John Thune

The U.S. Capitol building is seen on Oct. 22, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Congressional Roundup: Watchdog group rates effectiveness of SD delegation

BY: - March 25, 2023

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the latest installment in a series of periodic updates on the activities of South Dakota’s congressional delegation. All three of the people representing South Dakota in Congress are among the most effective in their party, according to new scores published by a congressional watchdog group. In its “effectiveness scores” for the […]

Sen. Mike Rounds, R-South Dakota, participates in a Senate Banking Committee hearing in March 2023. (Screenshot from committee hearing video)

Congressional Roundup: Sustainability vs. safety

BY: - March 17, 2023

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first in a series of periodic updates on the activities of South Dakota’s congressional delegation. A new bill from Sen. Mike Rounds, R-South Dakota, would take money away from sustainability efforts in schools and redirect it to school safety. The bill takes aim at $500 million in funding appropriated by […]

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks at a 2022 press conference following Senate Republicans' vote on their leadership for the next Congress. From left behind McConnell are GOP Sens. Joni Ernst, John Barrasso, John Thune and Shelley Moore Capito. (Photo by Jennifer Shutt)

U.S. Senate opens a new session with a record set by McConnell

BY: - January 3, 2023

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer welcomed reelected and newly elected senators Tuesday afternoon to a new session of Congress, highlighting the bipartisan success of the previous two years and outlining his optimism for a continued approach.    “There’s no reason why the success of the last two years needs to end today,” Schumer, […]

The Capitol in Washington, D.C. (Seth Tupper/South Dakota Searchlight)

Same-sex marriage protected under bill passed by U.S. Senate with GOP support

BY: - November 29, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate approved legislation Tuesday that would enshrine protections for same-sex and interracial marriages, codifying many of the rights that would disappear if the U.S. Supreme Court were to overturn those landmark decisions the way it overturned the nationwide right to an abortion this summer.  The 61-36 bipartisan vote sends the bill […]

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) listens as U.S. Senate Minority Whip Sen. John Thune (R-SD) speaks to reporters following a weekly Republican policy luncheon at the U.S. Capitol on Oct. 19, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

McConnell re-elected U.S. Senate GOP leader, fending off bid by Florida’s Rick Scott

BY: - November 16, 2022

WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans overwhelmingly re-elected Mitch McConnell on Wednesday as their leader for the next Congress, though nearly a dozen members backed Florida Sen. Rick Scott’s attempt to usurp McConnell. Scott’s bid, which he launched Tuesday during an hours-long discussion among Senate Republicans about the future of their party amid disappointing results in the […]

John Thune will serve a fourth term as a South Dakota senator

BY: - November 8, 2022

Sen. John Thune will serve a historic fourth term as the senior United States senator from South Dakota – a seat to which he was first elected in 2004 – despite his challengers’ attempts to paint him as a creature of Washington. “Only in America can an ordinary kid from Murdo, SD have the opportunity to […]

A vote-here sign, pictured on Nov. 8, 2022, at the All Souls Church on Cliff Avenue in Sioux Falls. (Joshua Haiar/South Dakota Searchlight)

LIVE Coverage: Election 2022

BY: - November 8, 2022

Voters headed to the polls Tuesday across all 66 counties in South Dakota. They cast ballots for Governor, U.S. Senator, U.S. Congressman, and decided on statewide candidates for offices like Secretary of State and Public Utilities Commissioner. On the local level, 105 seats in the South Dakota Senate and House of Representatives were up for […]

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem speaks to supporters on Nov. 7, 2022, in Rapid City. (Kevin Eilbeck for South Dakota Searchlight)

Campaigns make final pitches to South Dakota voters

BY: - November 7, 2022

Campaigns made their final pitches to voters on Monday ahead of an election that will see South Dakotans decide on a governor and other statewide offices, as well as the legal status of recreational marijuana and the expansion of Medicaid. Incumbent Republican Gov. Kristi Noem and her opponent, Democrat Jamie Smith, traversed the state over […]

Republican incumbent Sen. John Thune (center) faced off with Democrat Brian Bengs (left) and Libertarian Tamara Lesnar (right) in a televised debate on South Dakota Public Broadcasting, co-hosted by Dakota News Now.

Abortion, inflation, farm policy explored in only U.S. Senate debate

BY: - November 4, 2022

SIOUX FALLS — Three candidates for South Dakota’s lone U.S. Senate seat sparred over the causes and remedies for inflation, veteran’s affairs, immigration and abortion policy on Friday, but found common ground on meat packing monopolies.  Republican incumbent Sen. John Thune faced off with Democrat Brian Bengs and Libertarian Tamara Lesnar in the televised debate, […]

U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds, R-South Dakota, speaks during a Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee hearing on Jan. 27, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Photo Sarah Silbiger-Pool/Getty Images)

Rounds belongs to private investment club that owns 10 Midwestern hotels, disclosure shows

BY: - October 25, 2022

U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds tops the list for minimum net worth among members of the South Dakota congressional delegation, with a portion of his assets held in a private investment club that owns hotel properties throughout the Midwest, a review of lawmakers’ current financial disclosure statements shows. Part of Rounds’ wealth is invested in funds […]