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117th Congress: Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.)

Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) joins Washington Post Live on Wednesday, June 23 (Video: The Washington Post)

Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), the top Republican on the Armed Services Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, wants to put a stop to the ransomware attacks against the U.S., which appear to operate out of Russia. The recent attack on JBS, the country’s largest meat supplier, highlights the call Rounds has put out to address anticompetitive practices in the cattle industry. Washington Post Jacqueline Alemany, congressional correspondent and author of the “Power Up” newsletter, talks with the former governor of South Dakota about his fight for cattlemen and consumers, as well as his bill to repeal outdated or discriminatory laws targeting Native Americans.

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The Senator said the bill was “a major incursion” by the federal government into voting processes normally handled by the States. “Most of us on the Republican side have the same opinion about the bill, we think it was a major incursion by the federal government into voting rights which normally are handled by the states.” (Video: Washington Post Live)
The Senator from South Dakota also explained how cybercriminals install ransomware into company systems. “Today we have pirates. They’re cyberpirates, their cybercriminals. They live in other countries, they have safe harbor in other countries, they use lots of different tools, but what they will do is they will come in with a ransomware... They’ll find a way into a system, put in software that has bugs in it that can control or manipulate that system, and then they’ll go to the owners of the company and simply say ‘Look, if you want your systems to operate… you’re going to have to pay us a fee, a ransom.’” (Video: Washington Post Live)

Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.)

On January 6th, 2015, Senator Marion Michael “Mike” Rounds was sworn into the United States Senate. Senator Rounds serves on five committees: Senate Armed Services; Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs; Foreign Relations; Indian Affairs; and Veterans’ Affairs.

Rounds previously served as the 31st governor of South Dakota from 2003 – 2011, easily winning reelection in 2006. From 1991 to 2000, he was elected five times to the South Dakota State Senate. In 1995, his colleagues selected him to serve as Senate Majority Leader, a position that he held for six years. During his time in state government, Rounds was committed to growing the economy, keeping taxes low and strengthening South Dakota families.A lifelong South Dakotan, Senator Rounds was born in Huron, the eldest of 11 siblings. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from South Dakota State University. In the private sector, Rounds built a successful insurance and real estate business with offices throughout the state. He and his wife, Jean, currently reside in Fort Pierre. They are the proud parents of four grown children and 10 grandchildren.