our trading partners around the world and explained how recent market uncertainty has already cost South Dakota producers hundreds of millions of dollars. Farmers and ranchers simply can’t afford to be further entangled in global trade disputes.

While there were more than 200 rural congressional districts 50 years ago, just over 30 remain. There’s no doubt that creates a disconnect in Congress. So few understand that most producers take a loan out each year, bury that money in the ground in the form of seed and fertilizer, and hope – not only for a good yield – but for the right market conditions at the right time. It’s a tough business. But as a lifelong farmer and rancher, I get why folks do it and why we must fight for trade and agriculture policies that protect the safest, most reliable, and most abundant food supply in the world.

Read More

SD Farmer Testifies on Tariff Impact before Noem’s Committee

2018/07/18

Rep. Kristi Noem today welcomed Scott VanderWal, a Volga-area farmer and president of the South Dakota Farm Bureau, to testify on the impact of China’s retaliatory tariffs. Hosted by the House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee of which Noem is a member, the hearing gave Congress the opportunity to learn about the effects of tariffs on U.S. agriculture and rural communities.

“For years, China has exploited the American people, and they need to be held accountable for that. But farmers and ranchers can’t afford China’s retaliatory tariffs,” said Noem. “Especially given the national security risks that would come if another country controls our food supply, the administration must help provide a strong safety net for America’s producers. I am grateful to Scott VanderWal for sharing his perspective and hopeful it offered Congress a new perspective on the incredible burden producers are bearing.”

“Since 2014, the American farmer’s income has fallen 52 percent. Now, farmers are dealing with big shifts in the commodity markets because of trade and tariff threats,” said VanderWal. “We understand other countries, particularly China, have not played fairly, and we respect President Trump’s desire to remedy those situations. The problem is, those countries know just where to punch us back in a dispute by targeting our agriculture products. Through no fault of our own, and unintentionally, our industry ends up being used for leverage. We must get back to the table and get these issues worked out. If we cannot do that, the consequences are dire.”

This spring, Noem led 46 members of the U.S. House of Representatives in a letter to President Trump on the issue. The letter warned: “All our hard-won gains in Farm Country are at serious risk of being wiped away because China is threatening retaliation against American farmers.” In July, she also partnered with Sens. John Thune and Mike Rounds in urging the Administration to prioritize ag producers.

Read More

South Dakota Republicans seek market certainty for U.S. agriculture industry

2018/07/16

U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD) and U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-SD) and Mike Rounds (R-SD) want the president to prioritize the nation’s agricultural exports during negotiations with global trade partners in order to stabilize the struggling industry.

Recent market uncertainty already has cost South Dakota producers millions of dollars, according to the lawmakers, who pointed out that agriculture is the state’s No. 1 industry and the cornerstone of its economy.

In fact, South Dakota ranks among the nation’s top 10 states for producing cattle, hogs, corn, wheat, and soybeans with more than 11 million acres of the three crops planted in 2018, according to the lawmakers.

“Because of our state’s dependency on agriculture exports, our producers can no longer continue to ‘wait and see’ what happens with U.S. trade in the global arena. Trade uncertainty over just the past few months has cost South Dakota farmers and ranchers hundreds of millions of dollars they could not afford to lose,” the members wrote in a July 11 letter sent to President Donald Trump.

“Over the past several months, we have expressed serious concern that the steep drop in commodity and livestock prices linked to current U.S. trade policies and recently effectuated sanctions could push an alarming number of our state’s farms, ranches, and rural areas to the brink of economic collapse,” they warned.

While Rep. Noem and Sens. Thune and Rounds said they appreciated and supported the Trump administration’s efforts to address a broad spectrum of trade inequities, most notably in China, they said they did not support making agriculture exports – long considered the exception to such trade inequities, they wrote – “bear the brunt of retaliatory actions in response to current U.S. trade policies.”

