Noem on Defense, Insists Ways and Means Is Greener Pasture than Agriculture

State Rep. Paula Hawks has U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem playing defense. In response to the Democratic U.S. House candidate’s criticism of her abdication from the House Agriculture Committee, our incumbent Congresswoman has been insisting at every stop on her recess tour that her work on House Ways and Means is much more important.

In Watertown last week, Rep. Noem asserted that “all of the ag organizations in the state advocated and supported me getting on the Ways and Means Committee”:

“It was a decision we talked about extensively with them before I worked to get on the committee. The Ways and Means Committee impacts taxes, trade and the regulatory environment that our ag producers live with every day. So I always want to be where I can get the most good done, and that’s the Ways and Means Committee.”

Hawks questioned that, saying it was “just false.”

“When I speak with Ag industry leaders, organizations and members, losing our seat on the Ag Committee is the first issue they bring up,” she said. “It just doesn’t make any sense. You can’t stand up for South Dakota if you don’t even have a seat at the table where the most important decisions are being made for your No. 1 industry” [Roger Whittle, “Rep. Kristi Noem Disputes Claims Made by Challenger Paula Hawks,” Watertown Public Opinion, 2016.08.11].

Rep. Noem repeated in Huron that her Ways and Means work is more important than service on Agriculture:

Noem said she asked to be appointed to the House Ways and Means Committee because 80 percent of everything that’s considered in the House goes through that committee.

Tax and trade policy and the entitlement programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are all considered by members of the Ways and Means Committee.

“I really wanted to be where the work was,” Noem said. “I wanted to be able to influence tax policy, which is one of the biggest drags on the economy and why so many companies are leaving the country” [Roger Larsen, “Air Service, Postal Facility and Other Concerns Expressed to Rep. Noem,” Huron Plainsman, 2016.08.15].

Rep. Noem repeated that message yesterday here in Aberdeen, saying she switched committees because she’s all about taxes and trade:

As a member of the Ways and Means Committee, Noem spoke about tax and trade policies, both of which she said need to be reformed.

The Ways and Means Committee, she said, is often referred to as the oldest committee in Congress as it was the first one established. And some people refer to it as the most powerful committee because it has jurisdiction over tax policy, trade policy, health care issues and mroe.

South Dakota has never had a person on the committee, she said.

“I decided that if I was going to be there and be away from my state and my family, I wanted to be where I could have the biggest impact,” Noem said. “When you come from an agricultural state like South Dakota does, (tax and trade) issues are huge” [Victoria Lusk, “Noem Focuses on Tax, Trade Policy During Luncheon,” Aberdeen American News, 2016.08.17].

Rep. Noem bragged yesterday that House Ways and Means had posted a blueprint for tax reform before leaving for its August recess (which started July 14). That Republican plan hasn’t received a committee vote yet. Scored straight, it would cost $2.4 trillion; even if we buy GOP magic math and assume their tax cuts generate GDP growth (a shaky assumption, says Kansas), that tax blueprint still puts us $191 billion in the hole. Dang—Kristi Noem does tax policy the way she did farming: losing money and hoping someone fills the deficit for her.

Whatever Rep. Noem thinks she’s achieving on House Ways and Means, it isn’t much: contrary to GOP puffery, the Republican-controlled Congress persists in historically low productivity. And while Rep. Noem touts her busywork, she ignores the substance of Rep. Hawks’s critique, that Noem’s abdication from House Agriculture leaves important agriculture programs like CRP languishing.


15 Responses to Noem on Defense, Insists Ways and Means Is Greener Pasture than Agriculture

  1. PLEASE stop referring to Social Security and Medicare as “entitlements”, every American worker pay into these programs they are not giveaways from the government.

  2. Joelie Hicks

    I wonder who those “ag industry leaders” candidate Hawks is speaking with?
    As a family farm person, I know many of them don’t have our interests at heart.
    Because of that I believe Nowm is better off not being on the committee. She is already good enough at selling out family farmers by pandering to big ag.

