This won’t be new news to you, but Congress sure has a hard time sticking to a budget. Let me back up — Congress has a hard time even creating a budget and many hardworking Americans, including our nation’s military, could end up paying the price.

Our federal government is traditionally funded through a process called appropriations. House and Senate committees will consider budget proposals for different parts of the federal government — like military and defense spending, education and transportation — and pass them individually, providing a piecemeal funding structure. It’s like putting together your family budget by looking at your gas budget, mortgage and rent costs, as well as spending on food all in separate buckets.

Makes sense, right? Well — it works when Congress does its job, but unfortunately, this process has become increasingly political over the years. Politicians often use these spending bills as a way to insert controversial provisions, decreasing any chances of bipartisanship and resulting in a stalemate. Congress constantly packages multiple spending bills together, even if they’re not related, which results in bills that are extraordinarily complex and hundreds of pages long.

Because of the inability of Congress and the president to agree on regular appropriations bills, the government will often pass “continuing resolutions” to keep the government open — Congress takes the easy way out and extends previous funding levels. We owe it to our kids to do the hard work — to look at our nation’s budget and make the tough decisions necessary to rein in spending. It’s been said so frequently I’m afraid it doesn’t sink in for folks anymore, but our nation is running an absurd $22 trillion deficit. Operating a balanced budget should not be a partisan issue.

I support adding a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It’s time for us to put some skin in the game and hold each other accountable. If this is an expectation we have of South Dakota families, and even South Dakota’s government, we should expect no differently from Washington.

The clock is ticking. Congress has until Nov. 21 to pass all twelve appropriations bills or we’ll be faced with another continuing resolution, leaving tough decisions for another day.

This process is too complicated, and I believe South Dakotans are rightfully frustrated. We must make comprehensive, structural changes to reform this dysfunctional budget process. I have fought and will continue to fight for a conservative approach that rightfully prioritizes your taxpayer dollars and also addresses the gravity of our national debt. I hope my colleagues will join me in this fight.

(7) comments

Jolly Roger

Great Diversion: Let’s do a Balanced Budget Constitutional Amendment!! You’re right about one thing, though, Dusty: the “absurd $22 trillion deficit.” What’s really absurd is that you and your pals voted to cut taxes again while telling us that this time your tax cuts really, really would increase revenues and bring down that naughty deficit. Taxpayers have been sold this rich folks hokum since it was first foisted on us in the ‘80’s. You're proof that some country people are easy to fool when some slick-talking city slicker rolls into town with big promises. (Look at our farmers, loyally sucking it up and biting their tongues while they store another harvest.) “Trickle down” still doesn’t work does it? Be honest. But the economy’s doing great while we use our grandkids’ credit card isn’t it! ”Thanks kids! Wish we could be there to help you out when the bill comes due! Here’s some more pretend money:💰💰💰. We boomers sure appreciated your sacrifice. Turns out that ”Making America Great Again” means it’ll be up to you to Make America Solvent Again.”

Friedrich Farmer

When you add up trade and disaster assistance, plus the farm bill and insurance, near 40 percent of farm income this year comes from the government. Isn’t that Socialism? But we do not need farmer socialism. End the trade war. But everbody ignores what is happening to SD farmers. You rather talk about other things. If you cant look out for agriculture in South Dakota, why don’t you go run for office in New Jersey?


The deficit and debt were on a downward trend until the Dump tax cuts were passed. It turns out when you decrease the money coming in, to keep wealthy corporations and donors happy, it explodes the debt and deficit. You would think after 40 years of failed trickle down economics it would sink in that it doesn't work. Alas, the same people that think trickle down works are the same that thought Dump would be a good president.


Antiteaparty: But the Dumph supporters refuse to admit the error of their actions.


"I have fought and will continue to fight for a conservative approach that rightfully prioritizes your taxpayer dollars and also addresses the gravity of our national debt." The "conservative approach" to budget has been to run-up massive deficits to fund tax cuts for the wealthy. Just ask Kristi Noem, John Thune and Mike Rounds.

It wonderful you are once again interested in the federal budget. Maybe you could end the un-wanted subsidies and handouts to farmers and ranchers by ending Mr. Trump's self-destructive trade wars so our efficient agricultural industries sell products around the world. President Trump should not be asking the Chinese for dirt on his political opponents. He should be ending his self-inflicted trade war which has resulted in record trade deficits for America. You need do you job and uphold the U.S. Constitution by holding Mr. Trump accountable for his abuses of power.


Dmilroy. Thank you for your eloquent message.


Justthinking, thank you. If our elected representatives who swore to up-hold the Constitution coward in fear because President Trump may send a mean tweet, then South Dakotans need to hold those politicians accountable.

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