Oct 01 2019
Sticking Up for NE Beef Producers
The U.S. Capitol has a wonderful tradition of allowing every state to send two statues to Washington, D.C., to honor notable people in their state's history. For the past 82 years, William Jennings Bryan stood in National Statuary Hall welcoming Nebraskans and visitors every day. On September 18th, I joined House and Senate leaders, Congressman Jeff Fortenberry, Governor Ricketts, and members of the Ponca tribe in dedicating Nebraska's new statue, Chief Standing Bear.
Chief Standing Bear has long been ingrained in Nebraska's history, but now his legacy is woven into the tapestry of our national story as well. Chief Standing Bear became a civil rights leader after he was arrested for leaving Indian Territory to give his son a sacred burial in Nebraska. He had to prove in court that he was a man — with the same God-given rights as any other. When the judge ruled in his favor "equal justice under law" was extended to Native Americans. You can learn more on Chief Standing Bear here and watch the unveiling ceremony here. Now that he stands in National Statuary Hall, he will inspire millions of people who visit the U.S. Capitol for years to come.
Continue reading for more updates from my office.
Watch the video of my questions regarding cattle markets here.
The Senate Agriculture Committee recently held a hearing with livestock leaders, including the heads of several cattlemen associations. I raised concerns about the impact to our state's beef producers following this summer's fire at a beef plant in Holcomb, Kansas. Since the fire, live cattle prices have remained low while beef prices have soared, and our suppliers are hurting. As capacity comes back online, I told the witnesses that I expect cattle prices will come back up — and that if they don't, we may have to explore what other factors could be driving that.
The United States recently signed phase one of a new trade agreement with Japan. This agreement will eliminate or lower tariffs for a range of U.S. agricultural products between our countries, including beef, pork, sorghum, and wheat. This is good news for our state because Japan is the top export destination for Nebraska beef and a major buyer of many of our other agricultural products. I want to thank the Trump administration for negotiating this trade deal. We should build off of this momentum by passing the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. These trade deals will all provide certainty to our farmers and producers.
This year's extreme flooding overworked and damaged many of Nebraska's levees and flood control infrastructure across our state. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that it will use $1 billion to help eight states repair flood infrastructures that were damaged due to natural disasters, including Nebraska. This funding comes from the Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies account. Originally, this account had zero dollars in funding, but during the disaster relief bill negotiations, I led efforts to fund this account and provide additional resources to Nebraska. Find more information on flood control infrastructure here.
View more photos of the Honor Flight's visit to the U.S. Capitol here.
It was an honor to join Rep. Adrian Smith to welcome 25 veterans and guests taking part the Dawson County Hero Flight to the U.S. Capitol. These veterans have shown the highest levels of bravery and selflessness defending our nation in the World War II, Korean, and Vietnam War eras. I am so glad that they had this opportunity to travel to Washington D.C., to tour and visit the monuments dedicated to their service.
It was great hosting this year's Nebraska Breakfast. Thanks to everyone who traveled to Washington and joined us to keep this 76-year-old tradition alive and well.
My office and I have been working with the Fogle family from Omaha to help them as they work to finalize the adoption of their daughter Lola from Latvia. This has been a long road for all of them navigating a complex and difficult international adoption process. I'm so happy I was able to meet Lola and see their family together.
I joined my colleague from Nevada, Senator Rosen, to kickoff Samsung's 10th Solve for Tomorrow competition. Senator Rosen and I introduced the Building Blocks of STEM Act, which just recently passed the Senate and took an important step into becoming law. This bill expands STEM education to ensure more young people, especially young women and girls, can pursue careers in computer science and engineering.
Eric and Justin from Gering, NE, were in D.C. for Samsung's Solve for Tomorrow event. It is so wonderful to see Nebraska students and teachers working to promote STEM education in our communities.
I am honored to have received the Fueling Growth Award from Growth Energy. Nebraska's ethanol plants produce more than two billion gallons annually and create 1,300 good-paying jobs in our state. I will continue to be a strong advocate for biofuels.