Real Clear politics has a profile on US Senator Mike Rounds, and how some of the lessons he learned while being Governor were helpful to his new position, and how he needs to reach back to when he was State Senate Majority Leader for others:
..Democrats wasted little time employing the same tactics they denounced Republicans for when they were in the majority. When the chamber moved from Keystone into funding for the Department of Homeland Security last week, Democrats filibustered the GOP leadership, voting three times in three days against debating a bill that would fund DHS while derailing Obama’s executive action delaying deportations for millions of undocumented immigrants.
Rounds’ experience with those two bills informed his observation that things often move either too quickly or too slowly in the Senate. The Keystone debate was positive because there was a free flow of ideas, but there wasn’t always time to look into amendments carefully before voting on them, Rounds said. With DHS funding, Rounds said Republicans want to bring the bill up for debate, even if they don’t necessarily agree with the House provision to reverse Obama’s immigration order, but Democrats are blocking anything from moving forward.
“It’s a matter of getting to that point where each of the two parties has a certain position of strength,” Rounds said, but at this point in the process, neither side trusts the other to compromise.
Though he served as governor for two terms, Rounds isn’t new to legislating. Before his gubernatorial run, he spent a decade in the South Dakota State Senate, including six years as majority leader. Rounds said the process so far in Washington is very similar to what he experienced legislating at the state level.
“I think he really knows the drill better than most who come here who haven’t had that dual background,” said Sen. John Hoeven, the former governor of North Dakota. “As a governor you can really set your agenda much more, whereas it’s much harder to do that in the Congress or in the Senate. But I think in Mike’s case he really comes well prepared because he’s had experience doing both.”