Skip to content

Weekly Round[s] Up: April 8-14, 2024

We are back in the legislative session after a two-week in-state work period, which I spent back in South Dakota. While I was home, I was able to visit McIntosh, Sioux Falls, Watertown and Pierre. On Monday, I traveled back to Washington, DC to hit the ground running on a busy week. It’s fly-in season in Washington, which means that we had dozens of South Dakotans from across the state in the office this week to talk about everything from insurance to agriculture to Ellsworth Air Force Base. It’s been fun to see so many familiar faces out here! We also kept busy with hearings, votes and classified briefings. Read more in my Weekly Round[s] Up:

South Dakotans I met with: Box Elder city leadership; the 2024 Class of South Dakota Ag and Rural Leadership; Barry Dunn, President of South Dakota State University; leaders from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, including Chairwoman Janet Alkire; South Dakota Alzheimer’s Association; Bret Afdahl, Director of the South Dakota Division of Banking; Brett Hanson with the Northwestern Lumber Association; members of the South Dakota Trucking Association; Allen Merrill of Merrill Farms; and Independent Insurance Agents of South Dakota.

Visited with South Dakotans from: Aberdeen, Box Elder, Brookings, Canton, Chamberlain, Clark, Dell Rapids, Emery, Fairburn, Fort Pierre, Frederick, Gettysburg, Hartford, Howard, Milbank, Mitchell, Mobridge, Parker, Philip, Pierre, Platte, Rapid City, Salem, Sioux Falls, Sisseton, Timber Lake, Tulare, Vermillion, Volga, Watertown, Whitewood and Yankton.

Other meetings: Dr. Vetri Velan, Researcher at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory who works closely with the Sanford Underground Research Facility near Lead, SD; and Bob Frenzel, CEO of Xcel Energy. We had a joint session of Congress this week where we heard from Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. We had our Senate Bible Study, where our verse of the week was 1 Corinthians 4:1.

I was the keynote speaker at the Independent Insurance Agents of America’s Legislative Conference here in DC where I spoke to hundreds of insurance agents and small business owners from across the country. I also spoke to TechNet and companies like Google on the work I am doing in the Senate to harness the advanced technology of AI.   

Votes taken: 10 – most of these votes were on nominations to federal judge positions in Nebraska, Michigan and Utah. We also voted on a Congressional Review Act (CRA) to overturn the Department of Transportation’s emissions rule that would force state transportation departments to measure greenhouse gas emissions on the federal highway system. I voted to overturn this rule.

Letter to USPS Postmaster: I led a letter with the South Dakota congressional delegation to the United States Postal Service (USPS) Postmaster General Louis DeJoy urging the Postal Service to avoid downsizing or significantly reorganizing mail processing operations in South Dakota. You can read more about this, along with the full text of the letter, here.

Hearings: Five. I attended two hearings in the Select Committee on Intelligence. We also had three hearings in the Senate Armed Services Committee. In our first SASC hearing of the week, I had the opportunity to ask Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin about spectrum and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General CQ Brown about the B-21 Raider stealth bomber. You can watch a clip of that hearing here. At Wednesday’s SASC hearing, I asked General Timothy Haugh, commander of U.S. Cyber Command and Director of the National Security Agency, about FISA Section 702 reauthorization. You can watch a clip of that here.

Classified briefings: I attended two classified briefings this week. One was our biweekly cyber education seminar. The other was a briefing with SASC’s Subcommittee on Seapower.

My staff in South Dakota visited: Aberdeen, Baltic, Fort Pierre, Mitchell, Valley Springs and Watertown. 

Steps taken this past week: 43,868 steps or 21.2 miles

Photos of the week:


Meeting with SDSU President Barry Dunn

SD Alzheimer's Association

Meeting with the South Dakota Alzheimer’s Association