Press Releases


Rounds, Smith Lead Bipartisan Group of Senators to Introduce Legislation Expanding Mental Health Services in Rural America

WASHINGTON-U.S. Sens. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and Tina Smith (D-Minn.) today led a bipartisan group of senators to introduce legislation to expand telemental health services in rural areas. The Home-Based Telemental Health Care Act of 2020 would establish a grant program for health providers to expand telemental health services for those specifically in rural populations working in farming, forestry and fishing industries. Additional cosponsors include U.S. Sens. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), John Boozman… Continue Reading


Sioux Falls Student Julia Lair Receives Offer of Appointment to U.S. Naval Academy

WASHINGTON-U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) today announced that Lincoln High School graduate Julia Lair has received a fully qualified offer of appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy. Lair is the daughter of Gregory and Jill Lair of Sioux Falls. She was nominated to the Naval Academy by Rounds. "Congratulations to Julia on her offer of appointment to the Naval Academy," said Rounds. "Even though she has just graduated from high school, she has already accomplished so much. As a Civil Air Patro… Continue Reading


Rounds, Thune Applaud Senate Passage of Their Bill to Allow Tribal Grant Schools to Devote Additional Resources to Improving Education

WASHINGTON - U.S. Sens. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and John Thune (R-S.D.) this week applauded the Senate for passing their legislation that would allow tribal grant schools to participate in the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) and Federal Employees Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) programs. This change would free up resources to improve recruiting and retention efforts for professional educators in tribal communities by allowing schools to spend less on health insurance and more on education-spe… Continue Reading


Rounds, Moran, Tester Lead Call for GAO Report on the VA’s Native American Direct Loan Program

WASHINGTON - U.S. Sens. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), a member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee (SVAC), along with SVAC Chairman Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Ranking Member Jon Tester (D-Mont.), led their committee colleagues in calling for the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to review the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Native American Direct Loan program (NADL). This program allows eligible Native American veterans to finance the construction, purchase or improvement of a home on Feder… Continue Reading


Rounds, Klobuchar Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Help Servicemembers and Veterans Exposed to Burn Pits Receive Proper Care During Coronavirus Pandemic

WASHINGTON - U.S. Sens. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) today introduced legislation to make sure that servicemembers and veterans with previous exposure to burn pits receive the care they need during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The Pandemic Care for Burn Pits Exposure Act would require the Department of Defense (DOD) and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to ask servicemembers and veterans who have tested positive for a virus designated by the federal government as a … Continue Reading


Rounds, Colleagues Urge Investigations into Improper PPP Funding for Planned Parenthood

PIERRE-U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) joined a number of his colleagues in two different letters urging full investigations into improper Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding for Planned Parenthood. The first letter, led by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), was sent to Attorney General Bill Barr to urge the Department of Justice to investigate whether dozens of Planned Parenthood affiliates across the country applied for and received PPP loans despite knowing they were ineligible to apply. A se… Continue Reading


Update on Jean Rounds

PIERRE. - U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and his wife, Jean, today provided the following update on Jean's cancer treatment: Last week, Mike and Jean traveled to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., for Jean's 90-day post-radiation checkup. No evidence of cancer was found after several days of testing. "After a series of important tests last week, we are thankful to share the news that Jean's cancer treatment has remained successful," said Mike and Jean. "The past year has been the toughest on… Continue Reading


Rounds Supports FISA Amendment to Strengthen Due Process, Protect Civil Liberties

WASHINGTON - U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) today voted in favor of the Lee/Leahy amendment, which provides federal law enforcement with the tools they need to protect Americans from foreign powers while also better protecting the civil liberties of all Americans. It passed by a vote of 77-19. FISA reauthorization is being considered in the Senate this week, with a final vote expected tomorrow. "The FBI's gross mishandling of the FISA process when it surveilled President Trump's campaign has un… Continue Reading


Rounds, Tester and Colleagues Fight to Reinstate Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling

WASHINGTON -U.S. Sens. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) today introduced a resolution to support country of origin labeling (COOL) for beef products in the United States in an effort to provide critical support to American cattle producers hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic. The resolution, cosponsored by U.S. Sens. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), John Thune (R-S.D.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.), urges the U.S. to enter into necessary trade negotiations to allow the United States to re-implement… Continue Reading


Rounds, Colleagues Introduce Legislation Allowing Larger Faith-Based Groups, Nonprofits to Receive PPP Loans

WASHINGTON- U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) today joined U.S. Sens. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) and James Lankford (R-Okla.) to introduce legislation that would allow larger nonprofits such as YMCAs and churches to receive Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. "Countless Americans are struggling to make ends meet during the COVID-19 pandemic, and faith-based nonprofit groups are once again stepping up to the plate to provide relief," said Rounds. "Our legislation would al… Continue Reading


Rounds, Colleagues Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Increase Transparency in Cattle Pricing

