As Nebraska’s state of emergency is lifted and we continue to move forward, I encourage all Nebraskans to take a moment to remember those who lost their lives to this deadly virus.

These past 15 months have been tough for everyone. I want to thank our health care workers, community leaders, first responders, and every Nebraskan. Together we were able to slow the spread of this virus. 

The end of the state of emergency is good news. It is exciting that our lives are returning to normal, but we must also remember that COVID-19 has not been fully defeated yet. If you haven’t received a vaccine, please consider getting one. By getting vaccinated, you can help our state continue to reduce deaths and hospitalizations.

You can find vaccine information here.

Continue reading on for more updates. It’s been a busy month in the U.S. Senate.

There has been major instability in the cattle market these past two years as a result of the Holcomb plant fire and COVID-19 pandemic. Now, even as boxed beef sells at record high prices, ranchers and feedlots are not sharing in the increased profits.

I was glad the Senate Agriculture Committee brought cattle producers and industry experts together for a hearing to discuss these issues. I pushed for this hearing for months because I felt it was necessary for my colleagues on the committee to hear firsthand about the lack of transparency and price discovery in our cattle market. 

There must be changes to our cattle market. Read more here on the Cattle Market Transparency Act of 2021. This is my bipartisan bill that establishes regional cash sale minimums to equip our cattle producers with more price information.

The Senate passed the Growing Climate Solutions Act (GCSA), legislation I cosponsored that would enable farmers and ranchers to participate in carbon markets voluntarily. Nebraska ag producers are good stewards of our land and resources and want to be a part of the climate solution. This bipartisan bill would allow our ag producers to build on the excellent work they are already doing. It now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.

In Summer 2020, Omaha opened the doors of its new Veterans Affairs Ambulatory Care Clinic. This care clinic was the result of a successful public-private partnership made possible by the CHIP IN for Vets Act. I worked with former Congressman Brad Ashford and many others to get this bill passed and signed into law. It authorized the VA to allow local communities to assist with the planning and construction of VA projects in their areas. Because of the program’s success in Omaha, I joined Congressman Don Bacon in introducing bicameral, bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the CHIP IN for Vets Act for an additional five years. Our veterans made incredible sacrifices for this nation. By reauthorizing this program, more American communities can provide for these men and women just like Nebraska has.

Nebraska’s tourism industry suffered greatly due to this pandemic and is still recovering. That’s why I was happy to hear the recent announcement that our state will receive a $1.8 million grant to help support Nebraska tourism, ensuring more visitors can enjoy The Good Life and see our state’s natural wonders. I voted for the CARES Act in 2020, which provided this federal funding. The grant is expected to help retain 810 jobs in Nebraska.

Nebraska is fortunate to have the Omaha VA Ambulatory Care Clinic serving our veterans. Recently, I had the opportunity to tour this state-of-the-art facility made possible by the CHIP IN for Vets Act. I also toured the Fisher House, which is a new facility with 16 fully furnished suites that give the family members of our veterans receiving treatment a free place to stay.  

I had the honor of presenting military medals to the family of the late Glen Schreurs. Glen served heroically during WWII and in the Battle of Okinawa. His family reached out to my office for help to get all the medals Glen was awarded. I’m thankful my office could work with the National Personnel Record Center to make it happen.

If you or someone you know needs help navigating a federal agency, please call my office.

I was able to meet virtually with Nebraska’s principal of the year, Susan Cassata from Lincoln. We had a great discussion about education during the pandemic, school funding, and the importance of providing mental health assistance for our students. I appreciate her leadership and dedication to supporting our young Nebraskans.

The Senate celebrated its annual Seersucker Thursday. This is a longstanding event that brings Democratic and Republican senators and staffers together to celebrate the beginning of summer. Team Fischer showed up, but we are still looking for a dog seersucker bowtie so Fred Fischer can join next year.

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Senator Deb Fischer