US Senator Mike Rounds Weekly Round(s) Up: November 14-20, 2022

After a few weeks in South Dakota, the Senate was back in Washington this week. We had hearings, votes and meetings with South Dakotans. My legislation passed on the floor this week – read to the end for a video of that! Here’s my Weekly Round[s] Up:

South Dakota groups I visited with: Tom Heller, CEO of Missouri River Energy Services; representatives from Dakota State University, including President José-Marie Griffiths; Members of the South Dakota National Guard Enlisted Association.

Other meetings this week: A group of senators and I met with ambassadors from the African Union and European Union. I also met with three nominees for executive positions. Additionally, we had our weekly Senate Bible Study (Our verse of the week was Proverbs 3:7-8).

I had the honor of speaking on a panel at Politico’s Defense Summit with Dr. Maggie Smith, a professor at the Army Cyber Institute, and David McKeown, deputy CIO at the Department of Defense, about our nation’s cybersecurity challenges.

At the end of the week and over the weekend, five other senators and I, along with three members of the House, attended the International Security Forum in Halifax, Nova Scotia in Canada. We spent three days talking with leaders from around the world, including Sweden, Taiwan and Germany, about world issues including the ongoing war in Ukraine. I was also part of a panel called Mind the Gap: Keeping our Tech Superiority.

Met with South Dakotans from: Belle Fourche, Brookings, Madison and Sioux Falls.

Topics discussed: Senate Republican leaders for the new Congress, South Dakota’s growing cybersecurity industry and transatlantic relationships supporting national security.

Votes taken: 5 – One of these was on the Respect for Marriage Act. I voted no. I did not believe this legislation was necessary, as Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court decision that guarantees the right to marriage to same-sex couples, has not been overturned. Additionally, in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, only one of the nine Supreme Court justices supported a position stating that the Court should reconsider Obergefell v. Hodges.

Legislation passed: This week, my legislation creating a Congressional Charter for the National American Indian Veterans (NAIV) unanimously passed the Senate. The NAIV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to advocating for tribal veterans. They are headquartered in South Dakota on the Cheyenne River Reservation, and with this charter, they are officially recognized for the work they do on behalf of the more than 140,000 Native veterans across the United States.

Hearings: We had a hearing in the Senate Banking Committee on oversight of financial regulators where we had the opportunity to question representatives from the financial industry, including the Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

Classified briefings: I attended one classified briefing this week related to our work at the International Security Forum in Halifax.

My staff in South Dakota visited: Aberdeen, Artesian, Brookings, Dell Rapids, Garretson, Madison, Mitchell, Spearfish, Watertown and Woonsocket.

Staff happenings: My DC staff hosted our annual Roundsgiving during their lunch hour on Thursday. We had all of the traditional Thanksgiving food, including a turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie.

Steps taken this week: 50,626 steps or 22.5 miles