Jeff Fortenberry

Jeff Fortenberry

NEBRASKA's 1st DISTRICT

Fort Report: Inside Jihad

2016/05/20

A probable act of terrorism is once again dominating the news. Following the Russian airliner that was bombed out of Egypt’s skies several months ago, reports appeared yesterday about the downing of an Egyptian plane, this one carrying 66 people from Paris to Cairo. Some wreckage has been found, but initial indications point to jihadist extremism as the culprit behind the destruction and deaths. 

If you want to discover the root cause of this systemic problem, I recommend a book called “Inside Jihad,” written by a friend of mine named Tawfik Hamid. Tawfik was an Egyptian medical doctor. Thirty years ago, he was recruited into a radical Islamic group called Jammaa Islameia. The leader of this group Al-Zawahiri went on to found Al-Qaeda. Fortunately, Tawfik grew disillusioned with the ruthless ideology. His first assignment was to bury an Egyptian policeman alive. Suddenly, he had an awakening in his conscience, quickly left, and now forcefully rejects and courageously denounces such radicalism. 

In his book, Tawfik traces the process by which persons are so radicalized that they regard other human beings as infidels, even as sacrificial targets of religious observance. I remember talking to Tawfik a number of years ago about the psychological dynamic that would lead someone to do such grave harm to others, assuming it must be a bizarre need for affirmation or self-actualization. He said, “Jeff, you’ve got it all wrong.” It is the process of dulling the conscience through a twisted form of strict religious observance. 

He further identified the problem as Petro-Islam. The world's materialistic desire for oil has inadvertently funded the emergence of a narrow sect in Islam called Wahhabism. The book examines the darker aspects of this theological strain, and traces the process as to how violence in the name of God becomes a form of worship. It is irrational, and ISIS is the latest brand. 

I wrote to you a few weeks ago about my experience in China. One morning, as I woke up and went to exercise, I saw Tawfik on the television in the hotel. He is a highly courageous man who found new life and is consistently speaking out to the world. His life’s work is to revive a narrative of thought within Islam that rejects religious violence and looks instead to a spirituality of harmony and peace. In America we have the most advanced weaponry, the most dynamic economy, and the most opportunity in the world, despite our difficulties. However, military force alone will not eradicate this problem. It is men like Tawfik and others who are building bridges and confronting the desperation of this type of violence that will help us bring about stability in the world. 

At the moment, there seems to be little hope for the Middle East. In times like these, I reach back to an earlier experience. When I was a younger man, I spent time in Sinai dessert in the place where Israel and Egypt fought the ’73 war. On a twisted pile of concrete and rubble, which is an all too familiar scene now in the Middle East, there was a spray-painted sign both in Arabic and English: “Here was the war, here is the peace.”     

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Defense Bill Includes Fortenberry Amendments to Combat Genocide

2016/05/19

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) today commended passage of two amendments he introduced in the National Defense Authorization Act for 2017 (H.R. 4909). Fortenberry’s amendments would further strengthen protections against the horrific ISIS genocide against ethnic and religious minorities in Iraq. 

“Two months ago, Congress declared that ISIS is committing genocide against Christians, Yezidis, and other minorities.” Fortenberry said. “The House of Representatives has now taken concrete steps to support the victims. 

“The National Defense Authorization Act that has passed the House contains two new policy goals. First, the United States strategy in Iraq now includes securing ‘safe areas’ so that genocide victims can return to their homelands. Second, a new provision empowers minority groups, including Christian and Yezidi security forces, in the integrated military campaign against ISIS.

“Christians, Yezidis, and others should remain an essential part of the Middle East’s once rich tapestry of ethnic and religious diversity. They now have new cause for hope.”

Fortenberry’s first amendment expresses the sense of Congress that safe areas should be secured for the resettlement and reintegration of ethnic and religious minorities, including victims of genocide, into their homelands, further affirming that this position is critical to the security strategy in Iraq. The second amendment empowers local security forces in Iraq—including Christian and Yezidi groups—in the military campaign against ISIS.

