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Johnson Nay, Thune and Rounds Aye on Federal Budget, Ukraine Aid, TikTok Ban, Electoral Count Reform

A $1.7-trillion budget for the rest of the fiscal year is headed toward President Joe Biden’s desk. Congressman Dusty Johnson couldn’t stomach it, but Senators John Thune and M. Michael Rounds followed GOP Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in saying, Fine, great, whatever.

What will the new budget bring us over Dusty’s objections?

It also includes more than $40 billion in funding to support Ukraine amid Russia’s ongoing invasion, higher than what the White House requested in assistance last month, as well as $38 billion in emergency disaster assistance.

…The funding legislation includes a ban on TikTok on federal government phones, reflecting worries in both parties about how China’s government might access data about U.S. citizens through the social media platform.

And it includes legislation known as the Electoral Count Reform Act, which clarifies that the vice president’s role in certifying a presidential election is ceremonial. That measure is intended to help prevent a repeat of the violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, when a mob of supporters of former President Trump invaded the building and forced the evacuation of Congress [Aris Folley, “House Ends Congress by Passing $1.7 Trillion Funding Package,” The Hill, 2022.12.23].

Not that Democrats are ever going to run anyone against Dusty, but remember: in this budget bill, Congressman Johnson voted against helping Ukraine defend global democracy from Putin’s tyranny, voted against keeping government employees off TikTok, and voted against taking away insurrection fodder from Trumpist traitors.


  1. larry kurtz 2022-12-26 07:45

    $20 says that since Mike Rounds isn’t nuts he won’t run for reelection so if Mrs. Noem isn’t tapped for a Veep post she and Howdy Doody Dusty will run in the 2024 Republican primary for the US Senate.

  2. sx123 2022-12-26 09:00

    I doubt Dusty doesn’t want to help Ukraine.

    These huge bills are crafted such that key items of the bill, which are just a fraction of the overall package price, are included so anyone that votes against the monstrous package looks bad.

    These type of bills should be outlawed imo.

  3. Dicta 2022-12-26 09:09

    Everybody lambasts pork, but it makes me wonder: if intrasigence at the federal level already upsets you, do you think eliminating pork would make things better?

  4. Eve Fisher 2022-12-26 09:34

    Dusty’s planning to move to the Senate.

  5. Nick Nemec 2022-12-26 09:42

    Given the election and the Republican takeover of the House both Thune and Rounds realized it was now or never to get critical legislation passed, because of the filibuster they also both knew the Democratic majority in the Senate would need a few Republicans to get this past the 60 vote threshold. Dusty had the luxury of knowing it would pass without his vote and could sit on his hands, letting Democrats do all the heavy lifting. Once the control of the House changes nothing of importance will pass, instead the House will focus on issues to churn up their base rather than govern the country.

  6. All Mammal 2022-12-26 10:07

    Although Mr. Johnson is no Mr. Duprel, he IS the only politician SD has in DC with any semblance of a soul. We elected a bunch of snakes and he is the cutest one.

    South Dakotans are so conditioned to take what we are given.

  7. 96Tears 2022-12-26 10:10

    If he ran in any other state, a zero talent like Dusty Johnson would be lucky to get elected to the legislature only if the district was heavily Republican. This guy has been granted an important role to serve his state and his nation, but Dusty can’t think outside of what’s good for Dusty. I’m beginning to realize that South Dakotans vote Republican because they have no idea what to expect from a competent elected leader, and they don’t seem to care to find out. Thune, Rounds and Dusty actually seem to reflect South Dakota voters more than I care to admit.

  8. Mark Anderson 2022-12-26 11:29

    Nick Nemec has this one down perfectly. One more thing, the pus in house, whoops, the pubs in the house, since they can’t stop it are lambasting it as destroying America. In reality, it’s saving them, particularly McCarthy, from having to do that next year.
    Boy, they sure do sound tough, don’t they. Base be riled. They kind of forgot what their master Nixon told them. They are supposed to run to the right in the PRIMARY, then run back left to the center in the general election. The Republican party can’t quite get the two step dance down.

  9. P. Aitch 2022-12-26 12:37

    Liberals cringe when I vocalize, “I sleep better when no party has the majority.”
    No need to explain myself.
    It’s the safety net, along with a flexible Constitution, our founders devised.

  10. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-12-26 14:21

    sx123, Dusty and his party have held South Dakota voters to the single-subject standard; why don’t Dusty and the GOP push for a single-subject rule in Congress?