WASHINGTON - U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) today joined U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and five other senators to introduce legislation to foster efficient markets while increasing competition and transparency among meat packers who purchase livestock directly from producers. This bill will require that a minimum of 50 percent of a meat packer's weekly volume of beef slaughter be purchased on the open or spot market. "Even before COVID-19 hit our country, we had serious concerns about pr… Continue Reading


Delegation Urges USDA to Allow State-Approved Meat and Poultry Products to Be Donated or Sold Across State Lines

WASHINGTON - U.S. Sens. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and John Thune (R-S.D.) and U.S. Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) today requested that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) allow meat and poultry products that have been inspected by state-approved meat and poultry inspection programs to be donated or sold across state lines. COVID-19 outbreaks in processing facilities, like the one at the Smithfield plant in Sioux Falls, S.D., have significantly affected meat processing capacity, and the livestock p… Continue Reading


Rounds, Thune Join Colleagues in Requesting DOJ to Investigate Potential Illegal Practices by Beef Packers

WASHINGTON - U.S. Sens. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and John Thune (R-S.D.) today joined Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) and 16 of their Senate colleagues in writing a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice requesting that the department investigate potential anticompetitive activities in the highly concentrated beef packing sector. "The lack of competition in the meatpacking industry has resulted in a vulnerable beef supply chain, which the current national emergency has destabilized further," the sen… Continue Reading


Sens. Rounds and Gillibrand and Reps. Cisneros and Mast Introduce Bipartisan, Bicameral Bill to End Military-Connected Child Abuse and Neglect

WASHINGTON -U.S. Sens. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and U.S. Reps. Gilbert R. Cisneros, Jr. (D-Calif.) and Brian Mast (R-Fla.) today introduced the End Military-Connected Child Abuse and Neglect Act. The bipartisan and bicameral bill would improve how the Department of Defense tracks and responds to incidents of child abuse and neglect occurring on military installations or involving military dependents. There are approximately 1.2 million school-aged military dependents … Continue Reading


Rounds Statement on Senate Passage of Legislation That Would Work Toward Taiwan’s Inclusion in World Health Organization

WASHINGTON - U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) issued the following statement after the Senate passed S. 249, legislation he cosponsored that calls for the Secretary of State to develop a strategy for Taiwan to regain observer status in the World Health Organization: "With each passing day, we learn more about China's failure to alert the world to the seriousness of COVID-19. Meanwhile, Taiwan has been a reliable partner in the global fight against the pandemic. I'm pleased the Senate passed ou… Continue Reading


Rounds Introduces Legislation to Provide State Flexibility in Using CARES Act Funds

WASHINGTON - U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) has introduced legislation to improve flexibility for state, local and tribal governments in using existing COVID-19 relief funds. The legislation permits up to 25 percent of funds already allocated to local governments through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act to cover lost tax revenue. State, local and tribal tax revenues fund vital services such as education, local law enforcement, fire departments, road construction and … Continue Reading


Rounds, King Lead Colleagues in Letter to Senate Leaders Urging Inclusion of New Markets for State-Inspected Meat and Poultry Act in Next COVID-19 Relief Bill

WASHINGTON-U.S. Sens. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Angus King (I-Maine), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) today sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, urging them to pass the New Markets for State-Inspected Meat and Poultry Act as part of the federal government's COVID-19 response efforts. "As of Friday, May 2, 2020… Continue Reading


Rounds, Colleagues Urge Indemnity Support for Pork Producers During Pandemic

WASHINGTON - U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) today joined a bipartisan group of senators to send a letter to Congressional leaders, seeking additional funding for programs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that would assist pork producers who are being forced to depopulate livestock herds because of restaurant and meat processing plant closures during the pandemic. Farmers are facing an animal welfare crisis due to overcrowding and the challenge of providing enough feed and water avail… Continue Reading


Rounds Statement on President Asking DOJ to Investigate Price Fixing in Cattle Market

WASHINGTON-U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) today issued the following statement after President Trump revealed that he has asked the Department of Justice to investigate suspicious meat packer pricing activity: "I thank President Trump for continuing to stand up for our farmers and ranchers. Even before COVID-19 hit our country, South Dakota's cattle producers were seeing significant losses. This has only worsened in recent months. Meanwhile, store prices and boxed beef prices are at record h… Continue Reading


Rounds, Cramer Urge Treasury Department to Allot Fair and Equitable Amount of Funding to Tribes in the Great Plains Region

WASHINGTON-U.S. Sens. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) sent a letter to Secretary of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin, urging the Department of the Treasury to distribute the $8 billion allocated for tribes in the CARES Act in a fair and equal manner to the 12 Bureau of Indian Affairs Regions. The Great Plains Region, which includes South Dakota and North Dakota, makes up 10 percent of the enrolled tribal member population nationwide and encompasses nearly 25 percent of all Indian land… Continue Reading

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