Press Releases


Rounds Cosponsors Bill to Repeal Death Tax

WASHINGTON-U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) today joined U.S. Senator John Thune (R-S.D.) and 25 colleagues in introducing legislation to permanently repeal the federal estate tax, which will bring tax relief to farmers, ranchers and small business owners. "Currently, 70 percent of family businesses do not survive to the second generation, in part because of this additional tax which may force the sale of a family business upon the death of one of the owners," said Rounds. A similar bill was int… Continue Reading


Rounds: Federal Bureaucracy Unnecessarily Hurting South Dakota Banks

WASHINGTON - U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), a member of the Senate Banking Committee, today at a hearing heard from regional bank executives how Dodd-Frank regulations are limiting their ability to grow, expand and remain competitive. During the hearing, Deron Smithy, Treasurer of the Regions Bank Group, told Rounds that Regions Bank Group now has more employees devoted to compliance related matters than commercial lending. "When a bank is forced to hire more compliance officers or retain more… Continue Reading


Rounds Offers Amendment to Budget Resolution to Give State and Local Governments a Say in Environmental Regs

WASHINGTON - U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, today offered an amendment to the budget resolution that would allow the Senate to give state and local governments a say in environmental settlement agreements that affect citizens within their borders. EPW Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) is a cosponsor. The amendment seeks to end "sue and settle" tactics by requiring EPA and other agencies to notify state and local governments bef… Continue Reading


Rounds Questions VA Deputy Secretary Gibson on Health Care Accessibility for Vets

WASHINGTON-U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), a member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, today questioned Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) on ways to improve access to health care for veterans. During a hearing on the Veterans' Choice Act "40-mile rule" that was recently changed to provide more flexibility for veterans, Rounds took the opportunity to ask about other ways to streamline contracting for veteran services: "We have a duty to make sure ou… Continue Reading


Rounds Applauds FAA’s Approval of Powder River Training Complex Expansion for Ellsworth Air Force Base

WASHINGTON - U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today applauded the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) announcement that it has approved the Air Force's proposed expansion of the Powder River Training Complex (PRTC). PRTC encompasses air space over South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming. This is the last step in the expansion process. "I commend the collaborative efforts of the Air Force and the FAA, who have worked diligently to see t… Continue Reading


Rounds, Freshmen Senators Hold Press Conference to Address Obamacare’s Five-Year Anniversary

WASHINGTON-U.S. Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) joined fellow freshmen members of the Senate in a press conference today to address the future of health care on the five-year anniversary of Obamacare. "We're not going to stop until we fix a lot of the problems that we find within the health care industry," said Rounds at the conference. "What we can do to start is pass a budget resolution that provides tools for us in which to impact the implementation of health care. And it provides us something … Continue Reading


Rounds Introduces Amendment to Budget Resolution to Open More Mortgage Options in Rural Areas

WASHINGTON - U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), a member of the Senate Banking Committee, today introduced an amendment to the budget resolution to facilitate help for those in rural areas seeking a mortgage to purchase a home. The Dodd-Frank financial reform law of 2010 has made it more difficult for citizens in rural areas to receive a mortgage. "South Dakotans who live in rural areas are finding it increasingly hard to get a loan for a home because of new layers of red tape at the federal level… Continue Reading


Rounds Statement on Senate Budget Resolution

WASHINGTON - U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) today made the following statement on the Senate Budget resolution: "The budget released today outlines a robust plan to get government working again," said Rounds. "It's a road map to make government more efficient, effective and accountable to the American people. Our plan rightfully balances the budget, strengthens national defense, repeals Obamacare, and protects the most vulnerable among us while encouraging economic growth and productivity. Whil… Continue Reading


Rounds Calls for End to Sequestration

WASHINGTON-U.S. Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today at a hearing made the following remarks reinforcing his desire to end sequestration and increase spending for defense: "I would like to briefly address an overarching theme that has dominated this committee's dialog over many weeks. That theme is, of course, the critical importance of properly funding our armed forces. We have heard over and over from leaders from throughout the Defense Depart… Continue Reading


Rounds to Administration: Act Quickly To Protect South Dakota Tourism and Construction Industries

