The mission statement in my office begins like this: “We are placed in our positions to serve the people of South Dakota…” Not a day goes by that I don’t remember what an honor it is to serve you in the U.S. House of Representatives.  You have a right to know what I’ve been working on and the successes we’ve had for South Dakota.  As you scroll through the items below, I hope you have a chance to learn a little more about real results I’m working to produce for our great state.  If you have any further questions, just click the Contact button above and send me an email.  Hope to see you soon!

- Kristi

Creating Opportunity through Government Reform

Cutting Wasteful Government Spending. Discretionary spending is now below 2011 levels, but discretionary spending – or that which Congress has control of through the appropriations process – makes up just one-third of the federal budget.  The other two-thirds is “mandatory,” funding entitlement programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.  We must make responsible reforms in these areas to ensure their long-term viability and get our national debt crisis under control.

Protecting South Dakotans from Tax Hikes.  As a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, I was proud to help shape once-in-a-generation tax reform with the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. It was the honor of a lifetime to serve on the final negotiating team. This historic legislation is designed to strengthen families and build a stronger future for all South Dakotans. To learn more about how tax reform may impact your family or business, please visit

Passing into Law Meaningful Entitlement Reforms.  In 2015, we fundamentally changed the way doctors are reimbursed by Medicare, strengthening the program for recipients, extending the longevity of Medicare, and saving taxpayer dollars. This was one of the most meaningful entitlement reforms in nearly two decades.

Reducing the Federal Government’s Role in Education.   I was proud to see the first major education overhaul since 2002 passed in the 114th Congress. Through bipartisan legislation, we eliminated dozens of ineffective, duplicative, and unnecessary programs and replaced them with a single grant program that gives states more flexibility.  I also made sure the federal government could no longer pressure states into adopting specific academic standards, such as Common Core.

Holding the IRS accountable. In 2016, my bill, the Ensuring Integrity in the IRS Workforce Act passed the House. This would prohibit the IRS from rehiring an employee that has been fired because of misconduct. Prior to that, I helped lead the House in passing into law legislation requiring that IRS employees who take politically motivated actions against taxpayers be fired. 

Getting the Economy Booming Again

Fighting to Repeal and Replace Obamacare.  For years, we have fought to offer relief to those hurt worst by Obamacare, but even after the tweaks, the law remains beyond repair. Obamacare must be repealed. I supported the House-passed American Health Care Act, which repealed Obamacare and replaced it with a patient-centered system. Unfortunately, it was not passed by the Senate. Still, in tax reform, we were able to repeal Obamacare’s individual mandate, freeing families to make more of their own health care decisions. I remain committed, however, to fully repealing Obamacare.

Enacting the 2014 Farm Bill.  I helped lead Congress in negotiating and passing the 2014 Farm Bill, equipping farmers and ranchers with essential risk-management tools, including a strong safety net for producers and a meaningful livestock disaster program.  Additionally, language I wrote was included to support pine beetle mitigation efforts that help protect the Black Hills, maintained the Sun Grant Initiative (which SDSU takes part in), established a permanent Office of Tribal Relations at USDA, and created important sod-saver provisions to promote conservation.

Supporting Our Infrastructure.  With my support, Congress passed into law a long-term highway bill for the first time in more than a decade. The highway bill gives local teams more flexibility to address their unique priorities and offers state and local governments the certainty they need to plan and conduct necessary maintenance on our intricate network of roads, bridges, and railways.

Stopping Needless Washington Regulations.  Together with President Trump, we have seen one of the largest regulatory rollbacks in history. By the end of 2017, more than 1,600 Obama-era regulations had been eliminated from the books. We also hit pause on others, such as the disastrous Waters of the U.S. rule. But even prior to President Trump, when the Department of Labor offered a proposal which could have banned kids from being hired to do certain farm work on their family’s or relative’s farms, I put pressure on the Department, after which they rescinded the rule.  When OSHA tried to regulate small family farms, I again was effective in getting the agency to reverse course.  When the EPA was looking to expand dust regulations, I authored legislation to stop them.  We’ve had successes, but we can’t take our foot off the gas.

Protecting the Most Vulnerable

Defending the Unborn. President Trump has been a strong partner in protecting life. His appointment of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, for instance, was a critical win for the pro-life cause. President Trump also signed legislation I backed empowering states to defund Planned Parenthood. Additionally, the House passed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would prohibit abortion once a baby can feel pain (approximately 20 weeks). While I believe life begins at conception (and have backed legislation that would define life as such), I was pleased to get the House to move a step in the right direction. I also helped introduce the House-passed No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, which prohibits taxpayer-funded abortions as well as taxpayer-funded subsidies for healthcare plans covering elective abortions.

