Primary: May 13, 2014
To see the actual voting records of all incumbents on other issues such as Foreign Policy, Second Amendment Issues, Homeland Security, and other issues as well as their rankings by special interest groups please use the links followed by two stars (**).
Deb Fischer (R) Next election in 2018
Mike Johanns (R) Is retiring in 2014
Ben Sasse (R) Challenger
HEALTHCARE He opposes ObamaCare not just because:
it was passed by a dishonest legislative gimmick
it is based on a premise that Government can successfully plan 18% of our economy
it puts bureaucrats between patients and doctors
it infringes on religious liberty and forces people of conscience to pay for abortion
its information technology systems won’t work, and will likely lead to massive data leaks of Americans’ confidential financial and health data
…though all those things are true.
He’s also against it for a much more basic reason: Ben opposes ObamaCare because he rejects the worldview underlying it. It’s a worldview that says:
“If there’s a problem, only the Federal Government can solve it.”
“Fake budget projections are fine, it’s OK to hide the truth from the American people because “DC knows what America needs and the ends justify the means”
“The Executive branch has the authority to just fill in parts of the law that are unfinished, grant special waivers to politically connected friends, and change parts of the law that are politically inconvenient.”
“The American people need Government to care for them and permanent dependency isn’t just an acceptable outcome, it’s a goal of this Administration.”
This does not work. Republicans must be ready with conservative solutions to the crisis Obamacare has caused. Otherwise we will be forced into a single-payer system.
Real health care reform can only be achieved through patient-centered health policy solutions, not more bureaucracy. The health care sector was a mess before Obamacare-not because we didn’t have enough government, but because we already had too much.
JOBS AND ECONOMY Ben knows that the government does not create jobs – businesses and local communities create jobs. The way to get a real economic growth agenda is by rolling back the regulatory state and letting job creators go to work. One area where over-regulation has been most obvious is the energy sector. The Keystone XL pipeline should have been approved years ago. Ben believes that we need an all-of-the-above energy policy. This approach would lower energy prices, create as many as three million jobs, and reduce our dependence on the Middle East.
When government gets out of the way, America can compete – and win – in any industry. We’ve got the people; we’ve got the talent; and most of all we have the work ethic – the will to create something lasting for our families and our neighbors- if we can just get the federal government out of the way, and let our people build.
IMMIGRATION The Federal Government’s primary responsibility is to protect Americans from enemies foreign and domestic. The American people are not safe unless we know who is entering and leaving our country. Neither Party has been willing to get serious about border security, dating back to the mid-80s when a Republican president agreed to amnesty in exchange for promises of securing the border later. It never happened.
President “You can keep your doctor” Obama refuses to lead on this issue because he is more concerned about turning Texas into a Democrat state than he is about solving the problem. Republicans must not make a deal with President Obama. We must secure the border. End of story.
FOREIGN POLICY A strong America is a more prosperous and secure America, and American leadership makes for a safer and more peaceful world. But President Obama’s policies have done more to weaken our nation than anyone since Jimmy Carter. Under the Obama Administration, America’s global standing has deteriorated to dangerous levels. Our adversaries don’t fear us and our friends don’t trust us. Russia’s attack on Ukraine shows the folly of President Obama’s naive, liberal worldview that international aggression is out of date. Dictatorships like China and North Korea have become emboldened by Obama’s lead-from-behind weakness. His passivity on Syria has led to a dramatic increase in the number of jihadist terrorists, and on his watch Iran is closer to a nuclear weapon than ever before. Restoring America’s credibility means strengthening our alliances, deterring our enemies, and leading the world from the front.
Dave Domina (D) Challenger
Jeff Fortenberry (R) Incumbent
Rated -3 by AAI, indicating anti-Arab anti-Palestine voting record. (May 2012
American nuclear leadership: America’s role as the leading enforcer of the norms and laws guiding the global nuclear security order.orMaintaining a strong American deterrent: Making the right investments to ensure a strong and affordable U.S. deterrent to combat 21st century threats, including the role of missile defense, Global Strike, and cyberspace.
Preventing nuclear terror: Preventing dangerous regimes or sub-state actors from acquiring or advancing nuclear ambitions and capabilities.
Securing global nuclear materials: Advancing efforts to secure nuclear materials worldwide
Safe civilian nuclear power: Ensuring that responsible nations can utilize nuclear power without increasing nuclear proliferation.
ENERGY Voted YES on opening Outer Continental Shelf to oil drilling.
Voted YES on barring EPA from regulating greenhouse gases.
Voted NO on enforcing limits on CO2 global warming pollution.
Voted for construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline without limiting amendments.
HEALTHCARE Rep. Jeff Fortenberry wants to retain portions of the Affordable Care Act while moving to a new health care reform model that combines catastrophic care coverage with expanded use of individual health savings accounts.
