Mike Rounds

S.D. lawmaker accuses Rep. Dusty Johnson of ‘DC-style ambush’ to keep her out of Senate race
Johnson denies accusations of intimidation, said conversation was ‘friendly’

A state lawmaker in South Dakota has accused Rep. Dusty Johnson, R-S. D., of trying to intimidate her to keep her out of the race for South Dakota Sen. Mike Rounds’ seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A state representative in South Dakota has alleged a “DC-style ambush” to intimidate her into forgoing a run for the Senate.

State Rep. Scyller Borglum said Republican Rep. Dusty Johnson, acting as a surrogate for Sen. Mike Rounds, intimidated her in a private meeting in an effort to dissuade her from launching a primary challenge to Rounds. 

Trump, aides intensify post-Mueller offensive against Democrats
Saying president is ‘open’ to a meeting, Kellyanne Conway asks: ‘Where are they?’

President Donald Trump, alongside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., talks to the media about the Mueller report before a Senate Republican policy lunch in the Capitol on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senior White House officials continued their post-Mueller report offensive Tuesday against Democrats by contending the opposition party is obsessed with investigating President Donald Trump and unwilling to negotiate on legislation.

The new line of attack came after Trump and his team on Monday went on the offensive by accusing some involved in investigating him with “treasonous” acts and hit Democrats with a charge of attempting to “overthrow” the federal government. But by Tuesday, the White House said it was ready to open talks on infrastructure and drug pricing legislation —alleging that Democrats refuse to come to the table.

Trump takes post-Mueller victory lap to Hill, but ‘he didn't really dwell on it’
Senators say POTUS mostly focused on trade as administration pivots to health care fight

President Donald Trump alongside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., (left) and Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., talks to the media about Robert S. Mueller III’s report upon arriving for the Senate Republican Policy luncheon in the Capitol on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump’s post-Mueller victory lap included a Tuesday strategy session with Senate Republicans, but several members said Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III finding no criminal conspiracy with Russia in 2016 was not the focus of his visit.

“He didn’t really dwell on it. He just simply made it very clear that he felt really good about the fact that their report came out and it said exactly what he had been saying all along that there was, you know, no collusion between him and the Russian government,” Republican Sen. Mike Rounds of South Dakota said.

Ditch Columbus Day? Some Places Already Have
Sen. Mike Rounds’ state celebrates indigenous people instead, and has since 1990

The statue of Christopher Columbus is framed by wreaths left over from the Columbus Day celebration in front of Union Station in Washington in 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It’s still a federal holiday. But more and more places are moving to replace Columbus Day.

South Dakota did it first, in the 1990s. “It’s about reconciliation. It’s about trying to bring people from different cultures, different backgrounds, different races together,” said Republican Sen. Mike Rounds.

Senators Cheer Trump Order on Election Meddling, but Want More Action
Democrats, especially, are skeptical of president’s commitment

Banking Chairman Michael D. Crapo and ranking Democrat Sherrod Brown have been holding a series of hearings on Russia sanctions. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senators are pleased to see the Trump administration doing something about election interference, but they don’t think Wednesday’s executive order will be enough.

Some of the concern comes from the fact that even if federal agencies report evidence of Russian evidence to interfere in the 2018 midterms, President Donald Trump could still waive the imposition of sanctions.

Republicans Won’t Probe Influence of Trump Friends at Veterans Department
Dems have questions about trio named in lawsuit

Veterans Affairs Chairman Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., speaks during a hearing of Veterans Affairs secretary nominee Robert Wilkie in front of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee in the Dirksen Senate Office Building Wednesday June 27, 2018. (Photo By Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 3:31 p.m. | Top Republican lawmakers have no plans to examine the alleged influence that a trio of President Donald Trump’s friends have at the Department of Veterans Affairs, even as Democrats call for an investigation.

The controversy peaked in recent weeks after reports that Marvel Entertainment Chairman Ike Perlmutter, Palm Beach doctor Bruce Moskowitz and D.C. lawyer Marc Sherman hold undue sway with VA leadership, including senior adviser Peter O’Rourke, who formerly served as acting secretary. Liberal veterans group VoteVets filed a lawsuit against the administration last week, claiming the VA is violating federal protocol related to private influence in matters of federal policy.

For New Veterans Affairs Chief, That Was the Easy Part
Robert Wilkie may have made it through the Senate, but the second-largest federal agency still has vacancies, other woes

Nominee Robert Wilkie is sworn in to testify in front of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee in the Dirksen Building on June 27. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

His confirmation Monday drew scrutiny and nine dissenters. Now Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie must face the real challenge: repairing the sprawling agency that serves the nation’s veterans, including 9 million who receive health care benefits through the department.

The second-largest federal agency is embarking on two major initiatives — a reorganization of its private medical care options and a $15.8 billion electronic health records project — at the same time that it seeks to fill key positions overseeing them.

Opinion: Push to Abolish ICE Is the New ‘Repeal and Replace’
Lost in the uproar is the fact that the agency does much more than deport people

Activists call for the end of ICE at a June 29 rally in New York organized by the Democratic Socialists of America. Such demands sound a lot like the cries of “repeal and replace” that greeted the 2010 health care law, Ramón and Lapan write. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images file photo)

Immigrant advocates have made #AbolishICE a rallying cry against the Trump administration, and the victory of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the New York Democratic primaries last month only turned up the volume.

As activists press Congress to defund U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement out of existence, several Senate Democrats have proposed to replace the agency or fundamentally reform it. But one key point bears repeating: Attempting to make policy by hashtag is not a recipe for success. Just as cries on the right to “repeal and replace” Obamacare failed to answer the logical next question — replace with what? —proponents of #AbolishICE haven’t done enough to grapple with what their campaign would mean in the long term.

How the Hill Reacted to the Trump-Kim Summit
Reaction ranges from a ‘huge deal’ to a ‘bi-lateral con job’

President Donald Trump answers a final question while departing a news conference following his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Tuesday in Singapore. Trump described his meeting with Kim as “better than anyone could have expected.” (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump made history Tuesday in Singapore as the first American president to meet face-to-face with a leader of North Korea since the Kim dynasty sprouted on the peninsula roughly seven decades ago.

At the heart of negotiations was the “complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization” of the Korean peninsula in exchange for “security guarantees” for the North’s mercurial leader, Kim Jong Un.

Meet Two Likely New Members of the 116th Congress
South Dakota’s Dusty Johnson and New Mexico’s Deb Haaland are solid favorites for the fall

Deb Haaland won the Democratic primary for New Mexico’s 1st District and is strongly favored to win in November. (D.A. Banks/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Tuesday night’s winners of two open-seat primary contests are likely heading to Congress next year, with their general election races rated safely their party’s column.

Democrat Deb Haaland in New Mexico’s 1st District and Republican Dusty Johnson in South Dakota’s district at large are in strong positions to win in November. Both seats opened up when the female incumbents opted to run for governor.