Addressing Human Trafficking. Human trafficking doesn’t just occur overseas – it happens in our backyards.  In May 2015, I led the House in passing one of the most comprehensive anti-trafficking packages Congress has seen in years. The legislation, which was signed into law weeks later, allocates more resources for survivors, offers more tools to go after traffickers and buyers, and puts policies in place to better prevent trafficking. 

Strengthening National Security by Bringing Women to the Table. We live in an extremely volatile and dangerous world, and our national security often relies on the success of ongoing peace negotiations. Women have proven to be influential forces in producing lasting peace within communities, yet are often underrepresented at the negotiating table. In 2017, President Trump signed the Women, Peace and Security Act, which establishes women’s participation as a permanent element of U.S. foreign policy under congressional oversight. I’m hopeful it will produce more sustainable outcomes during future conflict resolution and peace negotiation processes.

Combating Sexual Assault in the Military.  In 2013, three provisions I authored were included in our annual defense policy bill, which became law later that year.  The legislation aimed to improve the investigation of sex-related offenses, require sexual assault prevention personnel to have certain qualifications, and standardize basic training plans for sexual assault. 

Reforming the Mental Healthcare System. I cosponsored House-passed legislation that aims to break down barriers for families to work with healthcare providers, helping ensure they can be partners in caring for those with serious mental illnesses.  The legislation also makes meaningful advances in tele-psychiatry to better reach underserved and rural communities. In 2015, I brought the legislation’s author to Pine Ridge to meet with those fighting the tribal suicide epidemic.  Because of our collaboration, new provisions were included to help support and prioritize Native American suicide programs.

Making South Dakota a National Priority

Protecting the Second Amendment. For most of American history, firearms were integral to the way we lived. People understood how to use them and taught their children how to as well. In South Dakota, that way of life still exists. I’m really proud of that, and I will always fight to protect it. While we have some concealed carry reciprocity agreements on the books in South Dakota, the House passed legislation I cosponsored that would extend the policy nationwide to better protect the right to bear arms.

Fighting for the Hot Springs VA Hospital. The Hot Springs VA Hospital has long provided critical care to South Dakota veterans, but the VA continues to push toward closing the facility.  Time and again, the House has supported initiatives I authored to protect the Hot Springs VA Hospital, and I will continue to make the facility and the veterans it serves a priority.

Holding the Army Corps of Engineers Accountable.   I authored provisions included in a recent water policy bill to require better communication between the Corps and the public.  Additionally, the bill included language I championed that would prohibit the Corps from charging South Dakotans for surplus water taken from Missouri River reservoirs.  This bill was made law in June 2014.   

Fighting to Reform the Indian Health Service (IHS). For years, federal reports have documented shocking cases of mismanagement and poorly delivered care within IHS. I've introduced comprehensive legislation that offers structural changes to how IHS operates, addressing both medical and administrative challenges. I'm committed to working together to move these legislative reforms forward and make immediate agency-level changes to ensure tribal members finally receive the care their families need.

Protecting Tribal Sovereignty.  The last thing tribes need when trying to improve economic opportunities for their citizens is a federal bureaucracy meddling with their efforts.  I wrote bipartisan language, which passed the House in 2018, to clarify that the National Labor Relations Board does not have jurisdiction over tribally owned and operated businesses.

Preserving Historic Black Hills Cemeteries.  The Black Hills is home to nine historic cemeteries.  To honor the communities that have been caring for the cemeteries for generations and to reduce liabilities for the U.S. Forest Service, I worked to pass legislation that would turn federal ownership of these cemeteries to their rightful owners – the communities that maintain them.  This legislation was signed into law in 2014.

Protecting the Lewis & Clark Project.  Year after year, the President’s budget underfunds the federal government’s commitment to the Lewis & Clark Rural Water System. I helped create a Rural Water Fund in 2013, which has given additional support to Lewis & Clark and other critical rural water projects.

Expanding the Black Hills National Cemetery. Those who have served and the families who have sacrificed beside them deserve our nation's eternal gratitude. Since 1948, the Black Hills National Cemetery has been but one way this appreciation is shown. The facility, however, will not have the room required to continue serving veterans unless it is expanded. I introduced legislation, which passed the House, to approximately triple the cemetery's size, assuring veterans that our nation will forever show its gratitude for their contributions.

Holding the VA Accountable. While I've heard from many South Dakota veterans who are happy with their VA experience in the state, others have told me they've waited months - years in extreme cases - to receive care. I was proud to support legislation to expand whistleblower protections within the VA and streamline the process required to fire any VA employee. President Trump signed the legislation in June 2017.

Combating the Pine Beetle Epidemic.  I wrote a provision in the Farm Bill that gives more tools to combat insect and disease infestations, like those affecting the Black Hills.  Rather than treating only hundreds of acres at a time, this language empowers our foresters to go after thousands of acres at once and work more quickly and effectively. Additionally, I helped secure $3.5 million in additional funds for the fight in the Black Hills over the years and streamline the regulatory process so we can get boots on the ground faster.

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