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.
Read our 2020 Report Card for Thune.
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.
John Thune sits on the following committees:
Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
- Communications, Media, and Broadband subcommittee Ranking Member
Senate Committee on Finance
- Taxation and IRS Oversight subcommittee Ranking Member
- Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry
Thune was the primary sponsor of 42 bills that were enacted. The most recent include:
- S. 2959: Supplemental Impact Aid Flexibility Act
- S. 189: Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2021
- S. 163: Telecommunications Skilled Workforce Act
- S. 4444 (116th): Missouri River Basin Drought and Snowpack Monitoring Act
- S. 151 (116th): Pallone-Thune TRACED Act
- S. 100 (116th): Custer County Airport Conveyance Act
- S. 2200 (115th): National Integrated Drought Information System Reauthorization Act of 2018
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).
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:
- S. 5137: Rural Internet Improvement Act of 2022
- S. 5100: IRS Funding Accountability Act
- S. 5023: Agriculture Disaster Assistance Improvement Act of 2022
- S. 4969: Athlete Opportunity and Taxpayer Integrity Act
- S. 4939: Ending Duplicative Subsidies for Electric Vehicles Act
- S. 4850: A bill to amend Public Law 117-169 to prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency …
- S. 4832: Increase Reliable Services Now Act
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.
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.
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The information on this page is originally sourced from a variety of materials, including: