Jeff Fortenberry

Jeff Fortenberry

NEBRASKA's 1st DISTRICT

Fort Report: State of the Union

2015/01/23

The State of the Union is a great American tradition. The Constitution mandates that the President must periodically update Congress on our nation’s wellbeing. George Washington gave a short 1089 word oral report, Thomas Jefferson delivered a written report, and Woodrow Wilson inaugurated the practice of presenting an annual message to the Congress. In time, the State of the Union became a grand televised event for the world to see. It is a unique expression of the American ideal of openness and transparency in government even in the midst of deep philosophical division—a theatre for the drama of politics and policy debate.  This week was no different. First, here’s what I liked. The President had a strong emphasis on helping one another and on supporting the "family" of our nation—especially his gratitude for our troops—which was appropriate and moving. In a moment of unity, the President’s praise for our veterans attracted enthusiastic applause. I also respected the President’s emphasis on a new politics that lifts up young people and gives them a sense of purpose. Here’s what I found troubling. The President’s analysis of our economic recovery gave a very incomplete picture. It excluded exorbitant health care costs that are hurting so many families, as well as the excessive regulations harming small businesses, limiting the promise of ownership and opportunity for all. Small business is the key to a healthy economy—not more concentration of power in Washington.  I believe our national conversation first should acknowledge some difficult truths. Too many families face downward mobility, stagnant wages, and an increased cost of living. Many people feel abandoned by the Washington-Wall Street axis. But more government shouldn’t be the automatic solution. Although the current system helps some people, proper healthcare reform requires a responsible replacement that reduces costs, improves outcomes, and protects innocent persons. An improved policy, coupled with a renewed focus on small business, entrepreneurship, and decreasing Washington’s heavy-handedness, is the key to unlocking an opportunity economy for American families.  Americans deserve smart and effective government. Washington should not remain mired in mediocrity, nor should we divide our nation by class and income. But an arthritic economic recovery has dimmed the financial prospects of too many small businesses and families. In our time of social fracture, more and more people are feeling directionless and alone.  Despite our challenges, the start of a new Congress is an exciting time to renew our government and the promise of our nation. My priorities in Congress are promoting a healthy economy, protecting the country, and preserving our families and communities—the true strength of our nation. Read More

KFOR Radio: Fortenberry on State of the Union

2015/01/21

Congressman Jeff Fortenberry discusses President Obama's State of the Union address with KFOR's Coby Mach. Click here to listen to the interview. Read More

Fortenberry Comments on the State of the Union

2015/01/21

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Jeff Fortenberry today made the following statement after the President’s State of the Union address. “The State of the Union is a great American tradition. The presidential address demonstrates the American ideal of openness and transparency in government even in the midst of deep philosophical division. “Overall, the President’s speech tonight was sincere with a number of inspirational moments. He had a strong emphasis on helping one another and on supporting the ‘family’ of our nation—especially his gratitude for our troops—which was appropriate and moving. Unfortunately, his analysis of our economic recovery excluded exorbitant healthcare costs that are hurting so many families, as well as the regulations that are harming small businesses, limiting the promise of ownership and opportunity for all. Small business is the key to a healthy economy—not more concentration of power in Washington. I did, however, respect the President’s emphasis on a new politics that lifts up young people and gives them a sense of purpose. “We must restore an opportunity economy through responsible government, reclaim our best traditions, and rebuild a culture that respects the life and dignity of all persons. In the months ahead we must repurpose Washington—and turn our country around.” Fortenberry is a member of the House Appropriations Committee. ### Read More