“As you continue to pursue trade negotiations to address unfair trade practices and other trade barriers, we strongly urge you to make U.S. agricultural exports a priority of those negotiations and to negotiate with our trading partners to protect agriculture products from all existing and future tariffs,” the lawmakers wrote.

To bolster their case, the members cited recent information from CoBank, a national cooperative bank serving industries across rural America that provides loans, leases, export financing and other financial services to agribusinesses and rural power, water and communications providers. CoBank is a member of the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network of banks and retail lending associations chartered to support the borrowing needs of U.S. agriculture and the nation’s rural economy.

“Uncertainty around trade presents escalating concern to U.S. agriculture,” according to CoBank, which reported in its most recent Rural Economic Review that 70 percent of U.S. agriculture exports are to destinations that are in current negotiation or trade disputes.

Additionally, the members wrote, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Economic Research Service’s July 2 report noted that “lower commodity prices in the near future could likely further reduce farm receipts, making it more difficult for some farmers to meet their loan obligations and pay for production expenses.”

“Against this backdrop, the 2018 winter wheat harvest has begun in South Dakota, with other crop harvests to continue over the next four to five months,” the members wrote. “Harvest typically marks the beginning of a very critical period of economic uncertainty for farmers and ranchers in a normal year, as operating loans and production and harvest expenses are coming due before year’s end. Unfortunately, this uncertainty is now unnecessarily exacerbated by U.S. trade policies,” they wrote.

And even though President Trump has said publicly that the U.S. agriculture sector will survive through some form of USDA assistance, the members reminded him “that U.S. export market share is diminishing daily at an alarming rate, and history has proven that once lost, export markets can take years, even decades to recapture.”

“Given the already difficult market conditions for farmers and ranchers over the past several years, long-term damage to agricultural export opportunities is the last thing the industry needs,” they said.

Read More

Noem: Tackling Juvenile Diabetes

2018/07/13

Never underestimate the power of your story. That’s typically my advice when folks ask what they can do to influence policy. Just tell your story.

Each week, dozens of South Dakotans do.

In some cases, people will share how federal policy impacts their jobs or career fields. In other instances, they’ll offer up changes that could create more opportunity. But many times, they’ll talk about a challenge their family faces, recognizing many others likely face the same obstacle. That was the case when I met with a juvenile diabetes research advocate from South Dakota this summer.

It’s rare to find a family whose story hasn’t been touched by diabetes. In South Dakota alone, more than 40,000 people live with the disease, many of whom are children.

Three of my nephews were diagnosed young. Hunter learned he had Type I diabetes when he was just a year old, his brother was diagnosed a few years later, and Mitchell was diagnosed more recently. Growing up with juvenile diabetes has rarely been easy for them, but more often than not they’ve embraced the challenge, learning resilience, personal responsibility, and compassion for others. I’m pretty proud of them.

We’ve learned together, as a family, how to manage the disease, but it took time to make the necessary adjustments.  Nonetheless, the changes made a world of difference. Unfortunately, an estimated 21,000 South Dakotans aren’t even aware they have the disease, as it’s easy to cast aside the symptoms, which include extreme thirst, itchy skin, increased hunger, unexpected weight loss, or slow-healing wounds.  Some people also experience drowsiness or extreme nausea. If you or someone you love has experienced these signs, it’s important to consult a doctor.

Even in the short time since my nephews were diagnosed, new information about how to best manage diabetes has surfaced. And more investments are being made into research and biomedical innovation every day.

From a policy perspective, we’ve cut some of the burdensome red tape that had made it difficult for innovation to thrive. For instance, in 2016, the 21st Century Cures Act was signed into law. This landmark legislation removed regulatory burdens that slow the pace of scientific advancement and put patients at the heart of the regulatory review process. It also modernized clinical trials and streamlined processes that made it difficult to translate discoveries into FDA-approved treatments.

Many of these policy changes came because people were willing to tell of the challenges their families faced. Your experiences can have an incredible impact too, so never underestimate the power of your story.

