We received the following op-ed submission from Stephanie Herseth Sandlin this week.
By Stephanie Herseth Sandlin
Over the last six and a half years, I have had the privilege of serving you in Congress. Now that my time in office is coming to a close, I want to express my enormous gratitude to the people of South Dakota for giving me the opportunity to serve.Â It has been the honor of my lifetime to serve the state that I loveÂ and work on behalf of South Dakota families, communities and businesses.
In addition to being grateful for the trust you placed in me, I am also proud of the progress we made, working together, on behalf of our state since I was first elected in 2004.
While each and every day included proud moments of helping a constituent in need or voting on behalf of South Dakotaâ€™s priorities in the U.S. House, a few milestones stand out.
â€¢Â Â Â Â Â Â Helping to write and pass the last Farm Bill, which does right by South Dakota in our agriculture economy.
â€¢Â Â Â Â Â Â Passing my bill, the Tribal Law and Order Act, to help ensure a better sense of safety and security in Indian Country.
â€¢Â Â Â Â Â Â Helping to write and pass a new GI Bill to invest in our veteransâ€™ education, and passing legislative provisions I authored to better meet the needs of women veterans.
â€¢Â Â Â Â Â Â Working with South Dakota Ag producers and leaders in the biofuels industry to see not one but two historic Renewable Fuel Standards become law.
â€¢Â Â Â Â Â Â Collaborating with the delegation and local leaders in a bipartisan effort to save Ellsworth Air Force base and add new missions there.
â€¢Â Â Â Â Â Â Reauthorizing the Childrenâ€™s Health Insurance Program so that more kids in South Dakota can have better health care.
But itâ€™s the personal relationships Iâ€™ve made with countless South Dakotans that matter most: our servicemen and women and their families; the small business owners who put everything they have into their endeavors to create jobs and contribute to our economy; the students and teachers I met in South Dakota classrooms and in Washington when they came to visit our nationâ€™s capital; the farmers and ranchers who weather both natural disasters and market fluctuations year after year.
The enduring spirit and basic goodness of South Dakotans is what has always inspired my desire to serve, and I am forever grateful for the opportunity to do so.Â Max, Zachary and I wish you and yours a Merry Christmas, and a safe, happy and blessed new year.