BELLEVUE, Neb. (KMTV) — It's been weeks since President Trump tweeted that four non-white congresswoman should "go back to the country they came from." Some in the Nebraska delegation have been quiet, including Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, until today.
"The lock her up shouting, the send her back shouting, and calling the president out with the most vile kind of insult...MF by elected officials, all of it has to stop. It's not creating the conditions for trust, it's tapping into old wounds,” says Fortenberry.
President Trump's comment was not the only thing on people's minds. Congressman Fortenberry just got back from the border. He says border patrol agents are overwhelmed, but handling it. He also says from what he can tell children are not being separated from their parents, unless they need to be.
"If someone is found to have a criminal background they may separate for that reason for the safety of the child. Another 30 percent of this is fraudulent,” says Fortenberry.
Healthcare has been arguably the biggest priority for Democratic presidential candidates, who are arguing for a public option or even eliminating private health insurance all together. The eight-term Republican congressman wants to go the opposite way and grow private insurance.
"A more reasoned response would be, how do we expand opportunity for private insurance to drive the cost down and take the pressure off of government programs, while also recognizing the government programs are there to protect persons that are in vulnerable circumstances,” says Fortenberry.
One healthcare option Dominic Gillen pleaded for, medical marijuana.
His son Will, has a severe form of epilepsy, and his parents believe medical pot would help.
"Somebody needs to step up and help the people in the state of Nebraska that are vulnerable and sick,” says Dominic Gillen.
Fortenberry says his hands are tied because the FDA lists marijuana as a schedule-1 drug.
"We're going to rely people in Washington with Science backgrounds and can determine the medical efficacy of the possibility of healing people, not a political process,” says Fortenberry.
Fortenberry will have town halls in Fremont, Lincoln, Norfolk and Columbus in the next few days, Omaha-area Congressman Don Bacon will be in Waterloo next week.