Read More

Delegation Urges President to Prioritize U.S. Agriculture During Trade Negotiations

2018/07/11

U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) today strongly urged President Trump to make U.S. agriculture exports a priority with our trading partners around the world. Recent market uncertainty has already cost South Dakota producers hundreds of millions of dollars, and the delegation hopes this letter serves as a reminder to the president that this industry cannot afford to be further entangled in global trade disputes.    

“We appreciate and support your administration’s efforts to address a broad spectrum of trade inequities,” Thune, Rounds, and Noem wrote. “We do not support, however, making agriculture exports, which have been the exception to such trade inequities, bear the brunt of retaliatory actions in response to current U.S. trade policies … As you continue to pursue trade negotiations to address unfair trade practices and other trade barriers, we strongly urge you to make U.S. agricultural exports a priority of those negotiations and to negotiate with our trading partners to protect agriculture products from all existing and future tariffs.”

Full text of the letter is below:

Dear President Trump:

Over the past several months, we have expressed serious concern that the steep drop in commodity and livestock prices linked to current U.S. trade policies and recently effectuated sanctions could push an alarming number of our state’s farms, ranches, and rural areas to the brink of economic collapse.

According to a recent CoBank news release, “uncertainty around trade presents escalating concern to U.S. agriculture. Seventy percent of U.S. agriculture exports are to destinations that are in current negotiation or trade disputes, according to the most recent Rural Economic Review from CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange Division.” Further, a July 2, 2018, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Economic Research Service (ERS) report provides, “Lower commodity prices in the near future could likely further reduce farm receipts, making it more difficult for some farmers to meet their loan obligations and pay for production expenses.”

Against this backdrop, the 2018 winter wheat harvest has begun in South Dakota, with other crop harvests to continue over the next four to five months. Harvest typically marks the beginning of a very critical period of economic uncertainty for farmers and ranchers in a normal year, as operating loans and production and harvest expenses are coming due before year’s end. Unfortunately, this uncertainty is now unnecessarily exacerbated by U.S. trade policies.

Agriculture is South Dakota’s number one industry and the cornerstone of its economy. South Dakota ranks in the top ten states in producing cattle, hogs, corn, wheat, and soybeans with more than 11 million acres of these three crops planted in 2018. Because of our state’s dependency on agriculture exports, our producers can no longer continue to “wait and see” what happens with U.S. trade in the global arena. Trade uncertainty over just the past few months has cost South Dakota farmers and ranchers hundreds of millions of dollars they could not afford to lose.

We appreciate and support your administration’s efforts to address a broad spectrum of trade inequities. We do not support, however, making agriculture exports, which have been the exception to such trade inequities, bear the brunt of retaliatory actions in response to current U.S. trade policies.

Although you have stated that the agriculture sector will be taken care of through some form of USDA assistance, please keep in mind that U.S. export market share is diminishing daily at an alarming rate, and history has proven that once lost, export markets can take years, even decades to recapture. Given the already difficult market conditions for farmers and ranchers over the past several years, long-term damage to agricultural export opportunities is the last thing the industry needs.

As you continue to pursue trade negotiations to address unfair trade practices and other trade barriers, we strongly urge you to make U.S. agricultural exports a priority of those negotiations and to negotiate with our trading partners to protect agriculture products from all existing and future tariffs.

Read More

Noem: Advocating for Accountability

2018/07/06

Just over six months ago, taxpayers got a new tax code. It’s led to tremendous economic growth along with higher wages and better benefits for many. But alongside a new tax code, you deserve a new, more accountable IRS.

There’s no question the IRS has been broken for some time. We’ve seen repeated instances of mismanagement and abuse. In response, I’ve pushed to get rid of an IRS slush fund in order to give taxpayers greater say over how IRS-collected fees are used. We’ve passed legislation to end bonuses to IRS employees until the agency starts to fix its terrible customer service record. And we’ve enacted new accountability measures to make sure taxpayers are never again targeted for their political beliefs.

