Feb 27 2018
Recently the Senate had its February state work period, which meant I could travel across Nebraska and visit with fellow citizens to listen to what's on their minds. These conversations are what I take back to Washington, and they help me bring our state's common sense to Congress.
While on the road in Nebraska, I held two ag roundtables, where we discussed the importance of strong crop insurance and the need for access to broadband and technology. I was also able to visit with friends at the Nebraska Chamber Public Affairs meeting and give an update on my committee assignments, the great results we're seeing from tax reform, and my paid family leave bill, which was recently enacted by Congress.
This was also a great time for me to check in with different Nebraska-based companies across the state. I toured Hudl and Nelnet in Lincoln and heard how their businesses are growing with the changes implemented by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. I was also very excited to be able to travel west to Kearney and tour Inter-Motion. It was fascinating to see the amazing work this business does rebuilding complex machinery.
As I return to the Senate, I look forward to sharing the thoughts and concerns I heard from Nebraskans with my colleagues.
Continue reading for more updates from my office.
Chairing the Livestock Subcommittee
In February, I learned that I will serve as the chairman of the Livestock, Marketing, and Agriculture Security Subcommittee. Livestock production in Nebraska feeds the world and it's our state's number one industry. I am a Nebraska cattle rancher with over 40 years of experience working with agriculture producers and rural and economic development groups all across our state. I'm prepared and excited to be a strong voice for Nebraska on the Senate Agriculture Committee and in my new role as chairman of the Livestock Subcommittee.
Providing Certainty for Nebraska Farmers and Ranchers
I led a bipartisan coalition of senators - 10 Republicans and 12 Democrats - in introducing the bipartisan Fair Agricultural Reporting Method (FARM) Act. This bill would protect farmers, ranchers, and livestock markets from burdensome EPA reporting requirements for animal waste emissions. These requirements were not intended to affect animal agriculture and instead were meant to address dangerous industrial pollution, chemical plant explosions, and the release of hazardous materials into the environment.
Nebraska agriculture producers should be able to focus on doing their job of feeding the world without unnecessary distractions. The FARM Act makes it clear that agriculture is exempt from these requirements and ensures producers in this country can continue to operate as they have been since 2008. I'm proud to champion this bipartisan legislation that has received so much support on both sides of the aisle, and I look forward to discussing this bill in committee.
Life-Saving Legislation Signed into Law
On February 16th, President Trump signed a bipartisan bill I introduced with Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota called Kari's Law. In 2013, Kari Rene Hunt was murdered by her estranged husband in a hotel room. When Kari's 9-year-old daughter tried to dial 9-1-1 for help, she could not reach emergency personnel because she did not dial "9" to reach an outside line.
Since hearing the heartbreaking story of Kari's death, Senator Klobuchar and I have been determined to help ensure Americans can directly access 911 during an emergency. I'm proud to see President Trump sign our bipartisan legislation into law. A few precious seconds can save a life, and this bill will prevent tragedies like Kari's from happening again.
Ensuring Nebraska Ag Voices are Heard
I recently assembled a meeting with agriculture stakeholders from Nebraska and the Deputy Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), Cathy Gautreaux. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the effect of Hours of Service regulations on livestock haulers. We talked about how the agency can bring greater flexibility to these specific regulations. I look forward to continuing these conversations and I thank the Nebraskans who came to share their perspective.
Since our meeting, the FMCSA released a website with more clarification on the FMCSA Hours of Service regulations and exemptions for livestock haulers. Click here and here to view that information. I was happy to see a positive result from our meeting and I look forward to continuing to work together with Nebraskans on this important issue.
Photos of the Month
It was great visiting with students at the Nebraska City Public Schools Pioneer Career Academy and seeing the fantastic work they are doing. The highlight of the tour came when the students presented me with two wooden plaques that they made!
Loved meeting Special Olympics Nebraska athlete Rachel Mulligan from Papillion during her trip to the Senate. I enjoyed hearing her inspiring story and all about her amazing accomplishments.
I was excited to welcome members of LEAD Group 37 to the U.S Capitol. I have great memories from my LEAD experience and I wish the same for this group of agriculture leaders!
It was nice to visit with members of the Nebraska Association of School Boards during the National School Board Association Advocacy Institute day on Capitol Hill. Thanks for all you do for our kids in Nebraska!
There was a lot of excitement at the welcome home ceremony in Lincoln for the Nebraska National Guard's 641st Aviation Regiment.
Touring Appeara Uniform and Linen Rental Company in Norfolk. Thanks to owner Bob Dudley for showing me around.
Talking about strong crop insurance, broadband and more with folks in Nebraska City at an agriculture and Farm Bill roundtable discussion.