WASHINGTON - U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) today wrote a letter to Department of Labor (DOL) encouraging the agency to act quickly to find a long-term solution for issuing temporary, seasonal employment visas (H-2B) that are critical for a number of industries in South Dakota. Earlier this month, DOL stopped processing H-2B visas following an injunction by a federal court. Today, a judge granted stay that would allow DOL to continue issuing H-2B visas while a long-term solution is established. … Continue Reading


Weekly Column: Helping South Dakotans Navigate Federal Agencies

Part of my job as a United States Senator is to provide assistance to South Dakotans who are having trouble dealing with a federal agency. In fact, it is the primary focus in my state offices. Members of my staff in South Dakota are specially trained to help constituents navigate the federal maze. We work with our fellow South Dakotans on a daily basis, addressing their concerns and issues related to the federal government. Sometimes, we even work to remind the federal government it’s the citiz… Continue Reading


Rounds Visits Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility

WASHINGTON - U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, tonight returned from a trip to the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, also known as GTMO. The facility houses some of the world's most dangerous terrorists. Rounds was joined by U.S. Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.). During their trip, the delegation toured the Guantanamo Bay base, observed detention operations and met wit… Continue Reading


Rounds Questions Pentagon Officials on BRAC Process

WASHINGTON-U.S. Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support, Wednesday questioned Department of Defense (DoD) officials about the Administration's proposal for another Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) round. When Rounds was working as governor during the last BRAC round (2005), Ellsworth Air Force Base was removed from DoD's proposed closure list as a result of extensive information that South Dakota presented to the BRA… Continue Reading


Rounds Presses Army Corps for Answers on Misleading Waters of the U.S. Statements

WASHINGTON -U.S. Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, today pressed for answers regarding misleading comments made by members of the Obama Administration on the Waters of the U.S. proposal. At a hearing last week, Rounds asked Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy to clarify contradictory statements about the public comments received, but was deferred to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). Today's le… Continue Reading


Rounds Applauds Administration for Backing Off Ammunition Ban Proposal

WASHINGTON-U.S. Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) today applauded the Administration's decision to withdraw a proposal to severely limit rifle ammunition primarily used for sporting purposes. Rounds is a member of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus. "I was appalled to hear the Administration would even consider restricting access to bullets," said Rounds. "In our letter, we made clear that the right to bear arms includes ammunition as well. I'm pleased common sense and the 2nd amendment prevailed.… Continue Reading


Rounds Condemns ATF Framework Limiting Sporting Ammo

WASHINGTON - U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) today joined 52 colleagues in expressing concern for a new proposal that would severely limit access to rifle ammunition primarily used for sporting purposes. This class of ammunition is protected from prohibition under a 1986 Law Enforcement Officer Protection Act exemption. The framework, proposed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), would set arbitrary guidelines for determining whether certain ammunition meets the 1986… Continue Reading


Rounds Questions Administration’s Commitment to Public Input on Social Cost of Carbon Estimates

WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D), a member of The Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW), joined EPW Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Sens. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), David Vitter (R-La.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and James Lankford (R-Okla.) in sending a letter to Howard Shelanski, administrator for the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), on the s… Continue Reading


Weekly Column: Stopping Iran's Nuclear Threat

I recently had the opportunity to attend Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's address to a Joint Meeting of Congress. His speech to us focused on the important bond between the U.S. and Israel, as well as our shared goal of preventing Iran from ever obtaining nuclear weapons. I was pleased to hear the Prime Minister's thoughts, especially as the Administration negotiates with Iran to eliminate their nuclear program. Iran is a dangerous nation that threatens the security of the entire wor… Continue Reading


Rounds Presses EPA on Economic Impact of Regulatory Proposals

WASHINGTON -U.S. Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPA) Committee, today had the opportunity to question Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy about the agency's process for determining the economic impact when proposing major new rules. In addition, he asked her to clarify EPA's contradictory statements about the public comments received on the proposed Waters of the U.S. rule. Misleading statements could confuse the … Continue Reading


Rounds Statement on NLRB’s “Ambush Election” Rule

WASHINGTON-U.S. Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) today supported a Joint Resolution of Disapproval, which he cosponsored, against the National Labor Relations Board's (NLRB) recent rule on "ambush elections," The rule is scheduled to take effect on April 14, 2015. "With this rule, the NLRB isn't looking out for workers or employers-it's looking to protect big unions," said Rounds. "By dramatically cutting the time between a union petition to a representation election, it not only limits the rights … Continue Reading

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