Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Rounds: Washington Worse Than I Thought

Kealey Bultena
US Senator Mike Rounds speaks at the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon / August 25, 2015

One of South Dakota’s US Senators says Congress is more dysfunctional than he realized. Mike Rounds started his term in January; he spent part of his time back in South Dakota Tuesday talking to members of the Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce. Rounds says lawmakers must take pointed steps to make federal systems more efficient. 

United States Senator Mike Rounds has been talking about a broken Washington since he started his campaign for Congress. Less than one year since he took the oath, Rounds says the system is worse than he suspected. He says lawmaking is slow by design.

"Here’s the problem: the founding fathers never expected that Congress would give up its ability to legislation to the executive branch in the rule-making process. Today right now we pass 16 federal rules for every single law that we pass," Rounds says. "That’s 3,500 to 3,600 more rules written every single year. You live right now with one million You couldn’t comply with all of them even if you could read them."

Credit Kealey Bultena / SDPB
US Sen. Mike Rounds (R)

Rounds says politicians make the wrong calls for individuals and business leaders in states that are operating prudently.

"And I think we ought to be mad about it. It’s broken. It is dysfunctional. It is worse that I ever thought it was. But a lot of the folks that are there right now, as good as they are? They’ve never seen it working correctly. So, yeah. For me, it’s been kind of frustrating," Rounds says. "But if I ever don’t get frustrated with this kind of a mess, then it’s time to go, because the only way we’re going to get it fixed is if we don’t lose sight of the fact that it’s not working the way it was supposed to in the first place."

Rounds says the issue is especially evident as lawmakers struggle to appropriate funding long-term. He says he’s told Republican leadership that he doesn’t support legislation this fall to extend federal funding unless it accompanies a policy change.