  11. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-12-26 14:23

    96, I get the impression that Dusty’s talent is greater than zero. Were he to move, he could win election as a moderate Republican. He might actually find it more comfortable to run as a real moderate Republican instead of having to kow-tow to the Trumpists.

  12. Donald Pay 2022-12-26 14:37

    I’m not going to fault Johnson for voting against this bill. Congress is broken, and the proof is that most bills no longer go through “regular order.” I’m not sure, given the people who are currently elected to Congress, that regular order will work, but it should be tried.

    Regular order means going through the subcommittee/committee processes where small and medium sized bills are debated, amended, passed or defeated. This usually provides more power to the membership of the Congress to come up with suitable compromises to move legislation forward. In opposition to regular order is leadership-driven monster bill that often serves special interests and political agendas.

    The problem I see with most of the Congress is that none of them care to do the legislative work necessary. They spend very little time doing anything at the subcommittee and committee level. Hell, they hardly spend any time at all doing anything but fund-raising. Did Noem ever attend a Congressional committee meeting? If she did, it was only to push something for a special interest, and if you know Noem, you know her favorite special interest is herself. If you watch the committee hearings on C-SPAN, you’ll see that when they do hold hearings, it’s mostly pandering to one or another special interest and political bickering. They aren’t serious about legislating.

    Republicans claim they want to go back to regular order, but just watch when they take over in the House of Representatives. It will be all driven by the committee chairs, who have to lick political and special interest ass. The folks who are serious legislators won’t be given a shot to make regular order work. I hope I’m wrong, I’ve seen this rodeo before.

  13. Richard Schriever 2022-12-26 18:28

    Donald Pay. It’s all the fault of electronic (all the way back to telegraphy and forward) communications and then – AIR travel. Our government was not designed with those societal/technological features in mind.

  14. Richard Schriever 2022-12-26 18:31

    Congress critters were supposed to go and LIVE with each other in community in DC and conduct the nation’s business as such – a single living community. That is how the design would work in the age in which it was designed.

  15. 96Tears 2022-12-27 10:54

    Cory and all – I will put it this way. Yes, Congress is broken and that’s not been news since the 80s and Reagan/Gingrich. Yes, these people (some Democrats too) game the system to bilk it for votes and bucks for their next campaign. Yes, the Republicans are incapable of getting things done that won’t hurt people so the next two years will be a waste in the House. All of that is true. But we can also see it as a blank canvas and an opportunity for a Republican with a brain in the U.S. House of Representatives to step up and step outside the normal grind. Introduce something big out there. Pick a topic because there are a lot of them. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t pass, just do s-o-m-e-t-h-i-n-g.

    There’s no competition to do something big for South Dakota or the nation. Republicans will be too busy screwing each other to decide who’s going to be Speaker, who’s running for POTUS and which faction can shove its way to the front of the line. Democrats will be looking for opportunities as the House minority to form coalitions to get good things done. Alfred E. Johnson could do more in the next two years other than show up and vote no to anything worthwhile.

    But Dusty’s record is that of a desk shuffler. He was a zero on the Public Utilities Commission. A zero as a governor’s chief of staff. Nothing much as a member of Congress. Give the boy a desk, he’ll collect his government paychecks and stay out of sight — except around Election Day. For a guy who folks say has quite a future in the U.S. Senate, I find Dusty completely unremarkable. Is he a moderate? No. Is he a Trumpanzee? No. What is he? He’s the Howdy Doody version of Chance the Gardener, except a lot more boring. He’s just Dusty. There’s no carpe diem in the boy. Larry Pressler had a lot more going on!

    This goes to the point from earlier. USD’s political guru Dr. William O. Farber made a statement long ago that South Dakota voters choose Democrats (McGovern, Abourezk, Daschle and Tim Johnson) to go to Washington and bring home the bacon. Doc said they choose Republicans to run Pierre to protect their pocketbooks from state taxes and spending. That time-honored tradition died the day John Thune was first elected to the U.S. Senate.

    South Dakotans now elect Republicans to everything without even knowing who’s running and anything about their background. Hence, Monae Johnson as Secretary of State and Kristi Noem reelected Governor. Voters here aren’t sold on Trumpism or the John Birch Society. Ballot issue results prove that again and again. They just don’t care to pay attention, and therein lies a speck of opportunity for Democrats in our state.

  16. larry kurtz 2022-12-31 13:09

    Mr. Johnson has never stopped raising money so the SDDP needs to find some and start running opposition ads on every commercial radio station in South Dakota.

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