Senator Mike Rounds talks Trump, Biden presidencies

Senator Rounds avoided calling for the current President’s impeachment, and talked about the security of the November election, amongst many other topics.
Published: Jan. 12, 2021 at 7:43 AM CST
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PIERRE, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - South Dakota Senator Mike Rounds (R-South Dakota) is looking ahead to the Biden presidency, while still reflecting on the positives of the outgoing Trump administration.

Rounds spoke to what he sees as many successes policy wise of the Trump presidency, from judicial nominees to tax cuts.

“The policies that so many of our citizens supported him on, those have been good.” Rounds said. “We just wish he had quit tweeting a long time ago.”

Before members of the South Dakota Retailers Association, the Senator answered questions about all things from inside Washington D.C. He spoke to the chances progressive policy goals, like an expanded United States Supreme Court, had before a democratic controlled government.

“I know that they (Democrats) have suggested that they would come in and pack the court,” Rounds said. “I do not think President-elect Biden seriously wants to do that, they could try it. (However) At this point, I don’t think they have the votes.”

The US Senate would have to change certain Senate rules to be able to lower the 60 vote requirement on many proposals to 50. That would make many policy proposals, like DC and Puerto Rico statehood, much more realistic.

The Senator advocated for the security of the November presidential election, and railed against his own party, namely in state, for disputing the integrity of the ballot, namely early voting and mail-in voting. Rounds also encouraged those in attendance to make sure they verify where they get their news from.

After the event, I asked Senator Rounds if he supported efforts to remove President Trump before he left office, either by way of impeachment or the 25th Amendment. While the Senator did not give a definitive answer to the question of whether he supported it or not, he did say it was unlikely such efforts would reach the Senate prior to January 20th, Inauguration Day.

“Between now and the 19th (of January), I would expect that the House may have some activity going on,” Rounds said. “I doubt there will be any activity in the United States Senate, because it would take unanimous consent to come back in before that date.”

Senator Rounds heads back to Washington today to take part in committee hearings for several of President-elect Biden’s Department of Defense nominees, including the nominee for Secretary Lloyd Austin.

Special thanks to Oahe Light and Sound for helping provide audio for this story.

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