Most recently, I’ve led efforts to prohibit the IRS from rehiring employees who had already been fired for misconduct. It seems like common sense: if someone is fired for falsifying documents or violating a client’s privacy, they shouldn’t be rehired. But at the IRS, hundreds of employees – including those who’ve mistreated taxpayer data – have been rehired, jeopardizing the privacy of our most sensitive financial information.

Concerns about this hiring practice began building in 2016 when the Treasury Department released a report showing the IRS had rehired more than 200 individuals who had previously been terminated for misconduct or performance issues over a 15-month period. Among other findings, the Treasury Department reported two rehired employees had falsified employment forms by omitting former convictions. Another had been terminated for threatening coworkers. And yet another had “DO NOT REHIRE” stamped on their employment folder after missing about eight weeks’ worth of work. Additionally, more than 100 were rehired after losing their job because of poor performance.

What’s more, about one in five of the rehired employees had new performance issues when they returned to the IRS, according to the federal report. And still, the IRS has shown a complete disregard for changing the practice. Instead, the agency claims that prior conduct or performance issues do not play a significant role in deciding the candidates they choose to hire.

This is not how you responsibly run an agency - especially one that handles sensitive financial information.

The legislation I introduced is practical and straightforward and forces the IRS to adopt commonsense employment practices. More specifically, it strictly prohibits the rehiring of employees previously fired for certain forms of misconduct, particularly those that pose a threat to the privacy of our taxpayer information.

My bill originally passed two years ago in the House, but the Senate wasn’t able to act on the legislation before the end of the congressional session. As such, I reintroduced it and was glad to see the House Ways and Means Committee gave my legislation unanimous support in late June. Next, it will be voted on in the full House, where I’m optimistic it will earn widespread support before again landing on the Senate’s doorstep.

The IRS should work as a customer-service agency. Its employees should treat you with respect and your taxpayer information with the reverence it deserves too. Without question, we have a long way to go to repair this broken, mismanaged agency. But I’m hopeful that reform by reform we can make the IRS genuinely accountable to you.

Read More

Noem: Tax Reform: Six Months In

2018/06/29

A little over six months ago, we finalized one of the largest tax cuts ever delivered to the American people. Families saw the Child Tax Credit double from $1,000 to $2,000 and the marriage penalty eliminated, while still being able to benefit from the Child Care Credit. For couples, the first $24,000 they make every year is now tax free. Family farmers and ranchers can invest in their operations with greater confidence. And small businesses in every industry can take advantage of a new, never-before-given 20 percent tax deduction.

For some, it’s all the little ways tax reform helps their family. I had a mom come up to me recently; she just wanted to say that because of the tax cuts, her son could get a new pair of basketball shoes. That extra money gave her family the peace of mind they needed.

In total, the average South Dakota family of four will save $2,400 on their taxes this year, but the direct savings are only part of the benefits people are experiencing. For instance, utility companies, like Black Hills Energy, are passing savings down to their customers, helping mitigate the cost of electricity.

Many families also received raises, bonuses and improved benefits. AaLadin Industries in Elk Point offered bonuses of up to $1,000 to their employees, while announcing they’d be investing $1-2 million back into the business to grow. Great Western Bank, meanwhile, announced they would increase their base wage to $15/hour, offer a meaningful pay raise to 70 percent of their workforce, and put more money into community projects. Ryder in Sioux Falls and Rapid City offered bonuses too. And the list could go on.

Megacompanies made new investments in South Dakota families as well. Walmart expanded maternity and paternity leave, while offering $2.1 million in cash bonuses to South Dakota employees. AT&T gave $1,000 bonuses to nearly 200 people in the state. Lowe’s, which employs hundreds of South Dakotans, awarded bonuses and added adoption assistance to their benefit package. Comcast gave bonuses. T.J.Maxx gave bonuses. Again, the list could go on. 