Fort Report: No Place Like Nebraska

2015/01/16

If you have ever visited New York City, you have probably felt the excitement and energy of the dense urban setting. If you have ever visited Los Angeles, you have probably enjoyed the fascinating palm trees and the balmy seaside weather. Our Capitol, too, is a great and historic American city, one with its own particular rhythms of work and life that are different than elsewhere on the coasts. All three cities have unique assets and are centers of influence. But the strengths of each are made possible by the deeper unifying strength of the rest of America—a strength of commitment to one another that begins in families and small communities. This strength does not come from a concentration of political power in Washington, economic power in Wall Street, or cultural power in Hollywood. It rises instead from the renewed dedication of Americans in each generation to do the best they can with their talents and take responsibility not only for themselves and their families, but for their local neighborhoods. When more and more resources gather in fewer places, ideals of strong families and communities begin to lose force to sustain the greater nation. Government bureaucracy and regulation that homogenizes everything from safety nets to education should never replace more effective local solutions and can never substitute for a robust civil society. An economy where the transnational corporation crowds out smaller players harms a genuine free market that supports social cohesion. We need a space for widespread opportunity and ownership where small businesses can multiply and thrive and where risk and reward generate a personal and inclusive entrepreneurialism. Commercialized cultural trends, often manufactured in boardrooms and exported by marketing professionals, are no antidote for the isolation and loneliness that many Americans feel. New York City alone cannot cure what ails our economy. Los Angeles cannot create a true and lasting cultural solidarity. Politicians are good at pointing out problems, but Washington cannot provide all of the solutions.  Answers come from places like the Lincoln Haymarket. On summer Saturday mornings, the farmer’s market creates the space for a diverse array of local products. Farmers and craftsmen exchange goods and conversation with families looking for that homemade feel. Behind the revitalized old brick storefronts, technology startups are thriving with new ideas that challenge well worn corporate models. Our version of a “silicon prairie” provides a fresh and organic market dynamism.  While great cities have their role in the American landscape, a new economic model could challenge the power concentrations and return us to an opportunity economy. For things to get better in America, moving away from a government-controlled society—divided by class and income—to a renewed focus on what makes a healthy economy is the best pathway to financial independence where everyone counts.  There is no place like Nebraska.  Read More

Fortenberry Selected to Serve on State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee

2015/01/15

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Jeff Fortenberry today announced his selection by his colleagues to serve on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations in the 114th Congress. “I welcome this opportunity to serve on the State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee,” Fortenberry said. “We live in an interconnected world, and Congress has a vital oversight role in the management of foreign policy. The State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee is responsible for important budgeting decisions that affect a wide spectrum of critical government initiatives, including U.S. diplomatic outreach, humanitarian efforts, and international development and trade policy. I remain committed to making fiscally responsible, strategic choices between the agencies and programs under the subcommittee’s jurisdiction.”     The State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee administers funding for diplomatic operations, international security assistance, and humanitarian assistance. The subcommittee has jurisdiction over the Department of State, the Agency for International Development, and related international programs.   Fortenberry will continue to serve on the Appropriations Subcommittees on Energy and Water and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs. ### Read More

