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Weekly Round[s] Up: May 1-7, 2023

Each week, this paragraph serves as an opportunity for me to give you a general overview of my week before getting into the specifics below. This week, I instead wanted to take a moment to honor Deputy Kaitie Leising, who lost her life in the line of duty this past week in St. Croix County, Wisconsin. Deputy Leising spent two years working for the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office in South Dakota from February 2020 to January 2022. You can read more about her service in this story from NewsCenter1.  

Every day, thousands of brave officers across the country put their lives on the line to protect and defend our citizens. While most make it home to their families at the end of each shift, hundreds of officers each year do not. In Deputy Leising’s honor, take a moment to appreciate the law enforcement officers in your community who risk their lives to keep you and your families safe.

Here’s my Weekly Round[s] Up:

South Dakota groups I visited with: The South Dakota Association of Nurse Anesthetists, South Dakota Association for Clinical Oncology, the South Dakota Education Association and Jagur Parks, who is a junior at Stevens High School in Rapid City and is serving as a Senate Page this semester.

Additionally, I was in Sioux Falls on Friday and had an opportunity to visit with students at Lincoln and Roosevelt high schools. I also spoke at the annual convention for the DAV Department of South Dakota.

Meetings this past week: Mark Montgomery, Executive Director of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission and several officials from the German Ministry of Defense who work in cybersecurity.

We also had our Senate Bible Study (Matthew 5:13-16 was our reading).

Met with South Dakotans from: Burbank, Pierre, Rapid City, Sioux Falls and Spearfish.

Topic discussed: The hottest topic in DC this past week, without a doubt, was the debt ceiling. The debt ceiling is the limit, set by Congress, on the total amount of debt the United States is legally allowed to incur in order to pay the costs of running our country. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has estimated that the United States will have reached our debt limit measures by June 1. Republicans in the House have already proposed legislation that would raise the debt limit, but at the same time rein in out of control spending and executive rulemaking. Unfortunately, President Biden wants to raise the debt limit without making any reforms to spending. I joined 42 of my Senate Republican colleagues in sending a letter to Majority Leader Schumer stating that we will not support raising the debt limit without reforms being made to government spending. Expect to hear a lot about the debt limit over the next few weeks as negotiations continue between President Biden and Congress.

Votes taken: 12 – Nearly all of these were on nominees to executive positions.

Hearings: Six – Two in the Select Committee on Intelligence, two in the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), one in Banking and one in the SASC Subcommittee on Strategic Forces.

Classified briefings: I had a classified briefing with SASC’s Strategic Forces subcommittee. I also had one classified briefing with SASC’s Subcommittee on Cybersecurity. (Not surprisingly, all of our Select Committee on Intelligence meetings are classified as well)

Legislation introduced: This past week, I introduced bipartisan legislation with Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.) to create and update rural housing programs. Our bill would improve rural housing programs, cut red tape and increase the accessibility of affordable housing. You can read more about the specific provisions included here.

My staff in South Dakota visited: Aberdeen, Clark, Rapid City, Sioux Falls, Vermillion, Watertown and Webster.

Steps taken this week: 54,968 steps or 25.34 miles

Video of the Week: This past week, I had the opportunity to award three long-overdue medals to Vietnam Veteran Michael Grann of Wallace. Grann served in the United States Air Force with the 366th Security Police Squadron at Da Nang Airfield and Freedom Hill between 1971 and 1972.