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Republican Legislature Shoots Down Another Noem Priority, While Biden Gets Things Done in Congress

Three strikes and you’re out—or at least, the Governor and Game Fish and Parks are out the $2.5 million in our tax dollars that they wanted to grease their fancy gun range for the shooting-sports industry northeast of Rapid City. Real ranchers and Republicans (not the fake one sitting in the Governor’s office) killed the Governor’s first funding proposal for the Rapid City shooting range, House Bill 1049, in House Agriculture and Natural Resources in January. House Appropriations killed the second measure, Senate Bill 175, last Thursday. Finally, after a smoke-out vote, the full House killed SB 175, first on a 39–30 vote on the bill itself that fell eight shy of the 47 votes necessary to meet the two-thirds threshold for special appropriations, then on a 35–34 vote on Representative Tim Goodwin’s (R-30/Sheridan Lake) motion to reconsider, one vote shy of the majority needed to argue of the Rapid City shooting range one more time.

Governor Kristi Noem put her name all over this proposal. She certainly loves posing with guns and flying to Las Vegas to brag about her support for shooting sports, but when it comes to passing actual legislation to support her slogans, she keeps missing the target.

Meanwhile, just this week, Congress has passed two big bills for President Biden to sign. First, we’re saving the Post Office:

Congress on Tuesday passed legislation that would shore up the U.S. Postal Service and ensure six-day-a-week mail delivery, sending the bill to President Joe Biden to sign into law.

The long-fought postal overhaul has been years in the making and comes amid widespread complaints about mail service slowdowns. Many Americans became dependent on the Postal Service during the COVID-19 crisis, but officials have repeatedly warned that without congressional action it would run out of cash by 2024.

“The post office usually delivers for us, but today we’re going to deliver for them,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.

Congress mustered rare bipartisan support for the Postal Service package, dropping some of the more controversial proposals to settle on core ways to save the service and ensure its future operations. Last month, the House approved the bill, 342-92, with all Democrats and most Republicans voting for it. On Tuesday, the Senate sent it to Biden’s desk on a 79-19 vote [“Congress Passes Bill to Shore Up the Postal Service Without Cutting Back on Delivery,” AP via NPR, 2022.03.08].

And after over a century of refusal to act, Congress has finally made lynching a federal crime:

The Senate unanimously passed a bill on Monday that criminalizes lynching and make it punishable by up to 30 years in prison. It sailed through the House of Representatives last month, and President Biden is expected to sign it.

While it eased through both chambers of Congress this time with virtually no opposition, the path to passage took more than 100 years and 200 failed attempts.

Under the bill, named the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act after the 14-year-old boy from Chicago who was lynched while visiting family in Mississippi, a crime can be prosecuted as a lynching when a hate crime results in a death or injury, said Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., a longtime sponsor of the legislation.

“Lynching is a longstanding and uniquely American weapon of racial terror that has for decades been used to maintain the white hierarchy,” Rush said in a statement Monday evening. “Unanimous Senate passage of the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act sends a clear and emphatic message that our nation will no longer ignore this shameful chapter of our history and that the full force of the U.S. federal government will always be brought to bear against those who commit this heinous act” [Peter Granitz, “Senate Passes Anti-Lynching Bill and Sends Federal Hate Crime Legislation to Biden,” NPR, 2022.03.08].

That’s funny: despite some setbacks, President Biden seems to be having an easier time winning bipartisan support for his priorities in a Congress with very slim Democratic majorities than Governor Noem is having getting her marquee items through a Legislature with 90% Republican supermajorities.


  1. mike from iowa 2022-03-09 07:44

    I’m torn about the lynching bill as there are a host of magats that deserve no less punishment for seditious acts against our once great Nation. But, I will side with the majority.

  2. O 2022-03-09 09:50

    I hope, given the new focus on energy independence, that part of the Post Office authorization was to reject the purchase of a new fleet of gas-guzzling trucks and go back to the proposal (before Trump’s appointments) for an electric fleet. That would seem like a long-term poke-in-the-eye to Russian gas profits.

  3. Mark Anderson 2022-03-09 15:23

    Well you know Cory, ideas matter. Yesterday I voted to keep our county commissioners voted on only by the people who they represent, their individual districts. The Republicans wanted to change it to countywide voting and they framed it as a partisan issue because it was only voted in four years ago with Democratic support.They lost and I had great fun responding to our local editorials by the chair of the county commissioners and our state representative. I was very nice because they would be easily hurt and I didn’t want to do that. We won overwhelmingly. Democrats need to break through with their ideas which again have overwhelming support. Who knows what Republicans support anymore.

  4. cibvet 2022-03-09 15:52

    O is correct, but they have to rid the post office of trumpist DeJoy. Darrel Issa was the architect of trying to destroy the Post Office. It was time to fix the problems as repubs never would.

  5. 96Tears 2022-03-09 18:36

    Noem has a legiature that is 91 percent Republican. Biden has a tied Senate and a slight majority in the House. Daily, Noem demonstrates she still can’t get much done with an overwhelming stacked deck in one of the least populace states. She’ll lose easily in a real election.

  6. O 2022-03-09 19:30

    This GOP division strengthens my argument that EVERYONE in SD should register as “Republican.” Only when the automatic win for party affiliation is taken out of the equation can we have elections about people and issues.

  7. leslie 2022-03-13 03:52

    The stupidity of Republican policy.


    Mar 10
    UK sanctions 7 oligarchs: Abramovich, Deripaska, Sechin, Kostin, Miller, Tokarev, Lebedev. This is the REAL deal. Exactly what we’ve been waiting for.

    Noem better get on the right side of fighting money laundering and determine Russian assets in SD’s trust and “wealth” “industry”.

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