Earlier this year, the United States House of Representatives passed a bipartisan resolution introduced by Fortenberry naming and decrying ISIS atrocities against ethnic and religious minorities as “genocide.” The legislation passed in a vote of 393-0.

Fortenberry serves on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations.  

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Lincoln Journal Star Editorial: Long live the bison

2016/05/14

The bison, which once ranged free on the Nebraska prairie, is a splendid choice for national mammal.

When President Barack Obama signed the National Bison Legacy Act on Monday, the bison’s iconic status was secured in federal law.

The mighty animals are a quintessential part of the American experience and a living symbol of the nation’s history.

Bison coexisted for centuries with Natives in North America; the species was intertwined with the culture and lifestyle of tribes on the Great Plains.

A bull bison weighs a ton, can accelerate to 30 miles per hour, jump a six-foot fence, trot for hours on end and, as many a wolf has discovered too late, spin on a dime, using his horns as a weapon.

Bison once numbered in the tens of millions, roaming from coast to coast, and from Alaska to Mexico. Early European explorers described plains that were black with the wooly animals from horizon to horizon.

Like the bald eagle, which was declared America’s symbol in 1782, the bison survived a brush with extinction .

In 1963 there were only 417 nesting pairs of bald eagles in the lower 48 states. Now there are more than 10,000 soaring in Americans skies, and the species has been delisted as an endangered species.

It took much longer for the bison to recover after they were nearly exterminated by hunters in the early 1900s – partly because the U.S. Army wanted to shut off an important food supply from Native tribes.

The push to win the designation spanned several years and involved perhaps 60 organizations, led by the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Inter Tribal Buffalo Council and the National Bison Association.

In the end seven members of Congress were credited as original sponsors and “champions” of the legislation.

Among them was Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, who said, “In the midst of such a difficult political environment, it is good to pass legislation that is important to the American narrative.”

Nebraskans are fortunate to have numerous opportunities to see either bald eagles or bison. Bald eagles can be found near many reservoirs in the state, including nearby Branched Oak Lake. A favorite viewing site is the dam spillway at Lake McConaughy.

A herd of purebred bison roams on Shoemaker Island, an 11-mile long expanse of prairie habitat located in the Platte River that is part of The Crane Trust.

The bison’s new official title commemorates their deserved status as an important American symbol. It’s gratifying that the title applies to bison in the flesh, still roaming the prairie.

Click here to read the editorial on the Lincoln Journal Star's website. 

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Fort Report: To Govern is to Choose

2016/05/13

When I was a younger man, I owned a rear-wheel drive Ford Bronco II. I loved that little truck, but negotiating winter conditions could be tough. One night while traveling on an interstate in foreboding weather, I came over the crest of a hill and saw a surreal sight: a large semitruck had jackknifed on a clear sheet of ice and cars were spun in every direction, flung randomly on the road, the shoulder, and in the median. In an instant everything changed. I had to make a choice. I rapidly decreased speed, gripped the wheel, and focused my total attention on the road before me, only just managing to navigate the treachery.

Many Americans feel like they have been tossed around in the bewildering unpredictability of our current policy and political dynamics. Many Americans are looking for new leadership models to offer a compelling, inspirational, and stable vision that can restore the security of our nation. If we so choose, one of the strengths of the American system of government can be its capacity for constant replenishment.

In the midst of an unpredictable government transition season, it may sound peculiar to speak of opportunity. But could this moment give us the chance to reassess and realign? Here’s my answer. A stronger America might be glimpsed through four mutually supporting principles: government decentralization, economic patriotism, foreign policy realism, and social conservation.

First, a return to a more decentralized government will restore an important source of America’s strength. When federal government grows beyond its effective purpose, it infringes on basic liberties, stifles innovation, crushes creativity—and the responsibility for one another. A creeping tendency to nationalize every problem and discussion erodes community resolve. While the federal government has a central role in maintaining the guardrails for stability, the rule of law, and a fair opportunity economy, America’s governing system is designed to operate most effectively at different levels. Those close to an opportunity or a problem ought to have the first authority to seize the opportunity or solve the problem.