August 8, 2013-Nebraska Republican Jeff Fortenberry was pressed at a town hall in his district this week about the many votes the House GOP has taken to repeal or dismantle parts of Obamacare.
Fortenberry called the 40 votes the House has taken on the health care law “theatrics,” the Columbus Telegram reported on Thursday. “Some people are beginning to ridicule us for that. To be honest, some of it is theatrics. You keep doing this over and over and over again and it doesn’t get anywhere. It is theatrics,” Fortenberry said according to the paper. He said he remains opposed to the law, but was supportive of some of the more popular provisions like allowing children to stay on their parent’s health plan until they turn 26.
Dennis Crawford (D) Challenger
CREATING JOBS My top priority will be to work across party lines to pass legislation that will create jobs. That’s why I support government investments in infrastructure. We need to upgrade our aging highways, bridges and electrical grid. Currently, the infrastructure in the U.S. is ranked 14th in the world and is declining. As recently as 2008, our infrastructure was ranked 7th. In 2011, a jobs bill was introduced in the Congress that would have invested in infrastructure and cut the Social Security payroll tax. This legislation – if enacted – would have created almost 2 million jobs while reducing the unemployment rate by 1 percentage point. It was supported by both the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO. As both AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Thomas Donohue said: “[W]e hope that Democrats and Republicans in Congress will also join together to build America’s infrastructure.” Unfortunately, the bill has never been granted an up or down vote. This is yet another example of how Washington’s dysfunction is hurting the economy and the people of Nebraska CD 1.
MAKING GOVERNMENT WORK The government shutdown that Jeff Fortenberry supported and voted for on September 20th, 2013 is unacceptable. It cost our economy $24 Billion and 120 thousand jobs. I plan to reach across party lines to arrive at solutions that are beneficial to the people of CD1. We need a farm bill and a jobs bill. I’m running because I want my children and their generation to have the same kind of opportunities my wife and I had when we were growing up.
EXPANDING CLEAN ENERGY Every time I drive down I-80 through Iowa, I marvel at all of the wind turbines. We need to do the same thing here in Nebraska. We have great potential here in Nebraska to produce great amounts of wind energy. That is why I support investments in renewable sources such as solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal. The development of renewable energy is a great job creation tool as well as a way to reduce America’s dependence upon oil from unstable parts of the world. The development of renewable energy sources has the potential to bring about the same kind of positive technological and economic spin offs that we saw from the interstate highway system and the space program in the 1950s and 1960s. The production of more renewable energy will also reduce the amount of green house gases emitted into the atmosphere. This is truly a win-win proposition for everybody in Nebraska CD1. If I’m elected, I would make this one of my top priorities.
PROTECTING ELECTION INTEGRITY We need to begin to take steps to reverse the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United. That decision made it possible for well-heeled special interests to pour large amounts of anonymous money into political campaigns. An activist majority on the U.S. Supreme Court created a new, dysfunctional campaign finance system that is now one dollar, one vote. We need to get special interest money out of campaigns and restore the voices of the middle class and working people by overturning Citizens United.
Lee Terry (R) Incumbent
Rated -2 by AAI, indicating a anti-Arab anti-Palestine voting record. (May 2012)
HEALTHCARE The cost of health care poses the greatest single threat to the fiscal health of the United States, threatening our economic stability in the future. Today, the U.S. spends more on health care per person than other country in the world, yet it ranks 37th in overall quality according to the World Health Organization. Clearly, there are problems with our system and they need to be addressed, before they do serious damage.
That’s why I voted against the President’s health care reform plan. It’s already proven that more money and new government programs won’t solve our health crisis in American; but rather we need to reform our health care delivery system.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) that President Obama signed into law raises taxes; increases the nation’s deficit; and, fails to address the problems of rising health care costs and insurance premiums. The end result threatens access for millions of Medicare beneficiaries and that is something that cannot be accepted.
Another reason I voted against PPACA is because it created the Independent Payment Advisory Board that puts Medicare payment decisions in the hands 15 unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats. Over three years later, evidence indicates that the new health care law is failing America’s health care system. A growing number of employers include those I’ve spoken with in Nebraska’s Second District are considering eliminating employer sponsored coverage and forcing their employees to go to an exchange. These new taxes and mandates are hurting small businesses and their ability to hire new employees.
Another way to rein in health care costs is permanent fixing Medicare’s sustain growth rate (SGR) that sets the formula for how doctors are reimbursed for their services. The SGR is an antiquated policy that it was meant to control how much Medicare pays for physician services, but it simply doesn’t fit our nation’s 21st century health care needs. Evidence of this is how many times Congress has had to pass a temporary patch for the SGR, or “doc fix.” We cannot expect Medicare patients to go year-to-year or month-to-month hoping that Congress will continually fix this broken formula. I am happy that my committee has taken the lead on addressing this major issue and I believe that rather than reimbursing doctors for the quantity of services, we need to explore ways to reward them for the quality of patient outcomes.
