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Weekly Round[s] Up: May 20-26, 2024

We had another busy week in the United States Senate before breaking for the Memorial Day Weekend. On Memorial Day, we honor and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice to defend the freedoms of our great nation. Their service will never be forgotten. This past week, I introduced a bill to help rural newspaper delivery by incentivizing reliable USPS service. The Select Committee on Intelligence, which I am a member of, also voted on the 2025 Annual Intelligence Authorization Act to improve our country’s national security. Finally, I led dozens of my Senate colleagues in introducing a bipartisan resolution to stand with our ally Israel. More on all of these later. Here’s my Weekly Round[s] Up:

South Dakotans I met with: Steve Bumann, South Dakota Member Director of the Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) and Elsie Meeks, Public Interest Independent Director at FHLB; Tom Heinz, Owner and CEO of Coffee Cup Fuel Stops; Matt Brakke, a New York Life financial advisor from Pierre; Larry Deiter, Director of the South Dakota Division of Insurance; RF Buche, President of GF Buche Co. and members of the National Grocers Association; and South Dakota members of the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association.

Met with South Dakotans from: North Sioux City, Pierre, Rapid City, Sioux Falls and Wagner.

Other meetings: Lieutenant General Jonathan Braga, Commanding General of US Army Special Operations Command; Leaders from the Barona Band of Mission Indians; the Federal Reserve’s Federal Advisory Council; SEAC Troy Black, Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Masood Khan, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States; Marc Andreessen and Chris Dixon, general partners at Andreessen Horowitz; R Street’s Cybersecurity-Artificial Intelligence Working Group; Alexander Radwan, member of the Germen Bundestag; Dr. Michael Sulmeyer, Principal Cyber Advisor to the Secretary of the Army; and Peng Xiao, CEO of G42. I also spoke on the phone with U.S. Postal Service’s Postmaster General Louis DeJoy.

Votes taken: 11 – most of these were on nominations to positions in the Department of Defense and judge positions in Arizona, California and New Hampshire. We also voted once again on the Senate’s border security legislation from earlier this year. I joined a majority of my colleagues in voting no. We’ve seen nothing so far to indicate that President Biden would actually enforce these laws if enacted. The crisis at our Southern border has been exacerbated by President Biden’s policies, including the executive orders he’s issued during his time in office. Providing him with additional resources at this time would only make the crisis worse.

Resolution filed: I led a bipartisan group of colleagues in introducing a Sense of the Senate resolution to reject the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor’s application for arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant. It is unconscionable that the ICC prosecutor would seek arrest warrants for Israeli leaders for defending against Hamas terrorists. This resolution tells the world that we stand with Israel. Read more about this here.

Intelligence Committee Markup: This past week, my colleagues on the Select Committee on Intelligence and I unanimously passed the annual Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2025 out of committee by a vote of 17 to 0. This was the second Intelligence Authorization Act that I helped shape since joining the committee in February 2023. You can read more about this legislation here.

Legislation introduced: I introduced the bipartisan Deliver for Democracy Act with Senator Peter Welch (D-Vt.). This legislation would help rural newspaper delivery by incentivizing reliable postal service and limiting excessive rate increases. I am pleased that our bill is supported by the South Dakota NewsMedia Association. You can read more about this legislation here.

Hearings: I attended a Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) Strategic Forces Subcommittee hearing to talk about US space operations, which you can watch a clip of here. I also attended a hearing in the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs (SCIA) to talk about tribal law enforcement funding and the public safety crisis on reservations in South Dakota, which you can see a clip of here. I asked Assistant Interior Secretary Bryan Newland about solutions for training law enforcement officers closer to home in South Dakota, as well as what the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) is doing to assist these officers through increased funding or personnel.  

Letter to the SEC: I sent a letter to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) detailing my concerns with a proposed rule regarding predictive data analytics. This proposal would harm American innovation and curtail the use of many beneficial technologies, including artificial intelligence. More on this here.

Classified briefings: I attended one classified briefing related to my work on SASC’s Subcommittee on Seapower. I also attended a briefing on the B-2.

My staff in South Dakota visited: Armour, De Smet, Huron, Pierre, Rapid City, Sioux Falls and Stickney

Steps taken this past week: 41,424 steps or 20.42 miles

Video of the week: This past week, I joined Fox Business’s Mornings with Maria to discuss Israel, inflation and our southern border: