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Weekly Round[s] Up: September 12-18, 2022

The Weekly Round[s] Up is back after our in-state work period. I had a busy couple weeks traveling around the state and visiting with South Dakotans. I made stops in Aberdeen, Deadwood, Highmore, Huron, Milbank, Mitchell, Sioux Falls, Spearfish, Wessington Springs and Wolsey. It’s always good to be back at home in South Dakota, but now we have a few weeks of work in DC. Here’s my Weekly Round[s] Up:

South Dakota groups I visited with: South Dakota Farmers Union; Dakota Credit Union Association; South Dakota Growth Energy; Brandon Maddox, CEO of Silencer Central; Leadership from the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and Oglala Sioux Tribe. Additionally, I spoke virtually at the 2022 Sioux Falls Cybersecurity Conference.

Other meetings this week: Andrew Cecere, CEO of US Bank; Mitch Krebs, CEO of Coeur Mining; and Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan. I met with two nominees being processed in the Senate Armed Services Committee. I had a call with the Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin. We had our weekly Senate Prayer Breakfast (Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota was our speaker). I hosted a follow-up meeting with our cybersecurity working group. The meeting included the National Cyber Director, the Executive Director of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission and congressional leadership. I also gave a keynote address on artificial intelligence at the Global Emerging Threats Technology Summit.

Additionally, I participated in a special breakfast in honor of my friend and colleague Senator Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma. Senator Inhofe and I have traveled the world together through our roles on the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Africa holds a special place in our hearts. This breakfast was held by the Rwandan Embassy and was attended by ambassadors from many African nations.

Met with South Dakotans from: Aberdeen, Antelope, Britton, Buffalo, Cavour, Clark, Dallas, De Smet, Fort Pierre, Groton, Harrisburg, Hartford, Huron, Ipswich, Kimball, Lake Preston, Madison, Miller, Mitchell, Oacoma, Parade, Parkston, Pine Ridge, Pierre, Rapid City, Sioux Falls, Tea, Watertown, Wessington Springs, White Horse, White Lake and Union Center.

Topics discussed: The impact of inflation on South Dakotans; the need to include Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling (MCOOL) in the 2023 Farm Bill; the importance of cybersecurity; and the need for stronger law enforcement coordination among state, tribal and federal officials.

Legislation introduced: This week, I introduced the TRUCKS Act, or the Trucking Regulations Unduly Constricting Known Service-Providers Act. This bill would remove burdensome government regulations, which are making it more difficult to recruit and retain truck drivers for small businesses in South Dakota.

Votes taken: Eight – all of these were on nominations for judicial or executive positions.

Hearings: There were two hearings in the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee this week, and one of them was with Gary Gensler, the Chair of the US Securities and Exchange Commission. We also had two hearings in the Senate Armed Services Committee, both of which were on nominations. Additionally, there was a Senate Foreign Relations Committee business meeting where we passed a bill supporting Taiwan. I voted against a bill authorizing funds for the Department of State.

Classified briefings: We had a cybersecurity briefing on the Directive Authority for Cyberspace Operations.

My staff in South Dakota visited: Deadwood, Elm Springs, Rapid City and Spearfish.

Steps taken this week: 65,854 (or 30.4 miles)

Video of the week: I joined CNN’s State of the Union to discuss the border crisis, abortion and foreign policy.