OPINION

Senatorial Update with Deb Fischer

Kirt Manion
Syracuse Journal-Democrat

Visiting with Nebraskans

With summer coming to a close, I have been spending my time visiting with Nebraskans and traveling our state. The conversations I have at meetings, community events, roundtable discussions, and tours of local businesses are invaluable to me as I work on federal policies to improve the lives of people in our state.

In Lincoln, I had the opportunity to meet with the Nebraska Association for Home Healthcare and Hospice. This group helps ensure Nebraskans can receive home care and hospice services, while remaining independent, safe, and comfortable in their homes. Some of the specific topics we covered during our conversation included how the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the workforce shortage. We also covered the importance of bipartisan legislation I’m cosponsoring, the Expanding Access to Palliative Care Act. This bill would allow patients to seek palliative care earlier-on and receive more comprehensive support as they manage serious illnesses. As a leader of the Senate Comprehensive Care Caucus, passing this legislation is a priority for me.

When I’m on the road in Nebraska, I always enjoy visiting with entrepreneurs and employees who make our businesses run and keep our economy strong. As part of the grand opening for the new McDonald’s in Elkhorn, I attended a Women in Business event. It was great to visit with the owner, Karin Darmody, and her entire team who highlighted the fact that this location is the only woman-owned McDonald’s in the Omaha area. I also heard about their plans to give back to the community, including hosting “McTeachers” nights and supporting our first responders. 

Agriculture is the economic engine of the state of Nebraska. Our farmers and ranchers work hard every day to feed the world and it’s important that our federal policies provide them with the certainty they need to do their jobs. I was able to catch up with Nebraska Farm Bureau President Mark McHargue for a discussion on a variety of issues. Farmers are concerned about the administration’s proposals to eliminate stepped-up basis. If instituted, this change in policy would result in a second death tax that would hurt our family farms and businesses. I also joined the Nebraska Cattlemen for a podcast focused on the Cattle Market Transparency Act, my bipartisan legislation which would help ensure every segment of the cattle market can succeed. I updated them on the progress of my HAULS Act, a key portion of which has passed the Senate. It provides more flexibility for livestock haulers so that they can move their live product safely and efficiently.

In order to move their high-quality goods to market, our ag producers rely on our nation’s roads, bridges and other forms of core infrastructure. That’s why I was really happy to tour Capital Contractor’s steel fabrication facility where I saw firsthand the manufacturing process of the steel girders for the Lincoln South Beltway. For years, I worked to help secure federal funding for this important infrastructure project, and it was very exciting to see this project becoming a reality. Once it’s completed, this project will go a long way toward helping interstate traffic flow more smoothly.

There are so many issues out there that have an impact on the daily lives of Nebraskans. It’s so important for me to get feedback directly from people in communities across the state. As always, I am returning to the Senate with good ideas and renewed energy to tackle the challenges that are you are facing. I thank everyone who took the time to talk with me and share your perspectives.

Thank you for participating in the democratic process. I look forward to visiting with you again next week.

United States Senator Deb Fischer