US Senator John Thune

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In The Moment ... May 17, 2018 Show 339 Hour 1

The debate in Washington over net neutrality is heating up. If Republicans argue that Democrats are embracing poor policy, Democrats argue that Republicans are out of touch with how passionate voters are the topic.

The Trump administration's FCC Chairman has submitted the Restoring Internet Freedom Order, set to take effect on June 11. It essentially dismantles Obama-era regulations that reclassified Internet Service Providers as "common carriers" ... instead of the less heavily regulated "information services."

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A United States Senator and a state lawmaker agree that the federal government is failing to provide adequate health care to Native Americans. United States Senator John Thune and South Dakota State Senator Troy Heinert see different solutions to ongoing problems with the Indian Health Service.

U-S  Senator Thune has legislation in Congress aimed at comprehensive reform for federal health services for Native Americans. He says the bill makes it easier to fire ineffective IHS leaders, examines whistle-blower protections, and requires fiscal accountability so patient care funds actually make it to patients.

Seth Tupper is an enterprise reporter for the Rapid City Journal.  Roger Whittle is managing editor at the Watertown Public Opinion. On this week's Dakota Political Junkies segment, we’ll fill in the blanks on industrial hemp, the Indian Health Services debate, and who might be gearing up for a run for governor.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

The Administrator of the TSA is using his time in Sioux Falls to better understand the needs of America’s smaller airports. The Transportation Safety Administration’s leader has been on the job for only a few months. He says he hopes to gain local perspective as he works to make air travel safer.

Sioux Falls Regional Airport’s executive director Dan Letellier takes a select few on a behind-the-scenes tour.

John Thune

United States Senator John Thune says he generally supports trade deals, but some parts of the latest international agreement raise his concern. Eleven countries and the United States have struck a deal called TPP. That stands for Trans-Pacific Partnership. It has economic and political implications.

Thune says he’s heard pieces of the deal since Monday’s agreement, and he’s concerned about some of the elements.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Sioux Falls leaders have signed an agreement purchasing rail yard land in the center of town. City officials announced the agreement last month. This week they officially signed the deal to buy land in downtown Sioux Falls.

A bright orange locomotive sits on the tracks behind a stage above gravel in central Sioux Falls. Mayor Mike Huether says it’s a fitting metaphor for a deal that puts 10 acres for former rail yard into city hands.

Anti-human trafficking legislation is stalled in the United States Senate, and that frustrates South Dakota’s representation in Washington, DC. Democrats in the US Senate blocked debate again Wednesday over one provision in the bill.

Legislation in the United States Senate establishes a fund to help victims of sex trafficking. Money from fines on convicted traffickers would support it. The bill includes language that stops the dollars from being used on abortions except for rape, incest, or to protect the life of a woman.

The United States Senate has failed to override the President’s veto of Keystone XL oil pipeline legislation. Wednesday afternoon, the number of lawmakers who voted to override the decision was 62. That’s not the two-thirds majority necessary for the measure to pass.

Last month President Barack Obama vetoed legislation authorizing construction on the Keystone XL pipeline, but the administration is still reviewing the pipeline proposal. Six years into consideration, United States Senators tried and failed to override the president’s veto of the nearly 1,200 miles of line.

South Dakota’s congressional delegation is meeting with the Secretary of Veteran’s Affairs to discuss President Obama’s recent budget request. US Senator John Thune says he is working to get certain provisions removed because they are detrimental to South Dakotans.