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].
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.