NewsLocal News


Rare gathering of Nebraska's entire congressional delegation talk in an open forum

Infrastructure bill one of the big topics
Posted at 6:37 PM, Aug 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-12 19:37:36-04

ASHLAND, Neb. (KMTV) — There are not many times you get both Nebraska U.S. senators and all three House members in the same room.

That’s exactly what happened Thursday at a legislative summit, put on by local city and state Chamber of Commerce organizations, with the delegation taking questions from Omaha Chamber of Commerce President David Brown.

Senator Deb Fischer just back from Washington after voting for the $1 trillion infrastructure bill.

“I found it encouraging that we had Democrats in the United States Senate, who reached out to Republicans to work on that infrastructure bill,” said Fischer, a Republican.

While Fischer, who was one of 19 Republicans to vote for it, said it’s not perfect.

She's pleased that around $2.5 billion is going to roads and bridges in Nebraska, and billions of dollars more for rural broadband.

“So to be able to accomplish big things, in an atmosphere like that, I believe that that’s what Nebraskans and people in this country want to see,” said Fischer.

Later on, Congressman Don Bacon graded the bill a ‘C’ and said he’d vote for it if it doesn’t change much in the house.

“Wouldn’t be the bill that I’d write but I think in the end the country is looking for money for roads, bridges, airports, seaports, our locks are 90 years old, very important for our agriculture, so there’s more good than bad in this bill,” Bacon said.

Senator Ben Sasse voted against it, but in the wide-ranging town forum spoke on the need for students to learn math and science as artificial intelligence technology continues to take over blue collar jobs.

“There are never going to be more 'brawn jobs' on earth than there are right now, there will be a declining number of 'brawn jobs,'” said Sasse.

Offutt Air Force Base still needs to be reconstructed from the floods and Bacon said the project needs about $200 million to complete.

He mentioned that he’d like to see the military add more to the base in the future.

“Anything dealing with intelligence, because we have airborne intelligence capability, if all the pipes and the networks, the infrastructure for top secret reconnaissance type stuff that’s what we can bring in,” said Bacon.

Multiple members of the delegation also said that comprehensive immigration reform may not happen but they need to chip away at the problem with individual bills.

Several congress-members did say that any bill that is passed should include some type of enhanced border protection

Download our apps today for all of our latest coverage.

Get the latest news and weather delivered straight to your inbox.