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Thune: Inflation, gas prices will decide November election

John Thune speaks at a Sioux Falls Rotary Club meetin
Jordyn Henderson
John Thune speaks at a Sioux Falls Downtown Rotary Club meeting

The top issues on voters’ minds this November will be inflation and gas prices, according to U.S. Sen. John Thune. At an appearance at the Sioux Falls Downtown Rotary Club, Thune discussed energy, inflation and the economy.

“There’s some hope that talking about Roe or talking about guns or some other issue will distract people from the fact that they’re paying $5 for a gallon of gasoline and 8.5% inflation,” Thune said. “Those are the issues that are going to be paramount for voters.”

Thune said Biden administration policies have contributed to high gas prices.

“You can point to specific decisions that were made, policy decisions, that were made when the new administration came to power,” he said. “We need to be looking at ways to authorize more, not less, energy production.”

The Republican U.S. Senator said limiting drilling on federal land, halting the Keystone XL pipeline and encouraging investors to avoid fossil fuels have contributed to high gas prices. Thune argued that excessive government spending is the primary cause of inflation, and he criticized the 2021 American Rescue Plan for increasing the money supply.

“They passed another $2 trillion spending bill under the guise of COVID relief, but it was an expansion of government,” Thune said. “Supply chain issues, other issues, there’s some things that affected [inflation]. But fundamentally, it’s too many dollars facing too few goods.”

Thune says in November, Republicans might win control of the U.S. Senate.

“If you look at the way the stars are aligning and the issues that will be pertinent and relevant in voters’ minds, we’re well positioned not only to maintain the seats that we have, but to pick up one or two which would put us in the majority,” he said.

Slater Dixon is a junior at Augustana University studying Government and Data Science. He was born in Sioux Falls and is based out of SDPB's Sioux Falls studio.