Over the past two weeks, I have met via video conference with winners of the Third District Excellence in Innovation and Adaptation Recognition (EIAR), as well as the Third District’s winner in this year’s Congressional App Challenge. While I prefer meeting with Nebraskans in person, being able to recognize Nebraskans who innovated in the face of a pandemic while using technology seemed entirely appropriate.
America is fortunate to have an excellent higher education system, and is home to many of the world’s greatest and most prestigious universities. During any given year, nearly 20 million Americans are enrolled in public and private colleges studying topics ranging from engineering to business to science. Nebraska in particular is proudly home to many world-class universities educating thousands of our young people. It is no wonder that Nebraska consistently ranks among the best states for higher education according to U.S. News and World Report.
At the end of November, Nebraska closed another successful deer hunting season. While hunting is a great benefit of our constitutional right to bear arms, it is not the primary reason our founders chose to specifically enumerate this protection in our Bill of Rights. Nationwide our Second Amendment rights continue to be under threat. In fact, ongoing attempts by the House majority to weaken our Second Amendment rights, not to mention possible future presidential actions, have destabilized the arms and ammunition markets causing widespread shortages and shocking prices for common hunting and self-defense firearms and ammunition.
When I meet with hospitals and health care providers around Nebraska, both prior to and during the current pandemic, the impact of unnecessary regulations on their ability to provide care in rural areas is always at the top of their list of concerns. Over the last four years I have appreciated working with the Trump administration on these issues because of their persistent willingness to listen to rural Americans, take these concerns seriously, and act. We cannot afford to go in the other direction.