US Senate

Meat Packer Bill Reintroduced

May 16, 2016
South Dakota Public Broadcasting

U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa is sponsoring legislation to ban meat packer ownership of livestock.   The move aims to end what some call a monopoly in the meat industry. Critics say meat packers that also own livestock control too much of the market and hurt smaller family farms and ranches.

Bison Could Become National Mammal

May 3, 2016
Courtesy Wind Cave National Park

Bison could soon become the country’s National Mammal. The US House and Senate passed the National Bison Legacy Act. It’s awaiting President Obama’s signature.

SD US Senators Back Supreme Court Nominee Block

Mar 18, 2016
U.S. Senator Mike Rounds

South Dakota’s US Senators are pushing back against President Obama’s recent Supreme Court nomination.  

U.S. Senator Mike Rounds defends the decision to not hold hearings for any of Obama’s nominees, leaving the Supreme Court position vacant until after the election.

But critics say this strategy could backfire on the GOP.

President Obama recently nominated Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court.  Garland is currently the chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

Jay Williams Announces Bid for US Senate

Feb 19, 2016

A Yankton-based business owner is now running for the U.S. Senate.
 
Jay Williams announced his candidacy Friday at a press conference in Sioux Falls.   Williams was born in Gettysburg, South Dakota.  He says he’s a 4th generation South Dakotan.  Williams is a Democrat, but he says both of his grandparents were Republicans.
 

Sen. Thune Doesn’t Expect A Government Shutdown

Sep 23, 2015

U.S. Senator John Thune says the Senate is set to discuss funding the government. He says he does not expect a government shutdown.

Senator John Thune says lawmakers will likely pass a continuing resolution, funding the government through early December. He says at that point there needs to be a longer term solution in place.

Rounds for Senate

A United States Senator from South Dakota says lawmakers have less than two weeks to figure out how to fund the federal government. September 30th is the deadline to appropriate money to government programs.

Senator Mike Rounds says he doesn’t support simply extending appropriations already in place without other changes attached. SDPB’s Kealey Bultena asks him about that position.

Walker, Former US Senate Candidate In Jail Awaiting Trial

Jul 17, 2015

Clayton Walker is a former US Senate candidate who was kicked off the ballot for allegedly forging some of the signatures needed on his campaign petition.  He is now in jail awaiting trial.
 
Walker is set to stand trial on July 20th on felony charges including 12 counts of election petition violations.  
 
But he was arrested after failing to show up for pretrial hearings.  He is now in custody until the July 20th trial.

The US Senate is debating the Every Child Achieves Act, which replaces No Child Left Behind. Senator Mike Rounds hopes an amendment to the measure helps improve the quality of education in Indian Country.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

South Dakota now has an interim United States Attorney this week after Brendan Johnson left office. Randy Sieler is leading the office for now. Multiple factors contribute to the appointment of a new permanent federal prosecutor.

The process of replacing a United States Attorney lies in the hands of the White House Administration. Sandy McKeown is an assistance professor in political science at the University of South Dakota. She says the president fills the US Attorney position with the advice and consent of the Senate.

The United States Senate has failed to override the President’s veto of Keystone XL oil pipeline legislation. Wednesday afternoon, the number of lawmakers who voted to override the decision was 62. That’s not the two-thirds majority necessary for the measure to pass.

Last month President Barack Obama vetoed legislation authorizing construction on the Keystone XL pipeline, but the administration is still reviewing the pipeline proposal. Six years into consideration, United States Senators tried and failed to override the president’s veto of the nearly 1,200 miles of line.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

South Dakotans are asking the state’s lone United States Congresswoman about national issues they see affecting South Dakota. Tuesday US Representative Kristi Noem held a town hall meeting in Sioux Falls. 

People meeting with Congresswoman Kristi Noem in Sioux Falls want to know how Washington, DC sees topics important to them. One of those is the Keystone XL oil pipeline, which would run through western South Dakota. Both the Senate and the House passed a measure approving the pipeline. Noem says the decision now rests with President Barack Obama.

KXL Fails To Pass U.S. Senate

Nov 18, 2014

The U.S. Senate has refused a bill that would send approval of the Keystone Pipeline project to the president’s desk.

Those opposing the Keystone pipeline are claiming a small victory.   Keith Fielder is one of the occupiers at the "Spirit Camp" on the pipeline route near the Rosebud Reservation.   He says the short term construction jobs aren’t worth the long term threat to the water supply from an oil spill.

Rounds Wins Four Way US Senate Race

Nov 5, 2014
Rounds for Senate

Republicans took control of the U.S. Senate in Tuesday’s election.

South Dakota U.S. Senator Elect Mike Rounds is part of the wave of new GOP Senators.

Rounds, who served two terms as South Dakota’s governor took office with over 50% of the popular vote in a four way race for the open seat.

Rounds' EB-5 Story Changes Over Time

Oct 16, 2014

The EB-5 story has become a centerpiece in the U.S. Senate race.

Former Governor Mike Rounds states he had nothing to do with the alleged embezzlement and fraud that occurred in part of the program before Northern Beef Packers went bankrupt.

Rounds says he’s been upfront and transparent with the public.   
 
But his answer to the question, “What did you know when?” has changed over time.

Click play below to hear the rest of the story.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Candidates for United States Senate are weighing in on the federal government’s role in Indian Affairs. The four men running for South Dakota’s open seat met Monday at a Sioux Falls Rotary Club lunch for a panel discussion. Candidates agree that something needs to change for sovereign Indian nations.

