Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Thune weighs in on GOP presidential race, Farm Bill

Sen. John Thune during Republican Leadership press conference on Wednesday, October 24.
Sen. John Thune during Republican Leadership press conference on Wednesday, October 24.

US Sen. John Thune said he’s reevaluating who he supports for the Republican party’s nominee for president.

That comes after the initial candidate he backed, fellow US Senator Tim Scott, R-South Carolina, dropped out of the race earlier this month. Thune said he’s watching to see how the GOP primary develops.

However, the number two Republican in the Senate said he likes what he’s hearing from former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley.

“National security is going to be such a huge issue and something she has an expertise on and some of the issues that I think she’s speaking to with a lot of candor,” Thune said. “But, there are others out there. They tell me DeSantis still has a good following in Iowa. Clearly, the former president leads at this point, but I think there’s going to be an alternative that develops overtime. We will see how the race continues to evolve.”

Fellow South Dakota Sen. Mike Rounds also backed Tim Scott.

Earlier this year, Gov. Kristi Noem endorsed former-president Donald Trump at a rally in Rapid City.

South Dakota’s congressional delegation said a farm bill would get passed by the end of the calendar year. That was before the US House ousted then-Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

The federal government funding package passed by Congress last week, with a new house speaker, also extends the current farm bill by a year.

Congress now has until Sept. 30, 2024 to pass a new farm bill.

Thune said a year extension provides certainty for farmers and ranchers as they’re making decisions for next year.

“But it is no substitute for a multi-year reauthorization. The reason we do farm bills every four or five years is because a lot changes in four or five years. Economic conditions have changed. Commodity prices have weakened. Input costs have dramatically increased, so margins have started to shrink,” Thune said. “Overall, net farm income’s going to be down significantly this year over last year. So, there’s a lot going on in agriculture.”

Thune is the number two Republican in the Senate. He also sits on the Senate Ag committee.

Thune said there’s momentum behind passing a new farm bill. He says he’s hoping to get a new farm bill to the president’s desk in first quarter of next year.

Lee Strubinger is SDPB’s Rapid City-based news and political reporter. A former reporter for Fort Lupton Press (CO) and Colorado Public Radio, Lee holds a master’s in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois-Springfield.