Sep 08 2017
Over the month of August, I had the pleasure of visiting with Nebraskans in communities across our state. A vital part of my job as your U.S. Senator is listening to your concerns and suggestions about solving the problems facing our country. Families, community leaders, ag producers, businesses owners, and more all took time out of their busy lives to share their input with me. Now, I bring this feedback back to the U.S. Senate with me as we begin the fall legislative work period.
I traveled over 2,600 miles in our state during August making stops from Nebraska City to Chadron, Ainsworth to Red Cloud, and many towns in between. So far this year, I've held 16 Listening Sessions in metropolitan and rural communities, from Lincoln and Omaha to Kimball, Ord, and Geneva.
Nebraskans are engaged on a number of issues, including the growing North Korean missile threat, our over-complicated, outdated tax code, and burdensome regulations from the federal government. They care deeply about our country, and they want to help make America a better place for our children and grandchildren.
It was a wonderful and productive month in Nebraska. Thank you to all those who shared their feedback with me. I return to the Senate inspired by new ideas and full of energy to take on the wide array of challenges ahead.
Read on for more updates from my month traveling Nebraska.
Highlighting Nebraska Infrastructure
Infrastructure connects us. It connects parents to children, products to consumers, and students to schools. That is why bolstering our infrastructure has always been a top priority for me. On August 22, I was pleased to welcome U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao to Omaha for a roundtable with Nebraska transportation stakeholders. We discussed several ideas to improve our nation's urban and rural transportation, including how we can improve the regulatory process and move projects forward at a faster rate.
Secretary Chao saw firsthand that Nebraskans are at the forefront of moving people and goods across the country. Through our conversation, it was clear that Secretary Chao and I share a commitment to long-term infrastructure policy and funding. I look forward to building on our productive discussion as I continue to bring Nebraska ideas to the Senate.
Bipartisan Bills Pass the Senate
Before I headed home to Nebraska for the summer work period, the Senate approved three bipartisan bills I have been working on with my colleagues on the Senate Commerce Committee: The DIGIT Act, Kari's Law, and the Spoofing Prevention Act. The DIGIT Act will open up lines of communication between the private and public sector to spur innovation. We all know being able to quickly reach 911 in an emergency can save lives. Kari's Law would ensure families can call for the help they need. Additionally, through the Spoofing Prevention Act, Congress can protect the most vulnerable in our society from fraudulent scams. These bills are a good example of how we can work together, across the aisle, to give the American people the governance they deserve.
Expanding Opportunities for Nebraska Products
In August, President Donald Trump announced a new U.S. deal to export American pork to Argentina. This trade deal is a win-win that will expand market access opportunities for Nebraska's pork producers and provide consumers in Argentina with high-quality pork from our state. As the 6th highest pork producer in the nation, Nebraska will benefit greatly from this agreement. I applaud the administration for following through on its promise to get better deals for our producers who work hard to feed the world every day.
A Qualified Nebraskan Nominated for the Eighth Circuit Court
I was pleased to see President Trump's nomination of Leonard (Steve) Grasz to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. Senator Ben Sasse and I recommended Grasz to fill a vacancy on the Eighth Circuit earlier this year.
Steve Grasz has sterling credentials and impressive experience. His cases have been before the highest courts in Nebraska and our nation. He is currently Senior Counsel at Husch Blackwell LLP in Omaha. Previously, Grasz served as the Chief Deputy Attorney General for the state of Nebraska from 1991-2002 and received his law degree from the University of Nebraska College of Law. Moreover, Steve's temperament, integrity, and character are absolutely superb. I look forward to seeing him swiftly confirmed by the Senate.
Photos of the Month
During the summer work period, I checked in with folks from around the state in a series of economic development roundtable discussions. Here's a photo from one of our discussions in Nebraska City.
I was proud to attend the Heartland Expressway dedication in Alliance. This expressway will provide a new pathway for our state's producers to bring their world-class products to market and feed the world.
I spent time in Holdrege at the Feed My Starving Children Mobile Pack. This cause is a shining example of Nebraskans' charitable nature and generosity.
Thanks to Pizza Kitchen in Milford for hosting one of my August Economic Roundtables.
It was a truly amazing experience viewing the eclipse in Lincoln this month. #Totality #WeWereThere