May 02 2019
After the historic blizzards and flooding rolled through Nebraska and devastated our communities, we’ve heard countless stories of neighbor helping neighbor. Donations and help have poured in from across the country for our hurting communities, farms, and businesses.
I have visited a number of Nebraska communities where I went to shelters, talked with mayors and emergency responders, and participated in a phone-a-thon. I’ve also been working hard in Congress on legislation to provide Nebraskans with disaster aid funding and tax relief.
As we look to days ahead, I am confident that Nebraska will emerge from this disaster stronger than ever. As our state continues to recover, remember that my office is here to help. I have made important resources for homeowners, people in agriculture, and small businesses available on my website. Please stay tuned to the key deadlines to apply for assistance and take advantage of flood-related programs.
Keep reading for more updates on disaster relief and other legislative business in the Senate this month.
PROVIDING DISASTER RELIEF FOR THOSE IMPACTED BY FLOODING
Along with Rep. Adrian Smith, I led the Nebraska delegation in introducing the Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2019. This legislation would provide tax relief for Nebraskans in areas that received a federal disaster declaration because of the severe 2019 storms and flooding. Nebraskans are strong and tough, but I’m committed to providing people with some relief in as many ways possible. I hope Congress will quickly enact this legislation so we can lighten the load for families who are hurting.
More information on the Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2019 can be found here.
This year marks the third anniversary of the tragic passing of Omaha natives Larry and Christy Hammer, who lost their lives in a cabin fire onboard a Peruvian river cruise in April 2016. My office has been working with their daughters, Jill and Kelly, to find answers from the Peruvian government and hold culpable parties responsible. That’s why I introduced Hammers’ Law. This bill would change existing law to help ensure cruise lines are held accountable after such a devastating loss.
More on Hammers’ Law in my weekly column.
ENDING DARK PATTERNS
I joined Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) in introducing the bipartisan Deceptive Experiences To Online Users Reduction (DETOUR) Act. Our bill would prohibit large online platforms from using deceptive user interfaces, known as “dark patterns,” that trick consumers into handing over their personal data.
Misleading prompts to just click the ‘OK’ button can often transfer contacts, messages, browsing activity, photos, or location information without consumers realizing it. The DETOUR Act seeks to curb the use of these dishonest interfaces and increase trust online. With this legislation, we are seeking to better protect consumers and increase trust online.
More information about the bipartisan DETOUR Act here.
CLEAN WATER & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross recently announced that the Economic Development Administration is awarding a $2.2 million grant to South Sioux City, Nebraska, that will be used for construction of a 2.5 million-gallon water storage tank for the expanding Roth Industrial Park. This investment will help ensure access to clean and safe water and when the project is completed, it is expected to create 145 jobs and generate $145 million in private investment. Read more here.
PHOTOS OF THE MONTH
I always enjoy meeting with the Nebraska Cattlemen during their Washington fly-in. #NebraskaBeef #ItsWhatsForDinner
Alzheimer's disease affects so many people around the world. I appreciate Omaha residents Alison, Terry, and Sharon coming to D.C. for the Alzheimer's Impact Movement Advocacy Forum and stopping by to discuss how this disease has impacted their lives. I'm thankful for their efforts to advocate for others as we continue to work towards a cure for this disease.
Fred and I had a great time welcoming the University of Nebraska Medical Center LEND program's faculty and trainees during their visit to the Senate. I appreciate their dedication to people with developmental disabilities.
It was a pleasure to meet Alicia Zeng, Nebraska’s 2019 Cherry Blossom Princess, when she was in Washington for the Cherry Blossom Festival.
I enjoyed speaking with representatives of Nebraska’s Natural Resources Districts when they stopped by the Senate. They are working hard to help rebuild Nebraska and support conservation efforts in our state.
Head, Heart, Hands and Health! I was glad to meet with these bright Nebraska 4-H leaders during the Nebraska Breakfast. If you are planning a trip to Washington, join our Nebraska congressional delegation at the Nebraska Breakfast every Wednesday morning when the House and Senate are in session. More details here.