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Weekly Round[s] Up: March 4-10, 2024

It was a busy week out in Washington! Spring fly-in season is in full swing, which means that many of you are coming out to DC with different organizations to visit with us on Capitol Hill. I met with several South Dakotans from all across our great state this week. I’m looking forward to seeing even more of you this spring. Beyond meetings with South Dakotans, we were also busy with hearings and classified briefings as well as several votes on the Senate floor. One of these votes was on a bill to fund six areas of the federal government for the remainder of the fiscal year. You can read all about that and more in my Weekly Round[s] Up:

South Dakotans I met with: Dr. Jim Rankin, President of the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology; members of the South Dakota Broadcasters Association; South Dakota Veterans of Foreign Wars; the Dakota Credit Union Association; Linn Evans, CEO of Black Hills Energy; Leila Balsiger and Katie Schulte, South Dakota’s delegates to the United States Senate Youth Program; and Disabled American Veterans Department of South Dakota.

Visited with South Dakotans from: Aberdeen, Beresford, Brandt, Brookings, Canton, Dell Rapids, Newell, Parkston, Plankinton, Rapid City, Sioux Falls, Spearfish, Winner and Yankton.

Other meetings: General Michael Langley, Commander of U.S. Africa Command; General Gregory Guillot, Commander of U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command; Dr. Vineeta Agarwala; and Wayne Peacock, CEO of United Services Automobile Association (USAA). I also spoke at the National Council of State Housing Agencies Legislative Conference about my work on the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

Votes taken: 17 – most notably was our vote on the Consolidated Appropriations Act. Remember the homework assignment we discussed last week? We got half of it done last Friday! I voted yes on this appropriations package which includes funding for the following areas: Military Construction-Veterans Affairs; Agriculture; Commerce; Energy-Water Development; Transportation, Housing and Urban Development; and Interior. Funding for the other six appropriations bills expires on March 22.

I was able to secure nearly $150 million in funding that will directly support South Dakota projects. After hearing from South Dakotans, we provided input and requests to make certain that this federal funding goes to projects that have the support of local stakeholders, not just Washington bureaucrats. These projects, which include housing, transportation and water services, will benefit South Dakota for years to come. You can read more about the Consolidated Appropriations Act and see a full list of South Dakota funding projects here.

Hearings: I attended five hearings this week. One was in the Select Committee on Intelligence. Two were in the Senate Armed Services Committee. I also attended a hearing for the Senate Banking Committee where we heard from Jerome Powell, Chairman of the Federal Reserve. I had the opportunity to ask him about the Fed’s Basel III Endgame proposal as well as the high inflation rates. You can watch my full line of questions here.

I also attended a hearing this week for a committee on which I do not serve – the Senate Judiciary Committee. Eric Schulte and Camela Theeler were both nominated to serve on the U.S. District Court for the District of South Dakota. I am proud to support both of these nominees. I was honored to introduce them at their nomination hearing alongside my South Dakota colleague Senator John Thune. You can watch my full introduction here.

Classified briefings: I had one classified briefing with the Senate Armed Services Committee’s Strategic Forces Subcommittee.

My staff in South Dakota visited: Aberdeen and Brookings

Steps taken this past week: 42,311 steps or 21.07 miles