S.D. politicians weigh in on Biden, Harris inauguration

The pair took the oaths of office on Wednesday
Published: Jan. 20, 2021 at 5:58 PM MST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Wednesday marked another day in history, as Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were sworn in as the 46th President and Vice President.

The pair took their oaths of office under high security at the nation’s capitol.

Biden becomes the oldest president to take the oath and is the second Catholic in the White House. Harris becomes the first female vice president, now the highest U.S. office ever held by a woman. She is also the first black and Asian-American Vice President.

President Donald Trump did not attend the inauguration, but some of South Dakota’s politicians were present, including Governor Kristi Noem, Senator John Thune, and Representative Dusty Johnson.

Thune and Johnson backed the peaceful transition of power and both expressed their hope Biden chooses to reach across the aisle.

“I think he has potential to be good for South Dakota,” said Thune. “On a lot of the ag [sic] issues, I think we’ll find some common ground and I think Tom Vilsack will be a really effective agriculture secretary. . . I’m anxious to see what they want to do in the area of infrastructure, when it comes not only to roads and bridges and highways, but also broadband.”

Though he did not attend the inauguration, Senator Mike Rounds released a statement on Wednesday’s transition of power.

The Senator and former Governor of the Mount Rushmore State wished Biden and Harris the best, and said, in part, “I know we will not agree on every issue, and I’m ready to stand as loyal opposition when we disagree on issues of principle. But we all want to leave this nation better than we found it.”

Johnson attended the inauguration with his 15-year-old son, and enjoyed sharing a moment of history together.

“It was an honor to be there, it was an honor to see Governor Noem and Senator Thune as well,” said Johnson. “But, I’ll be honest, you know, the biggest blast for me was having my 15-year-old son, Max, there. I think Max was struck by how solemn the occasion was, and how hopeful, again, regardless of who you support, I think we want to acknowledge the incredible blessing that comes with the peaceful transition of power.”

Oglala Sioux Tribe President, Kevin Killer also released a statement, congratulating Biden and Harris, as well as the successful transition of power.

Killer said, in part, “President Biden’s decision to cancel the permits for the KXL [Keystone XL Pipeline] pipeline demonstrates his willingness to listen and follow through for tribal nations, listen to tribal voices, and respect tribal lands. . . . We look forward to having a healthy line of communication between our governments.”

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