Needless to say, for just over six months, we’ve seen tax reform work. Whether families started getting bigger paychecks, better benefits, lower utility bills, or more work opportunities, a positive economic shift was felt from the onset – a shift I’m optimistic we’ve only seen the beginning of.

Read More

Thune, Rounds, and Noem Express Support for New East River Veteran Cemetery

2018/06/28

U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) today, in a letter to U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Undersecretary for Memorial Affairs Randy C. Reeves, expressed their support for the South Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs’ application to establish a new veterans cemetery in Sioux Falls.

“We write in support of the South Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs’ (SDDVA) application for the establishment of a new veterans cemetery in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, through the Veterans Cemetery Grant Program,” the delegation wrote. “We respectfully ask that the National Cemetery Administration (NCA) give strong consideration to the SDDVA’s application when determining NCA’s priority list for fiscal year 2019. As the Congressional delegation for the state, we echo the hopes of regional veterans and their loved ones to one day establish a solemn testament to the service and sacrifice of South Dakota’s veterans.”

Additional information on the Veterans Cemetery Grant Program can be found here.

Full text of the letter is below:

Dear Under Secretary Reeves:

We write in support of the South Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs’ (SDDVA) application for the establishment of a new veterans cemetery in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, through the Veterans Cemetery Grant Program. We respectfully ask that the National Cemetery Administration (NCA) give strong consideration to the SDDVA’s application when determining NCA’s priority list for fiscal year 2019. As the Congressional delegation for the state, we echo the hopes of regional veterans and their loved ones to one day establish a solemn testament to the service and sacrifice of South Dakota’s veterans. 

South Dakota has a proud history of military service by the men and women of our state. Over 8.3 percent of the state has answered the call to serve, and we have over 72,000 veterans living in and contributing to our communities.  Of these, approximately 50,000 reside in the eastern part of the state, with over 42,000 living within a 75-mile radius of Sioux Falls. While many of these veterans are eligible for burial benefits in distant national cemeteries, this benefit is seldom put to use. The nearest national cemeteries for those in the eastern part of the state are located in Sturgis, South Dakota, which is over 360 miles to the west of Sioux Falls, and Ft. Snelling, Minnesota, which is over 220 miles beyond the state line. An NCA grant to establish an “East River” veterans cemetery would provide a peaceful resting place to honor and remember these veterans.

The city of Sioux Falls has pledged up to 50 acres of land to be gifted to the state of South Dakota for the construction of a state veterans cemetery, and legislation authorizing its establishment and funding have been approved by the South Dakota State Legislature. A veterans cemetery would help ensure our veterans receive the recognition they deserve for their selfless service and permit them to be laid to rest with honor next to their fellow service members.

Thank you for your consideration of the SDDVA’s grant application. We appreciate NCA’s effort to ensure that all of America’s veterans are dignified and honored.

Read More

SD Delegation Encourages President to Quickly Approve Disaster Declaration for Three Counties

2018/06/27

South Dakota’s Congressional delegation is asking President Trump to quickly sign Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s major disaster declaration request for Campbell, McPherson and Walworth counties.

In a letter to the President, Sens. John Thune and Mike Rounds and Rep. Kristi Noem expressed their support for the request. If approved, federal disaster assistance would help communities recover from severe thunderstorms and flash flooding which caused significant damage between May 17 and May 18.

We applaud the work of federal, state, county, and local entities in response to the storm system, as their efforts helped to mitigate the immediate impacts of the storm,” the delegation wrote. “However, the impact to public infrastructure across the three counties is severe. As Governor Daugaard indicated in his request, the storm was of ‘such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the state and the affected local governments, and supplemental federal assistance is necessary.’ This determination was reached on the basis of preliminary damage assessment completed by the state in cooperation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.” 