Fortenberry Announces Military Academy Nominees

2015/01/13

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Jeff Fortenberry today announced the selection of 17 students from eastern Nebraska to receive nominations to America's top military academies. "A military academy appointment is a tremendous honor and a great responsibility," Fortenberry said. "Nominees must demonstrate capacity for leadership, personal integrity, and rigorous scholarship. I am pleased to nominate several young Nebraskans who meet these qualifications." Following are the 2014 nominees: Tyler Copeland of Bellevue West High School. Tyler is the son of Bryan and Tara Copeland and has been nominated to the United States Air Force Academy. James Dalton of Lincoln Pius X High School. James is the son of Thomas and Renee Dalton and has been nominated to the United States Naval Academy. Jonathan Deemer of Lincoln College View Academy High School. Jonathan is the son of Gary and Lisette Deemer and has been nominated to the United States Air Force Academy. Jordyn Del Rosario of Bellevue West High School.  Jordyn is the daughter of Bienvenido and Tracey Del Rosario and has been nominated to the United States Naval Academy. Abraham Driewer of Lincoln Pius X High School. Abraham is the son of Anne Driewer and Jim Driewer and has been nominated to the United States Military Academy.   Isaac Driewer of Lincoln Pius X High School. Isaac is the son of Anne Driewer and Jim Driewer and has been nominated to the United States Naval Academy and the Merchant Marine Academy.   Robert Goetschkes of Omaha Brownell Talbot High School. Robert is the son of Robert and Kelly Goetschkes and has been nominated to the United States Air Force Academy. Derek Greenwald of Lincoln Southwest High School. Derek is the son of Michael and Carol Greenwald and has been nominated to the United States Air Force Academy. Sydney Heithoff of Raymond Central High School. Sydney is the daughter of Mark and Leigh Heithoff and has been nominated to the United States Air Force Academy. Aaron Jorgensen of Bellevue West High School. Aaron is the son of Bert and Shelly Jorgensen and has been nominated to the United States Naval Academy. Thomas Kelly of Lincoln Pius X High School. Thomas is the son of Joe and Susan Kelly and has been nominated to the United States Military Academy. Hannah Lillard of Norfolk Senior High School. Hannah is the daughter of Timothy and Lori Lillard and has been nominated to the United States Air Force Academy. Karla Mendoza of Macomb (Illinois) High School, hometown of Madison (Nebraska). Karla is the daughter of Elizabeth Mendoza and Juval Mendoza and has been nominated to the United States Naval Academy. Sophia Otto of Bellevue West High School. Sophia is the daughter of Jamie and Shelley Otto and has been nominated to the United States Naval Academy. Aric Soukup of Lincoln Pius X High School. Aric is the son of Richard Soukup and Kristen Howard and has been nominated to the United States Naval Academy. Viktor Turner of Lincoln Southeast High School. Viktor is the son of Joseph and Mary Turner and has been nominated to the United States Naval Academy. Austin Van Velson of Seward High School. Austin is the son of Alan and Constance Van Velson and has been nominated to the United States Air Force Academy. ### Read More

Fortenberry Named Co-Chair of Religious Minorities Caucus

2015/01/12

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Jeff Fortenberry announced today that he will serve as the new Co-Chair of the Religious Minorities in the Middle East Caucus with Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA), Co-Chair and co-founder of the Caucus. Fortenberry succeeds Congressman Frank Wolf (R-VA), who retired at the end of the 113th Congress. “Having worked with Congressman Fortenberry on religious minority issues, I deeply respect his knowledge and commitment,” Eshoo said. “He is a reliable ally and a staunch advocate for religious freedom. As the struggle for religious freedom persists in the Middle East, our utmost vigilance to promote democratic values and protection for persecuted innocents in the region is required. With Congressman Fortenberry as a partner, we can help create lasting change for religious minorities in the Middle East.” “Congresswoman Eshoo is devoted to the most fundamental of human ideals: the right of persons to practice their faith without fear of persecution,” Fortenberry said. “At this hour of their great need, the religious minorities of the Middle East need champions of her experience and dedication. I deeply respect Congresswoman Eshoo’s continued leadership on the grave challenges facing these vibrant communities, as well as her desire to protect vulnerable persons in the region.” “The stability and cultural identity of the Middle East depends in part on its mosaic of religious minorities,” Fortenberry continued. “As Co-Chair of this Caucus, I will continue working so that these great faith traditions can flourish in their ancestral homelands. Congress, as well as the international community, must promote their cause—a cause that is essential to civilization itself.” Fortenberry is a member of the House Appropriations Committee. Background on Religious Minorities in the Middle East Caucus The Religious Minorities in the Middle East Caucus was co-founded by Eshoo and Wolf in 2008. The Caucus is a Congressional Member organization that serves as an informational and advocacy entity for besieged religious minorities who are central to a pluralistic, multi-cultural Middle East. ### Read More

