April 4, 2023

Ricketts talks Maiden speech, gun control, covid, energy in Columbus

News Channel Nebraska

COLUMBUS, Neb. — It was a packed house at The Friedhof Building in Columbus Tuesday afternoon as the Columbus Rotary Club invited Sen. Pete Ricketts to speak at their weekly meeting.

Ricketts’ visit to Columbus comes on the heels of his Maiden speech that he made as a freshman senator.

He said the speech was influenced by his time as governor of Nebraska.

“My maiden speech was about, Nebraska is what America is supposed to be,” Ricketts said. “What we do here in Nebraska, with regard to protecting people’s freedoms, expecting people to be accountable and responsive. That is what we need in Washington D.C. as well.”

One of the latest actions taken by Ricketts in the Senate was voting to end the Covid-19 Emergency.

He said it was a bipartisan vote that President Biden does not plan to veto.

“We voted to end it because we need to get back to normal,” Ricketts said. “Certainly, we still want people to take care of themselves, still want people if they’re sick to stay home. But, we got to get people into classrooms, we got to get kids in school, we got to get people back in the office, we got to get back to work.”

In the wake of multiple school shootings, and schools receiving threats over the last few weeks, Ricketts also shared with News Channel Nebraska his thoughts on the issue.

“Most of these individuals have mental health issues, and there are warning signs before they do it,” Ricketts said. “So, the first thing we have to do is make sure we do more with regard to providing that mental health care. Here in Nebraska, we are using our ARPA dollars on a variety of projects to expand that. Then as everyday citizens, we have to be checking in with our friends, families, and neighbors making sure they are OK.”

The last issue Ricketts spoke about was the recent OPEC oil production cuts.

He said the action shows that America should take matters into their own hands when it comes to energy production.

“President Biden’s war on energy has cost consumers money,” he said. “And frankly, nobody is going to do a better job developing energy resources in the United States when it comes to keeping the environment clean. So, if we outsource that to other countries, that means the world’s environment is going to get dirtier. So, we want to make sure that we are producing our own energy for security, national security but also to make sure we are cleaning up the environment.”

Sen. Ricketts wrapped up the afternoon by talking about constituent services his office plans to offer.


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