Read More

Delegation Encourages President to Quickly Approve South Dakota Disaster Declaration

2018/06/26

U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) today, in a letter to President Trump, expressed their strong support for South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s request for a major disaster declaration that would cover Campbell, McPherson, and Walworth counties in South Dakota. If approved, the federal disaster assistance would help communities recover from severe thunderstorms and flash flooding that occurred between May 17 and May 18, which caused significant damage.

“We applaud the work of federal, state, county, and local entities in response to the storm system, as their efforts helped to mitigate the immediate impacts of the storm,” the delegation wrote. “However, the impact to public infrastructure across the three counties is severe.  As Governor Daugaard indicated in his request, the storm was of ‘such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the state and the affected local governments, and supplemental federal assistance is necessary.’ This determination was reached on the basis of preliminary damage assessment completed by the state in cooperation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.”

Full text of the letter is below:

Dear President Trump:

As the congressional delegation from the state of South Dakota, we write to express our support for Governor Dennis Daugaard’s June 14, 2018, request for a major disaster declaration covering the South Dakota counties of Campbell, McPherson, and Walworth. This declaration request would assist recovery efforts from severe thunderstorms and flash flooding that occurred between May 17 and May 18, 2018.

The storms caused significant damage to public infrastructure in the three affected counties. More than 13 inches of rain fell along a storm line from Selby to Long Lake, South Dakota. The heavy rain resulted in severe overland flooding, and multiple county roads were submerged and had to be barricaded by local officials to ensure public safety.  The 27-foot-tall Lake Hiddenwood Dam at Hiddenwood State Park in Walworth County was breached due to the heavy rain, and the entire reservoir was drained. Water from the dam flowed for miles toward Sand Lake, located near the Campbell and Walworth county border. Counties suffered damages ranging from $21.74 per capita in McPherson County to an overwhelming $556.89 per capita in Walworth County. Your approval of the request for a disaster declaration will accelerate recovery across the affected areas.

We applaud the work of federal, state, county, and local entities in response to the storm system, as their efforts helped to mitigate the immediate impacts of the storm. However, the impact to public infrastructure across the three counties is severe. As Governor Daugaard indicated in his request, the storm was of “such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the state and the affected local governments, and supplemental federal assistance is necessary.” This determination was reached on the basis of preliminary damage assessment completed by the state in cooperation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. 

We respectfully request that you expeditiously review Governor Daugaard’s request and declare a major disaster for relevant areas of our state. We would be pleased to offer any assistance that you may require in fulfilling this request.

Thank you for your consideration of this important matter. Please do not hesitate to contact any of us if we can provide you with additional information.

Read More

House committee passes Noem’s bill prohibiting rehiring of formerly fired IRS employees

2018/06/26

The U.S. House Ways and Means Committee has approved a proposal from U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD) that would prohibit the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) from rehiring former employees who had been fired for specific misconduct.

“If a person is fired for falsifying information or mishandling sensitive taxpayer data, it’s common sense that individuals should not be rehired. Nonetheless, the IRS has done this repeatedly,” said Rep. Noem, referring to a 2017 U.S. Treasury Department report that the IRS rehired more than 200 former employees between January 2015 and March 2016 who had been terminated for misconduct or performance issues.

In response, Rep. Noem last July introduced the bipartisan Ensuring Integrity in the IRS Workforce Act of 2017, H.R. 3500, which has six cosponsors, including U.S. Reps. Peter Roskam (R-IL), Tom Rice (R-SC), Diane Black (R-TN), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ).

“This bill makes significant headway in bringing genuine accountability and oversight to the agency responsible for handling our most sensitive financial data,” said Rep. Noem, a member of the Ways and Means Committee.

Receiving committee approval by voice vote on June 22, the congresswoman added, “I’m hopeful we can move this solution forward quickly.”

Specifically, H.R. 3500 would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to prohibit the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service from rehiring any IRS employee who was involuntarily separated from service for misconduct, according to the draft text of the bill in the congressional record. No additional federal funds would be authorized to carry out provisions of the proposed bill, according to the text.

