Weekly Round[s] Up: November 27-December 3, 2023
We’re back in Washington for our last weeks of session before Christmas break. We have a busy month ahead as we look to address the National Defense Authorization Act and the National Security supplemental funding request for aid to Israel and Ukraine, as well as policy changes at our southern border. As we work on both of those bills, we continue to meet with South Dakotans, introduce additional legislation, attend hearings and host artificial intelligence (AI) forums. We have a lot of work to get done before the New Year, but we’re ready to bring 2023 to a close before we hit the ground running in January. Here’s my Weekly Round[s] Up:
South Dakotans I visited with: Matt Schull, CEO of Missouri River Energy Services and Bill Gassen, CEO of Sanford Health.
Meetings this past week: Dan Reed, Chair of the National Science Board; Harry Coker, Nominee to be National Cyber Director; Andrew Shearer, Australia’s Director-General of National Intelligence; Philip Jefferson, Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors; Meredith Attwell Baker, CEO of CTIA; Professor Klaus Schwab, Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum; and Amandeep Singh Gill, the United Nations Secretary General’s Envoy on Technology.
This past week, we had another AI insight forum. The topic this week was transparency & explainability and intellectual property & copyright. This past week, we heard from leaders at companies such as Sony, the Motion Picture Association, Spotify and more. As always, we appreciate everyone who takes the time to visit with lawmakers as we look at the future of AI regulation.
Over the weekend, I attended the 2023 Reagan National Defense Forum at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. I spoke on a panel titled “Supremacy or Parity? Aligning the National Defense Strategy for Techno-Competition with the People’s Republic of China” about AI and cybersecurity as it relates to national security. The Reagan National Defense Forum is always a great opportunity to gather with my colleagues in the Senate and House, military leaders and policy experts to discuss national security and defense policies. You can watch the full panel discussion here.
We also had our Senate Bible Study (1 Peter 2:13-14 was our verse this past week) and our Senate Prayer Breakfast (Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania was our speaker). I also had the opportunity to attend the Capitol Ministries International Conference which was taking place in Washington this past week. I spoke to over 100 members from all over the world who run Bible studies similar to ours in the legislative bodies in their respective countries.
Votes taken: 12 – all of these were on nominations to positions within the judicial branch, with one in the Department of Labor.
Hearings: I attended one hearing in the Banking committee. We heard from Rohit Chopra, the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and I asked him questions about overdraft protections for consumers. You can watch a clip of that here.
Legislation introduced: This past week, I introduced the Farmers Freedom Act of 2023, legislation that would address federal overreach by protecting the definition of prior converted cropland in the Biden administration’s most recent Water of the United States (WOTUS) rule. This legislation seeks to restore this definition of PCC and prevent further overreach on South Dakota farmers and ranchers, who know their land better than any D.C. bureaucrats.
My staff in South Dakota visited: Aberdeen, Beresford, Dell Rapids, Elk Point, Forestburg, Howard, Huron, Jefferson, Madison, Pierre, Sturgis, Watertown and Woonsocket.
Steps taken this past week: 59,922 steps or 29.64 miles.
Video of the week: This past week, I joined NewsNation to talk more about border security and United States support for Israel: