Jan 31 2018
President Trump gave his first State of the Union address on Tuesday, and I was excited to welcome Nebraska Volleyball head coach John Cook as my guest for this special and historic occasion. Coach Cook and the Husker Volleyball National Champions have taught us all about leadership, excellence, and how to win "the Nebraska way."
During his speech, the president described the remarkable economic successes in our country over the past year. The historic tax cuts and smarter regulatory policies implemented have resulted in bigger paychecks and more opportunities for working American families.
He also put forth his legislative agenda for the coming year. I was pleased to see that improving our nation's infrastructure and modernizing our nuclear deterrent are among his policy priorities. I also echo the president's call for an era of more bipartisanship in Washington. This is long overdue. The next farm bill is an area where I anticipate we can find common ground on behalf of our agriculture producers who feed our hungry world.
In the year ahead, I'll continue to work together with Nebraskans, President Trump, and my colleagues in Congress to improve the lives of American families. If we can expand on the progress that's already been made, we will see an even stronger, brighter, and more successful future.
Please continue reading for more updates on my work for Nebraska:
Joining The Senate Ag Committee
Early this year, I was excited to announce that I am now a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. Agriculture is the backbone of Nebraska's economy and it's a big part of my own life. For over 40 years, I've worked with agriculture and rural development organizations across our state.
In this new role, my priorities will continue to be supporting an affordable and viable farm safety net, safeguarding crop insurance, and expanding trade opportunities for Nebraska producers and their families.
This coming year is going to be critical as the 2014 Farm Bill expires and the committee works to write the next farm bill. Throughout this process, I will continue traveling Nebraska, as I've done for the past five years, and listen to thoughts, suggestions, and concerns from our state's many agriculture producers.
Hearing from Nebraskans about Paid Family Leave
I recently sat down with Nebraska mothers to discuss my Strong Families Act, which was included in the tax reform bill. My plan is the first-ever U.S. national paid family leave policy. The women who participated in the discussion shared their own personal stories about how they balance caring for their families and work responsibilities. Click here and here for more information on our roundtable discussion.
I share the belief of Nebraskans that Washington must bring spending under control. That's why I recently joined a bipartisan effort to prevent "earmarks," an avenue legislators use to sneak big funding packages for special interests into legislation. Our bill, the Earmark Elimination Act of 2018, would make it extremely difficult for any earmark to clear the Senate.
Protecting Health Care for Our Children
In January, I was proud to vote to ensure health care for children by extending the Children's Health Insurance Program or CHIP for six years. Just under nine million children, or roughly 1 in 8, receive health coverage from CHIP, and this includes over 55,000 children in Nebraska. Throughout my time in the Senate, I have heard from many of you about the importance of CHIP, and I'm happy Congress passed this measure to secure coverage for children in Nebraska and across the nation.