May 08 2018
Last week, I had the pleasure of welcoming Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts of Kansas to Nebraska. In Grand Island, we had a productive farm bill roundtable discussion with Nebraska agriculture producers and representatives. Our discussion covered critical topics like trade, the importance of strong crop insurance, and how we can continue working to reduce burdensome federal regulations affecting agriculture.
Later in the day, we toured AGP Soybean Processing plant in Hastings so that Chairman Roberts could see firsthand the world-class exports produced in the state. The Chairman and I will take the Nebraska ideas and input we heard during his visit back to the committee as we continue to work on our next farm bill in the Senate Agriculture Committee.
Continue reading for more updates from my office.
Talking Trade with President Trump
I continue to visit frequently with President Trump on a number of agriculture issues causing anxiety and uncertainty for Nebraska producers. NAFTA, potential Chinese tariffs, and upholding the Renewable Fuel Standard were among the topics we covered. In meetings at the White House and in phone conversations, I have provided the president with factual information about our state’s ag exports and the central role agriculture plays in Nebraska’s economy.
Furthermore, I have conveyed to him how critical it is that we work together to protect markets – domestically and internationally – for our families. I’m encouraged by the president’s desire to move forward with the sale of year-round E15 with a RVP waiver and to reengage with TPP nations in discussions to open new market. Please know that I will continue to fight for our farmers and ranchers who feed the world.
Keeping Rural America Connected in the Digital Era
At a recent Senate Agriculture Committee hearing, I asked Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue about the importance of expanding broadband in rural areas. Unfortunately, lack of internet access – on our cell phones, in our homes, and in our communities – is a real problem for rural Americans, because access is a basic necessity for doing business and staying in touch. I am cosponsoring the Precision Agriculture Connectivity Act. This legislation, which passed the Senate Commerce Committee, would establish a task force at the Federal Communications Commission to identify gaps in high-speed internet connectivity for America’s croplands and ranchlands. Working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the task force would promote the rapid expansion of high-speed broadband, with the goal of achieving service to 95 percent of agricultural lands by 2025.
Continuing the Push for Year Round E-15 Waiver
I was proud to lead a bipartisan letter signed by 17 other senators to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt outlining the benefits of selling E-15 ethanol blends year round. The letter comes after President Donald Trump delivered remarks in support of a year-round waiver for E-15. In our letter, we make two specific requests. First, we ask that the EPA Administrator provide an expected timeline for an administrative Reid Vapor Pressure or RVP waiver. Our second request is that the agency allow for the sale of E-15 during the upcoming summer driving season in the meantime. Click here to read our full letter.
Scott Kracl Nominated to Serve as U.S. Marshal for the District of Nebraska
In April, President Trump nominated Scott E. Kracl to serve as U.S. Marshal for the District of Nebraska. Scott’s 30 years of service on the Nebraska State Patrol was the reason I recommended Scott to the president. I hope Scott is quickly confirmed so he can put his impressive background and leadership skills to work for Nebraskans as our U.S. Marshal. His experience and dedication to public safety will serve our state well.
Photos of the Month
I always love visiting with my good friends, the Nebraska Cattlemen, and discussing the needs of livestock producers.
It was wonderful meeting with Neena Nizar, who was named 2018 Nebraska Mother of the Year. Neena is an inspiration – she’s working tirelessly to bring awareness to a rare skeletal disease called Jansen's Metaphyseal Chondrodysplasia.
Thank you to our Spring interns, Alex of Lincoln, and Ethan of Papillion! I appreciate their hard work for the people of Nebraska. Click here for more information on my office's internship program.
At one of our recent Nebraska Breakfasts, I was happy to visit with representatives of the Nebraska Association of Nurse Anesthetists.
In advance of his confirmation by the U.S. Senate, I had a productive discussion with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. We discussed the challenges our nation faces abroad and the need for American leadership in the world.
It was a pleasure visiting with patients, nurses, and administrators at the DaVita center in West Omaha. I thank them for hosting me, and I look forward to working together so Nebraskans can continue to access quality care.
The folks from Nebraska Rural Electric came by my Senate office to discuss priorities for co-ops and public power districts across Nebraska.
I recently stopped by the JDRF Omaha-Council Bluffs Chapter and met with a remarkable group of young Nebraskans. Our conversation focused on how we can create better future for people with Type One Diabetes and advance research. #TypeOnetoTypeNone