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Weekly Round[s] Up: March 11-17, 2024

Welcome to another edition of the Weekly Round[s] Up! We’re gearing up for another busy week before heading back to South Dakota for our Easter in-state work period. Our next deadline is Friday to finish up our appropriations for this fiscal year. As we work on those, we kept busy with meetings, hearings and votes this past week. I also hosted an event in Washington to commemorate the congressional charter for the National American Indian Veterans and honored Vietnam era veterans in Sisseton with Vietnam Veteran Lapel Pins. More on all of this and more in this week’s Weekly Round[s] Up:

South Dakotans I met with: Representatives from South Dakota Impact Aid Schools; and Ann and Lily Garner with the South Dakota Fibromyalgia Network. I also went to Sisseton last Friday to honor nearly 100 Vietnam era veterans with Vietnam Veteran Lapel Pins.

Visited with South Dakotans from: Batesland, Box Elder, Chamberlain, Custer, Dupree, Eagle Butte, Flandreau, Lake Andes, Mission, Mitchell, Pierre, Sioux Falls, Sisseton, Timber Lake, Wagner, Wall and Winner.

Other meetings: Kirsten Hillman, Canada’s Ambassador to the United States and François-Philippe Champagne, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry; Tom Rosenbaum, President of the California Institute of Technology; President Andrzej Duda of Poland; General Laura Richardson, Commander of U.S. Southern Command; and Ted Pick, CEO of Morgan Stanley. I also attended our Senate Bible Study, where we studied Acts 2:32-33.

This past week, we had our Senate Republican retreat. Early in each year, we all gather to spend a day having discussions on the upcoming year and what we’re hoping to accomplish. While I see my colleagues for lunch most days and around Capitol Hill all the time, it’s nice to spend a day together uninterrupted to focus on what matters: getting our country back on track.

National American Indian Veterans: This past week, I hosted a ceremony to commemorate the granting of a congressional charter to the National American Indian Veterans organization as part of the FY24 National Defense Authorization Act. We had several guests from across the nation, including Secretary of Veterans’ Affairs Denis McDonough and National NAIV Commander Don Loudner. Don is a Korean War Era veteran and a member of the Hunkpati Sioux Tribe based in South Dakota. You can read more about this ceremony here, and watch the ceremony in its entirety here.

Votes taken: 8 – these were on nominations to judge positions in Illinois, Virginia, Rhode Island and Maryland and executive branch positions at the Department of State.

Hearings: I attended three hearings this week. In the Senate Banking Committee, we had a hearing on examining legislation to address affordable housing. I had the opportunity to question our witnesses on my Rural Housing Service Reform Act. You can watch a clip of that here. We also had one of our few open hearings in the Select Committee on Intelligence, where I questioned FBI Director Christopher Wray on foreign nationals purchasing American farmland. Last, we had a nominations hearing in the Senate Armed Services Committee with General Gregory Guillot and General Laura Richardson, both of whom I met with earlier. See the full clip of that hearing here.

Classified briefings: I had one classified briefing with the Senate Armed Services Committee’s Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee.

My staff in South Dakota visited: Aberdeen, Belle Fourche, Sioux Falls and Sisseton.

Steps taken this past week: 64,999 steps or 32.01 miles

Video of the week: I joined CNN’s Dana Bash on State of the Union this past Sunday to discuss legislation moving through Congress that could potentially ban TikTok, as well as Israel and the 2024 election.