  3. mike from iowa

    South Dakota comes from an agricultural state? That’s a new one.

  4. Snaillady, to Republicans those programs are entitlements, they can’t pass that money on to their rich controllers if they have to keep paying it out to old people.

    Noem bailed on her biggest backers for a career move, they should hold her accountable at the ballot box. My guess is her leadership needs another rubber stamp on Ways and Means, and as we all know, there is no better rubber stamp in the House then Noem.

  5. I agree with Snaillady, the sentence about entitlements was not in quotations, so it appears to be the words of the author.

  6. Maybe its time to send Pretty Woman back to her Castlewood horse ranch and say thanks but no thanks your services won’t be needed, we found someone that will represent SD instead of your own interests. Kristi go home.

  7. Noem used to run a hunting lodge on her property before she ran for congress. Then all of a sudden you didn’t hear anything about that anymore. I wonder if she had those dancing massage ladies entertain hunters during the pheasant season like you hear about sometimes? That can be as bad for politics as it is good for the hunting guide business.

  8. When you come from an agriculture state, agriculture is key to keeping it successful to the producers. NOem is a ninny and wants the rest of the state to buy into the fact that she sold out for more money and more power for herself. She could care less about the producers of the state as they have limited resources. The producers she seeks are the deep pockets of those that pull the strings to strangle the ag community. Dump NOem, the sell out tall tale teller, and hire someone who knows what it takes to make an operation work.

  9. mike from iowa

    Entitlements belong only to the entitled-koch bros. Wingnuts will try to cut more from SNAP and SS/Medicare/Medicaid so the entitled koch bros have more entitlements they are entitled to.

    The rest- not so much.

  10. Don Coyote

    @Snaillady: “PLEASE stop referring to Social Security and Medicare as “entitlements”, every American worker pay into these programs they are not giveaways from the government.”

    It’s a legal and literal term.

    Literally: The legislation creating Social Security was the Social Security Act and the program granting old age benefits (Social Security) is known as Title II. When Medicare was added it became Title XVIII of the Social Security Act.

    Legally: To “entitle” someone is to “give a legal right or a just claim to receive or do something”. Once someone meets the qualifications for any program and files a claim for the benefits they become “legally entitled” to those benefits.

    The fact that you paid into these programs while you worked really doesn’t matter. There is no contractual or property rights to benefits under Social Security as ruled by the Supreme Court in Flemming vs Nestor (1960). There is no lock box with Snaillady’s name on it in the Treasury or at the SSA. Your heirs have no claim to any left over monies that you may have not used. SS and Medicare are pay-as-you-go government programs financed entirely (hypothecated tax) by the FICA taxes collected from employees and employers.

  11. So she “always wanted to be where the work was,” eh? Proof of her remarkable “work” on other committees would be…? If she is going to “be away from her state and family,”… You mean the 2-3 days per week that she puts in at the office? Oh, the sacrifices she makes for our state. I still think it makes little difference what committee she is on. Her influence will be the same, minimal!

  12. Hopefully our Congresswoman shows up to work on whatever committee she is on. Norm’s attendence should be an issue in the upcoming election.

  13. Joe Nelson

    I breifly considered the idea of voting for Hawks, but it honestly bothers me that she does not respond to public inquiry. I have reached out to her on twitter, facebook, her website, and youtube, and she or a member of her staff have yet to reach back out to me.

    If she is unable or willing to make time to answer questions by small folk here in SD before she gets elected, why would she make time after going to Washington?

  14. Bobby Kolbe

    Noem s.
    WAYS of Increaseing her MEANS!

  15. bearcreekbat

    Don is correct in his explanation of the term entitlement. It is a positive term, not something negative. The people who use it in a derogatory sense simply do not understand what the term means nor that our Constitution protects what ever entitlements we might qualify for. It is expressly telling when politicians show either ignorance or mendacity by attacking “entitlements” as if the term meant something bad.

    An entitlement constitutes an individual’s property interest that is protected by the 5th Amendment’s language: “No person shall . . . be deprived of . . . property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”