Jul 31 2019
Dear Fellow Nebraskan and Friends,
This summer, the Senate has continued to confirm highly qualified judges to the federal bench, and I'm pleased that this month Omaha's own Brian Buescher was confirmed to serve on the U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska. Over his 20-year career, Brian has displayed his devotion to upholding our Constitution and laws at every turn. He is a man who possesses high character, fair-mindedness, humility, and integrity, and it was an honor to recommend him to the president for the judgeship. I have no doubt that Brian will honor his family, our state, and our nation serving in this role, and I look forward to seeing him installed on the Nebraska federal bench.
You can watch my floor speech on Brian's nomination and continue reading for more Senate updates from my office.
Taking Care of our Military
Providing for our national defense and taking care of our military men and women is a top priority for me. That is why I am proud that the Senate came together in a bipartisan manner to pass the 59th National Defense Authorization Act. This bill contains the biggest pay raise for our troops in a decade. As the chairman for the Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, I championed provisions to fully fund the nuclear mission of USSTRATCOM and reinforce efforts to sustain and modernize our nuclear deterrent. I'm also proud that this bill will help address the damage from the flooding at Offutt Air Force Base and Camp Ashland.
Read more on what is in the Senate's FY 2020 NDAA.
Confirming our Secretary of Defense
Video of my questions during Secretary Mark Esper's SASC Confirmation Hearing
The Senate voted to confirm Dr. Mark Esper to be the Secretary of Defense. His service as the Secretary of the Army for the past two years demonstrated that he is an effective leader who understands the threats facing our nation. As a member of the Armed Services Committee, I've had the privilege to speak with him on numerous occasions. I appreciate Secretary Esper's honesty and thorough understanding of the importance of a strong national defense, something that came across clearly during his confirmation hearing.
It was an honor to join his family in the Oval Office for his swearing-in as our nation's 27th Secretary of Defense. I look forward to continuing to work closely with him on today's national security challenges.
We Can Never Forget
The brave men and women who worked tirelessly in the aftermath of the 9/11 attack no longer have to fear that the federal government will not keep its commitment to them. It was an honor to attend the ceremony at the White House and see President Trump sign legislation reauthorizing the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund into law. This was an important priority for our Nebraska firefighters, and I was so pleased to be able to work with them in supporting this legislation.
Next Step for the DIGIT Act
This month, the Developing Innovation and Growing the Internet of Things (DIGIT) Act was unanimously passed out of the Senate Commerce Committee. I led a bipartisan group in introducing this bill that would convene a working group of federal entities and experts from the private and academic sectors. The group would be tasked with providing recommendations to Congress on how to facilitate the growth of connected Internet of Things technologies. With this bill, we can better inform and coordinate federal efforts to create innovative solutions that will benefit our society and economy.
It was an honor to receive the President's Award from the National Corn Growers. From year-round E-15 to working to address small refinery exemptions, I'm proud of the work we've done together. I look forward to continuing the fight for our corn growers.
I was happy to have Nebraska's FFA state officers stop by my office to discuss the importance of agriculture education. I know they will continue to be leaders and work hard for our ag community.
Congressman Smith and I traveled to Lexington, Kearney, and Gibbon to see firsthand how the damage from the recent flooding has impacted these communities. You can view photos here from our visit. I'm proud of Nebraskans for standing strong through this adversity.
A special thanks to Rachel from Omaha, Carolyn from Grand Island, and Ellen from Harlan, IA, who have worked hard serving Nebraskans as summer interns in my office.
The Nebraska Farm Bureau's Young Farmers and Ranchers were in D.C. this month. I enjoyed sitting down with them to discuss Nebraska agriculture, trade, and the importance of passing the USMCA.
I met with the Nebraska "senators" to the American Legion Auxiliary Girls Nation and the American Legion Boys Nation. These bright Nebraska students had the opportunity to come to Washington D.C., and learn more about how our government runs.
U.S. Senator for Nebraska
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