skip to main content

Sen. John Thune

Senate Minority Whip and Senator for South Dakota

pronounced jon // thoon

Thune is the senior senator from South Dakota and is a Republican. He has served since Jan 4, 2005. Thune’s current term ends on Jan 3, 2023.

He is also Senate Minority Whip, a party leadership role. Party leaders focus more on setting their party’s legislative priorties than on introducing legislation.

He was previously the representative for South Dakota’s at-large district as a Republican from 1997 to 2002.

Photo of Sen. John Thune [R-SD]


Legislative Metrics

Read our 2020 Report Card for Thune.

Ideology–Leadership Chart

Thune is shown as a purple triangle in our ideology-leadership chart below. Each dot is a member of the Senate positioned according to our ideology score (left to right) and our leadership score (leaders are toward the top).

The chart is based on the bills Thune has sponsored and cosponsored from Jan 3, 2017 to Dec 6, 2022. See full analysis methodology.

Committee Membership

John Thune sits on the following committees:

Enacted Legislation

Thune was the primary sponsor of 42 bills that were enacted. The most recent include:

View All »

Does 42 not sound like a lot? Very few bills are ever enacted — most legislators sponsor only a handful that are signed into law. But there are other legislative activities that we don’t track that are also important, including offering amendments, committee work and oversight of the other branches, and constituent services.

We consider a bill enacted if one of the following is true: a) it is enacted itself, b) it has a companion bill in the other chamber (as identified by Congress) which was enacted, or c) if at least about half of its provisions were incorporated into bills that were enacted (as determined by an automated text analysis, applicable beginning with bills in the 110th Congress).

Bills Sponsored

Issue Areas

Thune sponsors bills primarily in these issue areas:

Taxation (23%) Science, Technology, Communications (20%) Health (13%) Agriculture and Food (11%) Transportation and Public Works (9%) Native Americans (9%) Public Lands and Natural Resources (8%) Labor and Employment (6%)

Recently Introduced Bills

Thune recently introduced the following legislation:

View All » | View Cosponsors »

Most legislation has no activity after being introduced.

As Senate Minority Whip, Thune may be focused on his responsibilities other than introducing legislation, such as setting the chamber’s agenda, uniting his party, and brokering deals.

Voting Record

Key Votes

Thune voted Yea

Motion Agreed to 59/35 on Dec 9, 2021.

This vote include a procedural change to allow an increase in the statutory debt limit through a subsequent bill, as well as other provisions related …

Thune voted Yea

Bill Passed 72/26 on Sep 28, 2016.

The Continuing Appropriations and Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2017, and Zika Response and Preparedness Act (H.R. 5325) is an appropriations …

Thune voted Yea

Motion Agreed to 64/35 on Oct 30, 2015.

This vote was on the bill in its final form as the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015.

Thune voted Yea

Joint Resolution Passed 78/22 on Sep 18, 2014.

Thune voted Yea

Thune voted Yea

Thune voted Yea

Motion Agreed to 81/19 on Dec 15, 2010.

The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (Pub.L. 111–312, H.R. 4853, 124 Stat. 3296, enacted December 17, 2010), also known …

Missed Votes

From Jan 2005 to Dec 2022, Thune missed 57 of 5,866 roll call votes, which is 1.0%. This is better than the median of 2.4% among the lifetime records of senators currently serving. The chart below reports missed votes over time.

We don’t track why legislators miss votes, but it’s often due to medical absenses and major life events.

Show the numbers...

Primary Sources

The information on this page is originally sourced from a variety of materials, including: