Congressman Dusty Johnson reflects on the past year as 2021 comes to a close
RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - A Year in Review
Statement By Rep. Dusty Johnson
December 31, 2021
As my third year in Congress comes to a close, I have been reflecting on all that has happened in the short span of a year. I started off the year being sworn in for my second term as South Dakota’s lone representative and was appointed to two committees—the Agriculture Committee and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. These two committees are critical for the progress of South Dakota and played a vital role for our country as we have dealt with the impacts of a global pandemic, issues with the supply chain, and inflation.
Since January 3rd, 2021, Congress has been nothing short of eventful. Just days in, we witnessed an attack on the Capitol Building. This shifted the tone in Washington and created an even more difficult environment. I’ve spent the year identifying solutions to real problems facing our nation and building coalitions to support solid policies, even in a hyper-partisan atmosphere. I believe this attitude has allowed me to get bills across the finish line that would’ve been stalled otherwise.
In August, I was proud to be named the most transparent and accountable Republican Member of Congress by the Congressional Management Foundation, as well as the most effective on agriculture policy.
My main priority as your representative is South Dakota. I’ve taken several hundred meetings with South Dakotans while in Washington. In the last year, I’ve toured hundreds of local businesses, hosted dozens of townhalls, and met with hundreds of community leaders throughout our great state. A byproduct of long days and meetings with local business owners and officials are more than twenty pieces of legislation that I introduced, four of which have been passed by the House and are awaiting action in the Senate.
South Dakota experienced a lot of supply chain issues this year, as did most of the world. From backlogged ports to a shortage of truck drivers, high demand and low supply, prices skyrocketed and empty space on store shelves were a common sight. I’ve been working to combat the delays and price hikes with the Ocean Shipping Reform Act, the biggest overhaul of federal maritime policy since 1998, which would ease backlogs at ports in America. The Ocean Shipping Reform Act passed the House in December and is on track to be passed by the Senate in the new year. This legislation puts South Dakota consumers, small businesses, farmers, ranchers, and American manufacturers first and addresses anti-competitive and unfair practices on behalf of foreign flagged ocean carriers.
Additionally, supply chain issues have caused problems for many meat packers and butchers in South Dakota. This is why I introduced the Butcher Block Act, which would rebalance the cattle market by easing regulatory barriers and offering USDA-backed meat processing grants for small processors looking to expand or add shackle space.
While things started to get back to normal over the summer and the nation experienced job openings that remain unfilled despite high unemployment rates, I introduced the Get Americans Back to Work Act. This legislation would remove the additional federal unemployment benefit, incentivizing those who are unemployed to get back to work, benefiting local and national economies.
I’m tremendously proud of the work South Dakota’s congressional office has accomplished this year, and I hope you are, too. I look forward to seeing how we can continue to serve you in 2022.
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