ENERGY Terry Reaction to State Department Delay of Keystone XL Pipeline – Washington, Apr 18 | 2014 Congressman Lee Terry (R-NE) released the following statement after today’s announcement by the State Department that they will delay making a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline:
“Yesterday, the President had the audacity to stand at the podium at the White House press office and lecture Republicans in Congress about the need to make tough decisions. But today, he punted a tough decision in the name of political expediency.
“It’s shameful that as we begin spring construction season, that hundreds of my constituents will be denied an opportunity to go to work on a project that will help secure America’s energy future solely because the President wants to placate his political base in an election year.”
IMMIGRATION Congress must act on this important issue. We have lost control of both our northern and southern borders. Our maritime border is porous and anyone with the most innocent or worst of intentions can walk or drive into and assimilate into our communities. This illegal immigration must be stopped. Securing our border is the proper first step. I support authorizing more border patrol agents, who are properly equipped with modern technology to monitor those coming into our country. More needs to be done to properly secure our ports of entry along our east and west coasts and our northern and southern borders. This is a very large, but very important task.
Employers must be provided better means to information, allowing them to determine whether or not the potential hire is properly documented. If employers fail to seek information about a potential employee, the full force of the law should be brought against them. Once the borders are secure from illegal immigrants we must reform our current, archaic immigration laws. We must develop sensible, labor-based non-amnesty guest worker programs.
Brad Ashford (D) Challenger
Adrian Smith (R) Incumbent
Rated -4 by AAI, indicating a anti-Arab anti-Palestine voting record. (May 2012)
ENERGY Smith Statement on Keystone XL Pipeline Study, Jan 31, 2014 , Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) issued the following statement after the State Department released its final environmental impact study on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. The final study concluded the pipeline would pose minimal environmental risk.
“The State Department has once again confirmed the Keystone pipeline would be safe and in the best interest of our nation. Protecting the natural resources of Nebraska and our nation has always been a key factor in considering this project. With today’s technology, we can transport energy safely while protecting our environment. “With the environmental review now complete, it’s time to move forward with this project which would improve our energy security, create jobs, and spur economic growth.
“I encourage the President to follow the science and facts, and approve this project.”
HEALTHCARE More Evidence Obamacare is Hurting Americans – New Report Predicts Millions of Job Losses, Fewer Insured – Feb 4, 2014 Issues: Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) made the following statement today after a new report from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office predicted the President’s health care law will reduce the number of full-time workers by roughly 2.3 million people, and the online exchanges will insure 1 million fewer people this year than previously estimated:
“This new report is just the latest evidence of what Nebraskans have told me all along: Obamacare makes our health systems worse, not better, and the law discourages economic growth and job creation.
“House Republicans have offered hundreds of ideas to make health care more affordable and accessible in America. Earlier today, I joined my colleagues on the Ways and Means Committee in approving two bills to prevent part-time workers, volunteer firefighters, and other emergency workers from being hurt by the Obamacare employer mandate. “I hope this report will encourage President Obama and Senator Reid to consider these and other Republican solutions instead of continuing to block the process. As the report indicates, we can and must do better.”
Mark Sullivan (D) Challenger
I will fight to preserve Social Security, Medicare, and the family farm.
I’m going to work hard for deficit reduction and job growth.
To balance our budget we need a careful, balanced , and fair approach to fiscal security. Spending cuts and Revenue increases must necessarily be equally employed to successfully deal with our deficit. This great endeavor must involve shared sacrifice. Americans have never shrunk from a challenge if they are sure they are united in their efforts and sacrifices!
To promote jobs I would encourage improving infrastructure. We need to maintain and improve our broadband services, highways, railroads, and electrical power grid. Spending on infrastructure is an investment in our nation’s future.
We must defend our nation in the most effective way possible. New technology should be employed to make our country safe, save lives, save money, and put less boots on foreign soil. We owe our citizens a strong defense, but we can’t bankrupt our nation and risk our soldier’s lives. We need to follow Theodore Roosevelt’s advice to, “speak softly and carry a big stick.” Steady diplomatic pressure and financial sanctions will continue to give us better results than gunboat diplomacy.
We must develop a comprehensive energy program. We need to expand and promote new renewable and sustainable energy sources, such as solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal. While we work on these sources we must continue to utilize our existing resources. Improved efficiency, conservation, and environmental safety should be of the highest priority. A big cash bank balance could seem very insignificant if our children and grandchildren inherit a nation with polluted air, undrinkable water, and eroded soil.