Former federal employees who wouldn’t be eligible for rehire would include anyone removed for misconduct under chapters 43 or 75 of title 5 of the United States Code, or whose employment was terminated under section 1203 of the Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998, according to the text.

A similar version of H.R. 3500 unanimously passed the House Ways and Means Committee during the last session of Congress, as well as the full U.S. House, said committee member Rep. Noem during its June 21 markup session on the measure. However, the former bill never advanced in the U.S. Senate.

“This Congress, we’ve made some small changes to the bill to address some of my colleagues’ concerns and I hope they will continue to support this bill in its new form,” she said.

Because IRS employees work with some of Americans’ most-sensitive personal information, including Social Security Numbers, Rep. Noem said “it’s critical that these employees who are in positions of public trust can be relied on to take that role seriously.” H.R. 3500 would ensure “all new IRS employees fit that standard,” she told committee members.

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration in 2015 first brought to light flaws in the hiring practices at the IRS, highlighting examples such as the rehiring of former employees who had failed to pay their own taxes, for instance, or who had accessed taxpayers’ personal information without permission, Noem said.

“The IRS shrugged off the audit saying its hiring practices were good enough,” the congresswoman said, adding that H.R. 3500 is “a simple, bipartisan fix to this problem.”

The bill now heads to the full House for a vote.

Read More

Noem Applauds SCOTUS Decision Protecting Pro-Life Pregnancy Centers’ First Amendment Rights

2018/06/26

Rep. Kristi Noem today applauded a U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the First Amendment rights of pro-life pregnancy centers. The case, National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) v. Becerra, came after California attempted to force pro-life pregnancy centers to post a notice that the state provides free or low-cost abortions as well as a phone number to access those abortions. Earlier this year, Noem formally petitioned the Court on behalf of the pro-life pregnancy centers through an amicus brief.

“No law should force a person or organization to deny their deeply held religious convictions,” said Noem. “The Supreme Court’s conclusion reinforces the First Amendment rights to which every American is entitled, and in doing so, better enables pro-life pregnancy centers to provide straightforward, life-affirming care to women.”

Read More

Noem research provisions pass in House-approved anti-opioid bill

2018/06/25

The U.S. House passed legislation this week containing proposed provisions from U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD) that aim to increase federal research on mental health resources for the nation’s senior citizens.

“Millions of Medicare recipients lack adequate access to mental health services, which are critical for aging Americans,” said Rep. Noem, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee. “I’m hopeful that by taking a data-driven approach, we can quickly and accurately target resources in a way that does the most good with the fewest amount of taxpayer dollars.”

The House passed six pieces of legislation from the Ways and Means Committee as part of a broader House effort to combat the opioid crisis.

Rep. Noem’s provisions stem from the bipartisan H.R. 5790, which she and U.S. Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) introduced on May 15. The measure would amend Title XI of the Social Security Act to provide for clinical psychologist services models to be tested by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI), according to the congressional record summary.

Specifically, H.R. 5790 would authorize two studies regarding Medicare recipients’ access to mental health professionals, according to a statement from Rep. Noem’s office. One would direct CMMI to study the use of a 24/7 telephone help line staffed by medical professionals; the other would require research and improvement recommendations from the Government Accountability Office on Medicare beneficiaries’ access to clinical psychologists.

The provisions were included in the larger, House-approved bill, the bipartisan Dr. Todd Graham, Pain Management, Treatment, and Recovery Act of 2018, H.R. 6110, originally introduced by U.S. Reps. Jackie Walorski (R-IN) and Chu on June 14.

H.R. 6110, which includes language from several House bills, would amend Title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide for the review and adjustment of payments under the Medicare outpatient prospective payment system to avoid financial incentives to use opioids instead of non-opioid alternative treatments, among other provisions, according to draft text of the bill in the congressional record.

H.R. 6110 has been received by the U.S. Senate, which referred the proposal for consideration to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee.

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

Ways and Means

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