Oct 31 2013
As we head into the next two months that will close out the year and this legislative session, Congress has several items on its to-do list. A conference committee is now working to bring together the House and Senate-passed versions of the farm bill. I look forward to working with my colleagues to pass this important legislation so we can provide certainty to farmers and ranchers.
Last month, Congress also passed an agreement that sets up budget negotiations between the House and Senate on a long-term spending plan that addresses our nation's out-of-control debt. While this agreement did not solve our spending problem, I supported the measure because it was the only option to end government dysfunction and protect our national and economic security. I am willing to give this negotiating period a chance. However, I have no interest in kicking the can down the road.
I was disappointed the president and Majority Leader Harry Reid refused to negotiate or delay their flawed health care law, but our fight against Obamacare continues. Each day I receive hundreds of letters, e-mails, and phone calls from Nebraskans who are seeing their costs rise, their coverage diminish, and their current plans disappear.
I am working with my colleagues to hold the administration accountable for the law's glaring failures, broken promises, and botched implementation. I have cosponsored legislation both to delay the individual mandate and also to ensure Americans can keep their current health plan if they like it, just as they were promised when the president was selling his signature legislation.
IN OTHER NEWS...
Livestock Indemnity Program Needs Swift Reauthorization
Recently, I wrote the farm bill conferees to bring their attention to significant livestock losses in western Nebraska due to the severe snow storm in October. Speedy reauthorization of the Livestock Indemnity Program, which provides assistance to producers for livestock deaths resulting from disaster, is critical in helping producers struggling through difficult economic times for their industry. Read the letter I sent to the conferees ahead of their deliberations for the 2013 farm bill here....http://1.usa.gov/19VqJ5y
The Economy is Not Working for Young Americans
This week, I spoke on the Senator floor to highlight how our nation’s weak economy is impacting young Americans looking for work and jeopardizing their futures. Not only do America's young people face a discouraging job market, they're now also required to purchase costly insurance due to Obamacare. Watch my remarks here...http://bit.ly/HhBq8s
The War on Coal
It's not clear whether or not the president's proposed regulations for future power plants will have any discernible environmental impact. However, there is one thing that is perfectly clear: Nebraskans' access to affordable, reliable electricity will be jeopardized. Instead of promoting a regulatory regime that decreases access to energy and increases consumer prices, the president and Congress should focus on ways to finally move toward the promised 'all of the above' energy strategy...http://1.usa.gov/19Vr1ta
A Loving Home for Children in Need
Adoption forever changes the lives of countless children by placing them in loving homes with caring parents. Unfortunately, many individuals utilizing family planning services do not receive adequate information about this important opportunity. I introduced the Adoption Information Act with several of my colleagues to ensure the option of adoption is effectively promoted, at no cost to the taxpayer. It's critical those seeking these services are fully aware of all options available to them....http://1.usa.gov/1aM3njP
Fighting for a Cure
Earlier this year, I introduced a resolution designating September 26, 2013, as National Pediatric Brain Cancer Awareness Day hoping this first day of national recognition would offer an opportunity to educate families and encourage others to get involved in this important cause. Nebraskans were proud to join the Hoffman family in September to show support for Atkinson's own Jack Hoffman and the thousands of children across the country suffering from this horrible disease. In October, we also marked national breast cancer awareness month. Read my column on why working together to raise awareness and fight this widespread disease is so important...http://1.usa.gov/1hxhqwH
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT....IN THE NEWS
Fischer Discusses Failures of ObamaCare on Drive Time Lincoln...http://bit.ly/16Pf8Xz
McCook Daily Gazette:
Fischer Column: "More Work Ahead"...http://bit.ly/1h3R8EB
KOTA Territory News:
"Fischer Pushes for Livestock Indemnity Program"...http://bit.ly/16py0Ki
"National Pediatric Brain Cancer Awareness Day Brings Attention to Deadly Disease"...http://bit.ly/HrUQrL
PHOTOS OF THE MONTH
Thanking Our Veterans: I was honored to welcome the group of more than 130 Nebraska Korean War veterans visiting the Korean War Memorial in Washington through the Honor Flight program. I thanked them for their service on behalf of all Nebraskans.
Talking Infrastructure: I participated in a committee hearing to highlight how environmental regulations are slowing down needed progress of infrastructure projects in Nebraska. The federal government's goal should be to maximize results, not paperwork or process.
Celebrating CLAAS' Centennial: I was proud to help recognize the accomplishments of CLAAS in Omaha as the global organization recently celebrated its 100th anniversary. I'm grateful for the company's strong contributions to Nebraska's economy and our communities through the creation of good jobs and world-class equipment.
Angels in Adoption: I had the privilege of nominating Kim and Skip Hanson of Bennington, Nebraska, as 2013 Angels in AdoptionTM. This program offers an opportunity for members of Congress to honor their constituents and other organizations for outstanding advocacy of adoption and foster care issues. I was humbled to help recognize the Hansons for their unwavering commitment for the past 10 years to giving children in need the invaluable gift of a loving family.