RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - U.S. Representative Dusty Johnson spent the last six weeks in South Dakota getting the local stories, information, and understanding he plans to bring back to Washington D.C.
U.S. congressman speaks at Regional Health ER ribbon cutting sneak peak in Rapid City.
Bouncing from small business tours and meetings with community leaders across the state, Johnson said Congress doesn't need a six-week break.
"It drives me a little crazy when the folks in Congress think they need six weeks during the summer to come back. Most of them probably are doing a good job of learning during that time, but we have a lot of work to get done in Congress. We shouldn't be home for six weeks. We should be in Washington, D.C. solving the problems of this country," said Rep. Johnson.
He made visiting the state's reservations a top priority this summer.
"I like to think I know a lot, but I don't know more than all of South Dakota combined does, so I'm going to do a better job if I'm talking to emergency room physicians, if I'm talking to people in Indian country who are struggling with transportation, if I'm talking to farmers and ranchers who are concerned about soft commodity prices, I'm a lot better at my job if I understand their life," said Johnson.
After talking to South Dakotans, what are the main concerns?
"People are concerned about soft ag prices. They know that we are in the fifth year of declining net farm income. Congress can't control the weather, Congress can't control global markets, but what Congress can do is make sure that we're not unnecessarily regulating our ag producers, and that we are getting that market access in China, in Canada, in Mexico, in EU, in Japan, in South Korea, let's give our folks an opportunity to sell into those markets," said Johnson.
Heading back to Washington D.C., Johnson also has trade deals in mind.
"Right now we have got to get the U.S. Mexico Canada agreement done. The president has negotiated a great deal with Mexico and Canada. If we get that done, we are going to add 176,000 new American jobs and $68 billion of new GDP growth for this country, that is, that's big news, that's the economic shot in the arm we need. It is time for Congress to quit playing politics and pass the U.S. MCA," Johnson said.
The House and Senate are back in session on September 9.