jueves, 2 de diciembre de 2010

Senador John Thune

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November 30, 2010

Welcome Back to Senator Thune’s Monthly Newsletter 

Welcome back to Senator Thune’s monthly newsletter. Due to Senate policy, certain electronic publications such as monthly newsletters were temporarily suspended for the 60-day period before the November 2nd general election. Now that Election Day has passed, Senator Thune’s newsletter will resume on a regular monthly basis.
As the last weeks of this Congress, known as the “lame duck,” come to a close, the Senate has many important issues to tackle. You will be able to find information regarding these crucial issues in Senator Thune’s monthly newsletters and on hiswebsite. As always, he values your opinions and encourages you to contact him with your feedback.

Thanksgiving Blessings

As South Dakotans celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday this past month, we were reminded of the many blessings bestowed on our great nation. In addition to our family and friends, perhaps the greatest blessing we enjoy as Americans is our freedom. Countless brave men and women have served throughout our nation’s short history to protect us and defend freedom. While many of us were able to spend time with our family and friends, many of our active duty soldiers were far away from the comforts of home.
As we move into the Christmas season, we should all be mindful of and give thanks to South Dakota’s men and women who are bravely serving their country, especially those serving overseas. Thank you to all of our servicemen and women, and their families. May you all have a blessed holiday season.

Congress Must Act Quickly to Prevent Tax Hikes

With the New Year just around the corner, individuals, families, and small businesses have been left uncertain about what tax policy will look like for 2011. Unless Congress acts quickly, Americans will face the largest tax hike in our nation’s history, and, on average, South Dakota families will see a roughly $1,700 tax increase.
Without the extension of tax relief enacted in 2001 and 2003, personal income tax rates will rise across the board, including the lowest tax bracket rising from 10 percent to 15 percent. The capital gains tax rate will jump from 15 percent to 20 percent and the highest rate for dividends will rise from 15 percent to 39.6 percent harming those people, particularly seniors, who rely on returns from investments for income.
After January 1, 2011, the estate tax or “death tax,” currently at zero percent for 2010, will increase dramatically to 55 percent for estates over $1 million. This unfair tax prevents small business owners from passing on their businesses to their children or grandchildren. This looming tax increase will have a devastating effect for South Dakota farmers and ranchers and our main street businesses. 
Our economy continues to lag, job creation remains stagnant, and families struggle to make ends meet, yet Democrat leaders in Congress have failed to take action on this important policy. Senator Thune continues to advocate for the extension of all the 2001 and 2003 tax provisions to provide meaningful tax relief in South Dakota and across the country.

Senator Thune Applauds Action of Republican Conference

On November 16, 2010, Senator Thune was joined by his colleagues in the Senate Republic Conference in reiterating Republican’s commitment to fiscal responsibility. The Conference adopted several resolutions that call on Congress to rein in out-of-control government spending. These resolutions are a statement to the American people that fiscal discipline is a top priority for Senate Republicans.
Senator Thune offered a resolution, which was later adopted by the Republican Conference, to return non-security discretionary spending to Fiscal Year 2008 levels adjusted for inflation, saving approximately $450 billion over the next 10 years.
The Conference also adopted a resolution, which Senator Thune supported, that placed a two-year moratorium on earmark requests. Other adopted resolutions include a sense of the Conference that a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution is needed, unspent stimulus should be cancelled, and that there should be a net hiring freeze on non-security government employees.
During Conference votes, Senator Thune was also re-elected as the Republican Policy Committee (RPC) Chairman. The Chairman of the RPC is the number four leadership position for Senate Republicans and exists to enhance legislative policy making. Senator Thune understands the growing national debt and the state of our economy are of great concern to the American people, and looks forward to shaping policy solutions to help move our country in a new direction.

Thune Critical of Partial E15 Approval

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced in October that it would only partially approve E15, the blend of 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline. This partial approval will limit the use of E15 to lightweight vehicles manufactured since 2007. Consequently, this decision will do little to increase the production and use of E15 and will create unnecessary consumer confusion at the gas pump. In addition, many station owners may not even undertake the costs associated with offering E15 to such a limited number of vehicles and will likely wait until it is approved for a greater number of vehicles, which will only send mixed signals to the renewable fuels industry.
Numerous tests have proven that E15 is safe for on-road vehicles manufactured prior to 2007. South Dakota produces one billion gallons of ethanol each year and full approval of E15 would greatly benefit our state’s economy and spur investment in the development of next generation biofuel production. Not only is an increase in the production and use of ethanol good for South Dakota, it is also good for America. Industry experts estimate that full approval of E15 could create as many as 136,000 new jobs across the nation, a welcome move in a time of high unemployment. In addition to improving our economy, the expanded approval of E15 would help ease our country’s dangerous dependence on foreign sources of energy.
Senator Thune has been a vocal advocate for higher ethanol blends and has continually called for the approval of such blends dating back to 2007. Since then, he has led a coalition of his colleagues on both sides of the aisle in urging the Department of Energy and the EPA to approve higher blends for use in on-road vehicles.
Although the EPA decision is disappointing, Senator Thune is committed to continue working with the EPA to immediately expand their approval of E15 to additional on-road vehicles in order to end the continued uncertainty for consumers and producers in the renewable fuels market.

Please Feel Free to Tell a Friend

Senator Thune greets Edward Griffith of Rapid City at Arlington National Cemetary on September 22, 2010. Griffith was in Washington, D.C. with the Honor Flight Program.

Senator Thune attends an Economy Roundtable meeting with members of the Rapid City Chamber of Commerce, the Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Economic Development Partnership in Rapid City on September 7, 2010. 

Senator Thune enjoys opening day of pheasant season with Kent Guthrie of Rapid City (left) and Jim Guthrie of Wright, W.Y. (right) on October 16, 2010.
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