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Weekly Round[s] Up: January 22-February 4, 2024

Welcome back to another edition of the Weekly Round[s] Up! As many of you may know, I attend the Senate Prayer Breakfast with my colleagues nearly every week when I’m out here in Washington. Once a year in early February, we have the National Prayer Breakfast, where our typical small group of 15 or so expands well into the hundreds. We welcome several guests to the Capitol, including the President, to join us for a morning of prayer and fellowship. The National Prayer Breakfast is an important example of elected officials coming together from both sides of the aisle, putting politics aside for one morning to pray for the good of our nation. Here’s my Weekly Round[s] Up:  

South Dakotans I met with: Students from Lincoln High School visiting Washington D.C.; the South Dakota Chiropractors Association; the South Dakota Wheat Growers Association; and South Dakota members of the Merchants Payments Coalition. I was in Rapid City for the Black Hills Stock Show, and I traveled to Watertown to present United States Army veteran Clifford Lindner with the Atomic Veterans Commemorative Service Medal.

Visited with South Dakotans from: Aberdeen, Dakota Dunes, Lead, Miller, Pierre, Rapid City, Sioux Falls, St. Lawrence and Watertown.

Rounds Up Stock Show Collage (1)

Photos from the Black Hills Stock Show

Other meetings: Admiral Samuel Paparo, nominee to be Commander of United States Indo-Pacific Command; Judy Faulkner, CEO of Epic Systems; David Maurstad, FEMA’s Assistant Administrator of the Federal Insurance Directorate and the senior executive of the National Flood Insurance Program; Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google; Jacob Helberg, Senior Policy Advisor at Palantir; Ramush Haradinaj, former Prime Minister of Kosovo; Jason Kelly, Chair of the National Security Commission on Emerging Biotechnology; President Paul Kagame of Rwanda; Azarias Ruberwa, former Vice President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo; and Senate Bible Study, where we studied Philippians 1:9.

In addition to the National Prayer Breakfast, we had our Senate Prayer Breakfast, where I was our speaker this past week. There is a sign that hangs in the Washington Monument with a quote from George Washington in 1785 that reads “My first wish… is to see the whole world in peace, and the inhabitants of it as one band of brothers, striving who should contribute most to the happiness of mankind.” I had a copy of it made to put in my Washington D.C. office. I spoke about this quote at prayer breakfast this past week.

Votes taken: 21 – These were on nominations for judge positions across the United States, as well as several executive branch positions, including on the Amtrak Board of Directors and at the Environmental Protection Agency.

Hearings: I attended seven hearings over the past two weeks. Three in the Select Committee on Intelligence, two in the Senate Armed Services Committee and one in the Senate Banking Committee. I also attended one hearing in the Senate Banking Committee’s Housing, Transportation, and Community Development Subcommittee on AI in Housing.

Classified briefings: I had four classified briefings these past two weeks, three of which were related to my work on the Senate Armed Services Committee. One was our bi-weekly cyber education seminar.

Legislation introduced: I introduced legislation that would ban fake meat products from being served in school lunches. The School Lunch Integrity Act of 2024 would prohibit the use of cell-cultivated meat under the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program. You can read more about this bill here.

I also introduced legislation with Senator Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) that would work to make certain that only U.S. citizens are factored into the count for congressional districts and the Electoral College map that determines presidential elections. You can read more about the Equal Representation Act here.

My staff in South Dakota visited: Aberdeen, Fort Pierre, Huron, Madison, Pierre, Rapid City, Sioux Falls and Watertown.

Steps taken this past week:  Week 1: 53,838 steps or 26.71 miles

                                                Week 2: 58,804 steps or 29.19 miles

Photo of the week: As I mentioned, I traveled to Watertown to present U.S. Army Veteran Clifford Lindner with the Atomic Veterans Commemorative Service Medal for his work on Operation Upshot-Knothole, a series of nuclear tests that took place in Nevada in 1953:  

Clifford Lindner Medal Presentation