Skip to content

Weekly Round[s] Up: December 5-11, 2022

Another week has come and gone out here in Washington, which means we are one week closer to Christmas and the end of the 117th Congress. The Senate still needs to fund the government by Dec. 16th and pass the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) before the end of the year. This past week, we voted on several nominees on the floor, met with many foreign dignitaries and said goodbye to some important members of our office. Here’s my Weekly Round[s] Up:

South Dakota groups I visited with: Dave Bordewyk and Justin Smith from the South Dakota Newspaper Association.

Other meetings this past week: Peter Beyer and Thomas Silberhorn, members of the German Bundestag; Arati Prabhakar, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and Science Advisor to the President; a delegation from Canada’s Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade; Eric Pan, CEO of the Investment Company Institute; Ken Seitz, CEO of Nutrien; Tom Fanning, CEO of Southern Company; Jane Fraser, CEO of Citi Bank; and Turkish Members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Parliamentary Assembly (NATO PA).

We also had our weekly Senate Bible Study (Our verse of the week was Ephesians 4:26-27) and our Senate Prayer Breakfast (Senator Maggie Hassan from New Hampshire was our speaker). Additionally, I was asked to give the invocation at a dinner honoring retiring Republican Senators.

Met with South Dakotans from: Brookings and Sioux Falls.

Topics discussed: The B-21 Raider stealth bomber, the importance of local news in our communities, the NDAA and government funding.

Votes taken: 11 – all of these were to confirm the nomination of judges to several district and circuit courts across the country.

Classified briefings: I had a bi-weekly cyber education and briefing seminar; and a briefing on the situation in Ukraine.

Staff happenings: As the end of the fall semester nears, we’re saying goodbye to our fall interns. Madison in Sioux Falls and Justin in D.C. both finished their internships this past week, and Christine in D.C. will finish this week. We have truly appreciated all of their hard work and will miss seeing them in the office.

In addition, Thursday was the last day for our Air Force Fellow, Major Ben Shafer. Ben is a South Dakota native and spent the past year in our D.C. office working on defense policy. He returns to Sioux Falls this week to begin his new position as Deputy Base Civil Engineer with the 114th Fighter Wing of the South Dakota Air National Guard. He’s been a great asset to our team! 

Steps taken this week: 53,570 steps or 24.85 miles

Video of the week: There are over 10,000 high school seniors in South Dakota. Many apply each year for a nomination to our nation’s service academies. As a United States Senator, I have the opportunity to select one of these applicants as my principal nominee for each service academy. This year, for the first time that we know of, two of my principal nominees attend the same school, Aberdeen Central High School. To mark this special occasion, I decided it would be fun to surprise them with the news in person. Not only were they in the same school, they were in the same classroom, which was being taught by the father of one of the nominees. What a special moment! Watch this video to see their surprise: