Once again, South Dakota’s Congressional delegation shows no interest in putting their money where their mouths are on reforming the scandal-plagued EB-5 visa investment program. Despite Senator Chuck Grassley’s effort to rouse Congress to action, Rep. Kristi Noem, Senator John Thune, and EB-5-savvy Senator Mike Rounds voted last week to extend EB-5 without any reforms.
Noem, Thune, and Rounds expressed their reform-laziness in the House and Senate votes last Wednesday for the continuing budget resolution (oh yeah, too lazy to pass a real budget, too), which included a provision to extend EB-5 into the lame-duck session. The continuing resolution was the last vote before both Houses recessed from three weeks of “work” to go back home and campaign for six weeks.
Democratic U.S. House candidate Rep. Paula Hawks condemns her opponent’s laziness:
I think South Dakotans are hungry for a Congresswoman able to stand up to special interests and Washington lobbyists. We know the EB-5 program is broken. We know the EB-5 program is riddled with corruption. Yet Congress can’t muster up the political will to institute even the smallest of reforms to increase transparency and integrity over the program. It is an utter failure in leadership [Rep. Paula Hawks, press release, 2016.10.03].
Can we elect Congress critters who can do what they say needs to be done and reform things that need to be reformed?