Gordon Howie is running for US Senate as an Independent. He says poverty and dysfunction exist on Native American reservations because politicians claim they champion Indian communities and don’t follow through on their support.

Arbitration Ruling Highlights Deep EB-5 Divisions

Oct 7, 2014

A California arbitrator cleared the South Dakota Board of Regents and the state in a breach of contract case involving the federal EB-5 immigrant visa program.
 
Both political parties are claiming gains from the case that has become a center point this election year.
 
Republicans say this resolution vindicates Mike Rounds and state officials of any wrongdoing.  
 

A nationwide Super PAC plans to spend $1 million in the race for South Dakota’s open United States Senate Seat. A group named Mayday calls itself a citizen-funded Super PAC. Leaders say their money comes from everyday people through crowdfunding and they claim to support policy, not political parties. Mayday is putting its money into commercials, get-out-the-vote campaigns and mailers.

The Native Vote And The U.S. Senate

Oct 2, 2014

Who wins an election is often determined by who shows up to vote.

At least two sitting U.S. Senators can credit narrow political victories by margins they carried in Indian County.
 
Some political pundits point out that the number of Native Americans that turn out to vote in this election could again play a key role in determining the makeup of the U.S. Senate.
 
SDPB’s Charles Michael Ray has this story on why some say the Native vote shouldn’t be overlooked in this election.

Campaign Finance Reform Splits SD U.S. Senators

Sep 18, 2014

An effort to back a constitutional amendment to limit the amount of money corporations and other groups can give to political campaigns died on the floor of the U.S. Senate late last week.

The move comes following the Citizens United and subsequent decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court that equate campaign contributions with free speech rights.

South Dakota’s Senators cast opposing votes on the resolution.

A candidate for South Dakota’s open US Senate seat says he wants everyone in the race to help prevent outside money from influencing the campaign. Democratic candidate Rick Weiland says the public move would benefit voters, but not everyone in the race agrees with Weiland’s perspective.

An Interview with Gordon Howie U.S. Senate Candidate

Jun 30, 2014

SDPB's Charles Michael Ray is working to interview all U.S. Senate candidates leading up to the November election.    Here is a full interview with Gordon Howie.

An Interview With Larry Pressler

May 27, 2014

SDPB's Charles Michael Ray is working to interview all U.S. Senate candidates leading up to the November election.   Excerpts from this audio are being included in a news feature.  Here is the full interview.

Annette Bosworth Bids For The U.S. Senate

May 20, 2014

SDPB has interviewed everyone in the five way U.S. Senate Republican primary.  

We’re giving each candidate a chance to make their case to South Dakota voters.   

SDPB’s Charles Michael Ray interviewed Dr. Annette Bosworth, about her plans for office if elected to the U.S. Senate.

You can hear more from Dr. Boswoth here.

You can find interviews with other candidates in this race on our Election 2014 page.

State Senator Larry Rhoden Bids For The U.S. Senate

May 14, 2014

We’ve interviewed all the candidates in the five way U.S. Senate Republican primary.  

We’re giving each candidate a chance to make their case to South Dakota voters before the primary coming up next month.   

SDPB’s Charles Michael Ray interviewed State Senator Larry Rhoden about his plans for office if elected to the U.S. Senate.  Here are some excerpts from that discussion.

You can hear the full interview with Larry Rhoden here.

Jason Ravnsborg Bids for U.S. Senate Seat

May 12, 2014

The Republican primary in the race for South Dakota’s open U.S. Senate seat is nearing the final stretch.   
 
We’re giving all the candidates a chance to lay out their platform before the voters.   Today we’re featuring excerpts from an interview with Republican candidate Jason Ravnsborg.  
 
Ravnsborg sat down with Charles Michael Ray in the Rapid City studio to talk about his plans for office, his concerns about big government spending and the scandal surrounding the federal EB-5 program in South Dakota.

An Interview With Stace Nelson

May 9, 2014
stacenelson.com

SDPB's Charles Michael Ray is working to interview all the U.S. Senate Candidates leading up to the June Primaries and November election.   Excerpts from this audio were featured on SDPB Radio earlier.  Here is the full interview.

An Interview With Annette Bosworth

May 9, 2014

SDPB's Charles Michael Ray is working to interview all the U.S. Senate Candidates leading up to the June Primaries and November election.   Excerpts from this audio are being featured on SDPB Radio prior to the Republican Primary.  Here is the full interview.

An Interview with Larry Rhoden

May 9, 2014

SDPB's Charles Michael Ray is working to interview all the U.S. Senate Candidates leading up to the June Primaries and November election.   Excerpts from this audio are being featured on SDPB Radio prior to the Republican Primary.  Here is the full interview.

An Interview With Jason Ravnsborg

May 9, 2014

SDPB's Charles Michael Ray is working to interview all the U.S. Senate Candidates leading up to the June Primaries and November election.   Excerpts from this audio are being featured on SDPB Radio prior to the Republican Primary.  Here is the full interview.

An Interview With Mike Rounds

May 9, 2014

SDPB's Charles Michael Ray is working to interview all the U.S. Senate Candidates leading up to the June Primaries and November election.   Excerpts from this audio were featured on SDPB Radio earlier.  Here is the full interview.

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