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Weekly Round[s] Up: October 16-22, 2023

After a great in-state work period spent in South Dakota, we’re back in action for another Senate work period. I had the opportunity to visit Sioux Falls to speak at the South Dakota Biotech Association’s annual meeting on a panel with Dakota State President José-Marie Griffiths. I visited Brookings during Hobo Week for a groundbreaking for 3M’s new expansion. While in town, I had to make a stop on South Dakota State University’s campus to chat with students over donuts, visit with the Collegian newspaper and celebrate homecoming. Great memories of my time as a student there. As we alumni look ahead to this weekend, we’re hoping for a Jackrabbit win against the powerful Yotes in Vermillion. Here’s my Weekly Round[s] Up:

South Dakotans I visited with: This past week, I met with Michael Bockorny, CEO of the Aberdeen Development Corporation. I also presented an Atomic Veterans Commemorative Service Medal to Navy Veteran Darrell Lee Witte from Pierre. Mr. Witte was a member of the USS Walton that took part in Operation RedWing, a nuclear weapon test series that took place in 1956. My office works with veterans to get them the medals they have earned. If you are a veteran or a family member of a veteran needing assistance with this, please contact my office.

Meetings this past week: Tanya Otsuka, nominee for the National Credit Union Administration board; Erik Fyrwald, CEO of Syngenta; The Real Estate Roundtable; and Martin O’Malley, nominee for Commissioner of the Social Security Administration. I also had a meeting with Kathy Warden, CEO of Northrop Grumman for an update on the B-21 Raider stealth bomber coming to Ellsworth AFB.

We also had our Senate Prayer Breakfast, where Senator Ted Cruz of Texas was our speaker this week.

Panel hosted: This past week, I hosted a panel for fellow Senators and their staff members on artificial intelligence and cancer research. The panel featured academic and industry experts who work at the intersection of these two fields. We had an excellent conversation on how AI is transforming health care. You can read more about the panel here.

Cancer research is an issue that’s particularly personal to me. As many of you know, I lost my wife Jean to cancer on November 2, 2021. We were already seeing encouraging progress in the development of new treatments during her battle a few years ago. Now, there is a real opportunity to utilize AI in ways never thought possible that will help save lives.

Headline of the week: Q&A: Rounds on regulating AI, which will impact ‘every single aspect of our lives’ – South Dakota Searchlight

Votes taken: 8 – most notably was the Senate’s unanimous passage of a resolution standing with our ally Israel against terrorism.

Hearings: I attended 4 hearings this past week: one in the Select Committee on Intelligence, one in the Banking committee, one in the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) and one joint hearing between SASC and the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee.

Our Banking committee hearing was on nominations, where we heard from six individual nominees to executive positions. I had the opportunity to serve as Ranking Member and give the opening statement. You can watch a clip of that here

Classified briefings: I had 2 classified briefings this past week: one was on the B-21 Raider stealth bomber. One was a briefing for all senators on the war in Israel. I talked more about that on CNN last Thursday morning. You can watch the clip of that at the end of the Round[s] Up.

My staff in South Dakota visited: Aberdeen, Madison, Mobridge and Roscoe.  

Steps taken this past week: 56,514 steps or 28.06 miles

Video of the Week: I joined CNN This Morning to talk more about the war in Israel: