May 3, 2024

Senator Ricketts’ Weekly Column: Fighting for Nebraska

May 3, 2024

Susanne and I continue to pray for everyone impacted by the tornadoes that recently hit our state. The response to the tornadoes is yet another example of why Nebraska is the best place in the world. We suffered devastating hits to homes and property. But gratefully no Nebraska lives were lost. As soon as the storms passed, Nebraskans rolled up their sleeves and got to work. First responders worked tirelessly to make sure everyone was accounted for. Volunteers flocked to staging areas with hammers and saws. Churches filled trucks with bottled water, Gatorade, and food. This is a testament to the resilience and strength of our state.

Many people helped out. Among those deserving our thanks are the volunteers, Washington and Douglas County first responders, and broadcasters. We’re also grateful for the Nebraska State Patrol, Nebraska National Guard, and Nebraska Emergency Management Agency personnel who responded so well.

These moments remind us that Nebraska is what America is supposed to be. It’s why I’m humbled and honored to serve as your U.S. Senator. I’m fighting to bring Proven Nebraska Solutions to Washington, make government work better, and keep Americans safe. 

When I was Governor of Nebraska, we kept the size and scope of government small. We provided$12.7 billion in tax relief. We improved customer service and made state government work better for all taxpayers. Those Proven Nebraska Solutions inspire my work in Washington. I introduced a bill modeling a Nebraska program that enables workers on SNAP to get off welfare and into the workforce with new, better-paying jobs. I introduced the Flex Fuel Fairness Act to promote biofuels and ensure consumers have a choice in what vehicle they want to purchase. I also authored bills to begin making Social Security benefits federally tax free and to make military retirement pay federally tax free. These solutions all worked in Nebraska. They will work at the federal level as well.

I’m also focused on making government work better. That means getting our spending under control. When I was Governor, we kept the growth of government spending at 2.8% per year on average. We did that without cutting essential services or sacrificing effectiveness. In contrast, the federal government – in just the four years from 2019 to 2023 – grew its spending by 40%. That reckless spending gave us high inflation and a $34 trillion debt. As a result, a typical household must spend an extra $11,434 a year to maintain the same standard of living they had before Biden took office. To rein in inflation, we must control our spending. I’m going to continue pushing to give the American taxpayer a break.

Another way to make government work better is to block burdensome mandates that don’t work for Nebraska. For example, the EPA is mandating up to two-thirds of all new cars and trucks be electric by 2032. The EV mandate will make necessary purchases more expensive for families. It will block low-income families from being able to access auto ownership which is a pathway out of poverty. It also lacks basic common sense. EVs are unaffordable and unreliable for too many people, especially in rural communities far from chargers. I’m leading bipartisan Congressional Review Act legislation to overturn the EPA’s delusional mandate.

I’m also focused on keeping Americans safe. I released a package of solutions to fix the national security, humanitarian, and drug catastrophe at our southern border. It includes a bill I wrote to require annual, comprehensive reviews of U.S. Customs and Border Protections policies. The package also includes fixing our broken asylum process, building the wall, and attacking drug cartels. I’ll continue championing these solutions until the border is secured. 

On the Foreign Relations Committee, I’m fighting to deter our adversaries like China, Russia and Iran, through American strength. I’ve introduced a bill to prevent the Biden administration from giving tax dollars to organizations that support Hamas. I support legislation to sanction Iran harshly for its support for terrorism. I helped pass a bill to block the Chinese Communist Party from spying on Americans. All the while, I’ve worked to modernize our nuclear deterrent and ensure our women and men in uniform have the tools they need to maintain their effectiveness. Keeping our country safe is one of the federal government’s most important jobs. I’m committed to making sure it follows through.

I’m honored to have the opportunity to fight for Nebraska in the United States Senate. I’ll keep working to bring Proven Nebraska Solutions to Washington, make government work better, and keep Americans safe.

My team and I are here to serve you. Contact us anytime by phone at 202-224-4224 or on my website at www.ricketts.senate.gov/contact.