Mar 31 2021
During a recent stop at KLIN in Lincoln, I discussed the recent stimulus package, infrastructure, and the importance of preserving the filibuster. Catch my interview here.
As legislators, our primary responsibility in Congress is looking out for the needs of our constituents. With the start of the 117th Congress and a new administration, I have been working with my Senate colleagues to introduce bipartisan legislation that will benefit Nebraskans.
Continue reading this newsletter to learn about the recent bills I have introduced that will benefit veterans suffering from PTSD, ag and livestock haulers, organizations seeking mental health grants, and the U.S. cattle market.
The PAWS Act
We are deeply indebted to the veterans who have fought for our country. Many of them suffer from the invisible wounds of war. A recent study by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) found that veterans who were given service dogs experienced a reduction in their PTSD symptoms and had fewer suicidal behaviors and ideations. I have long pressed the VA to acknowledge these conclusions. The PAWS Act will establish a three-year program to provide grants to allow veterans struggling with PTSD to be paired with a companion to receive the help they deserve.
Read more in Military.com.
Ag and livestock haulers provide a critical service by transporting agricultural goods, keeping America fed and fueled. However, federal hours-of-service rules fail to account for the unique circumstances involved in moving ag products. My bill, the HAULS Act, addresses these issues to help drivers do their jobs.
Learn more about the HAULS Act here.
The Cattle Market Transparency Act of 2021
Cattle producers need accountability in the cattle market in order to make informed marketing decisions. That is why I have reintroduced the Cattle Market Transparency Act. This bipartisan bill strengthens transparency and the integrity of Nebraska’s cattle supply chain by facilitating price discovery and establishing regional minimums for negotiated cash trades. Find out more information here.
ATTAIN Mental Health Act
The mental health crisis in our country has worsened over this past year because of COVID-19. It has hit rural areas particularly hard, where health services can encounter more difficulty finding federal grants for their communities. This is why I reintroduced bipartisan legislation to create a user-friendly online dashboard to make it easier for organizations that provide mental health services to identify and apply for grants.
Read more here.
My thoughts on S. 1 – For the People Act
As a member of the Senate Rules Committee, I participated in a hearing on S.1 - For the People Act of 2021. This highly partisan bill introduced by my Democratic colleagues would cause chaos in how states administer elections. It would force states to follow uniform standards on automatic voter registration, same-day voter registration, mail-in ballots, and voter identifications laws, regardless of the state laws already in place. This would place a significant burden on state election officials.
States like Nebraska did an excellent job administering the last presidential election in a transparent, timely, and secure manner. We don't need more federal overreach. I cannot support this reckless, chaotic, and partisan bill. You can watch the Senate GOP's press conference here.
Recently, I had the opportunity to tour the Washington County Food Pantry in Blair. With COVID causing an increase in food insecurity, I am grateful for all those who are helping to keep pantries stocked and Nebraskans fed.
Lots of late Zoom meetings lately. During this one, Fred Fischer got in a quick snooze!
It was great to meet Nebraska’s Senate Youth Program delegates, Claire Doyle from Omaha and Dominic Mendlik from Valley. They are impressive students who have worked hard to better their local communities.
Thank you, Erika, for showing me around the Chocolate Season in Lincoln to see firsthand how you make quality Nebraska chocolate. Last year was rough for our small businesses, but I’m optimistic about the future and looking forward to seeing your business continue to grow.
I’m grateful to see more and more Nebraskans receiving their vaccines. When you can, I encourage you to get it done!