Fort Report: Endings and Beginnings

2015/01/09

On March 4, 1789, the First United States Congress convened for the first time in our nation’s capital. This week, 226 years later, the members of the 114th United States Congress took their oaths of office. Families and friends all came to participate in this great American tradition of representative democracy and to support their loved ones. I was pleased as well that my wife and five daughters were able to be here for the ceremony. [[{"fid":"284","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"Congressman Fortenberry and his family in Washington, D.C."},"type":"media","attributes":{"title":"Congressman Fortenberry and his family in Washington, D.C.","style":"width: 424px; height: 303px;","class":"media-element file-full"}}]] With the start of a new year comes a new legislative agenda. Before we fully engage the business before us, I want to give you a chance to review the activities of my office from the past year. Here is a link to my Year-End Report. The report highlights action I have taken on my priorities in Congress: economic security, national security, and the security of our families and communities.   As I often say, there’s nothing wrong with America that can’t be fixed by what’s right in America. But this will require bold resolve, innovative public policy, and a return to our highest ideals. I remain committed to restoring our economic vibrancy through responsible government, reclaiming our best traditions, and rebuilding a culture that respects the life and dignity of all persons. In the months ahead we must repurpose Washington—and turn our country around.   Read More

Fortenberry Sworn into 114th Congress

2015/01/07

[[{"fid":"281","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","attributes":{"class":"media-element file-full"}}]] Congressman Fortenberry and family with Speaker of the House John Boehner Washington, D.C. – Congressman Jeff Fortenberry today was sworn in to the 114th Congress as Nebraska's First Congressional District Congressman in the U.S. House of Representatives. Fortenberry took the oath of office with his colleagues on the House Floor this afternoon. “I am honored to serve in Nebraska’s delegation in the United States Congress,” Fortenberry said. “The start of a new Congress is always an exciting time to renew our government and the promise of our nation. In the months ahead we must repurpose Washington—and turn our country around. “We face tremendous challenges. Political dysfunction and partisan gridlock—particularly in Washington—have made smart and effective government difficult. An arthritic economic recovery has dimmed the financial prospects of too many small businesses and families. In our time of social fracture, more and more people are feeling directionless and alone. “As I often say, there’s nothing wrong with America that can’t be fixed by what’s right in America. But this will require bold resolve, innovative public policy, and a return to our highest ideals. I remain committed to restoring our economic vibrancy through responsible government, reclaiming our best traditions, and rebuilding a culture that responds the life and dignity of all persons.” Fortenberry will continue his service on the Appropriations Committee with frontline responsibilities for policy and fiscal reform. ### Read More

Fort Report: Christmas Greetings

2014/12/23

Earlier this month in Washington, I recorded a video message through the American Forces Network for our troops serving overseas. It’s a nice way to send a greeting to those who continue to sacrifice so much for our country. I invite you to watch the greeting, and if you like, pass it along to someone you know who is serving. Let me also wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a great start to the new year! I hope this is a wonderful holiday season for you. Below is the recorded message along with some behind-the-scenes footage. Thank you for the privilege of serving you in Congress.  Read More

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Contact Information

1514 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-4806
Fax 202-225-5686
fortenberry.house.gov

Committee Assignments

Appropriations

Jeff Fortenberry was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2004 to serve Nebraska’s First Congressional District. His work in Congress is rooted in the belief that the strength of our nation depends on the strength of our families and communities. Jeff is a member of the House Appropriations Committee, which appropriates United States government expenditures. He serves on three subcommittees with importance for Nebraska: Agriculture, Energy and Water, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs.

Jeff previously served on the House Foreign Affairs Committee where he placed particular focus on human rights concerns, Middle Eastern affairs, and nuclear weapons non-proliferation. He also represented Nebraska on the Agriculture Committee, where his work on two Farm Bills advanced opportunities for young and beginning farmers and promoted agricultural entrepreneurship.

Prior to serving in Congress, Jeff worked as a publishing industry executive in Lincoln, where he also served on the Lincoln City Council from 1997-2001. Jeff also has significant personal experience in small business, and early in his career he worked as a policy analyst for the United States Senate Subcommittee on Intergovernmental Relations. Jeff earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and two master’s degrees, one in public policy. He and his wife Celeste live in Lincoln and have five daughters.


Serving With

Adrian Smith

NEBRASKA's 3rd DISTRICT

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