Second, economic patriotism should help America recover from an arthritic economy. As I mentioned last week, although the government’s aggregate statistics show an overall unemployment at around 5%, the numbers hide a disturbing reality. Stagnant wages, job insecurity, and downward mobility are all real difficulties marking the new normal for an increasing number of families. The Washington-Wall Street axis, which promotes the transnational corporation as a new ruling entity, cannot secure the wellbeing of our economy. Instead of a globalized supply-side elitism, America needs a vibrant marketplace that expands space for constructive interdependency and community dynamism, fighting poverty and driving innovation. Small business is the key, along with a fair regulatory environment and the right type of healthcare reform.

Third, foreign policy realism should chart a new course between isolationism and over-interventionism. America has an important leadership role to play on the global stage. Today, however, many Americans are alarmed by an exhausted, drifting, and often counterproductive foreign policy. The posture of foreign policy adventurism, sometimes coupled with naive assumptions about democracy promotion, requires a recalibration. Leveraging American strength through strategic international relationships and authentic friendships will help us navigate a 21st century marked by a changing geopolitical framework. I believe in the 3-Ds: strong defense, smart diplomacy, and sustainable development.

Fourth, social conservation preserves the conditions for order, opportunity, and happiness. A healthy society depends upon more than politics for the promotion of sustainable values. Washington cannot spend enough, fast enough, to fix deep wounds in our culture. Social conservation recognizes that family life, faith life, and civic life provide a continuity of tradition, giving meaning to life and creating stability, particularly for children. Those of us who have the scarring experience of broken homes know this intuitively.

We are confronting intensifying struggles about the direction of our country. Fault lines are widening. Although we are encountering rough weather, we still can choose to rediscover common sense governance, right sized economic models, and universal and foundational values. A friend of mine called recently and told me, “I woke up in America today. I didn’t wake up in Syria. What a blessing.”

* I last discussed some of these themes with you in a Fort Report last October called “Four Quarters.” Given the current dynamics in the country, I thought it would be a good time to revisit them.

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Fort Report: Undercover Economics

2016/05/06

I met a business owner recently who had appeared on an interesting television show called Undercover Boss. Perhaps you have seen it. The program is quite engaging and very human. The Chief Executive Officers (CEO) of major companies go undercover as employees. They participate in the gritty work of building things, cleaning up, working the phones, and performing basic administrative tasks. During this episode, the boss spent time out in the field repairing a broken sewer line, in an office answering calls, and at a manufacturing plant where equipment is crafted. 

The CEO was assigned to one of the company’s top welders for training. As part of his disguise, he wore safety glasses and a do-rag. The first mistake he made was burning a hole through the metal he was supposed to be joining. After the welder supervising him gently corrected his technique, they took a break where the conversation turned to job security. The middle-aged welder, who was a long-time dedicated employee and team leader, told the boss about the worry overheard at the manufacturing plant. Would they show up one day to see a “CLOSED” sign hanging on the fence? Given what is going on in America, no one was sure whether the company would just pack up and move overseas like so many others. 

This simple conversation in a break room in middle America captured what so many Americans are justifiably concerned about. Although the government’s aggregate statistics show an overall unemployment at around 5%, the numbers hide a disturbing reality. For too many people, the rhetoric of free markets has not translated into better opportunity or security. Stagnant wages, downward mobility, staggering student loan debt, job insecurity, and an increased cost of living are all real difficulties marking the new normal for an increasing number of families. 

In another segment of the television show, the disguised CEO had to work on a home drainage system. The elderly woman who lived in the well-kept but very simple house was told that the bill to fix the problem would be $1,200. She responded in a worried voice about her many doctor bills and so much medicine to buy. The employee supervising the CEO paused, considered the situation, and gently said to her, “Well, how about $500?” The employee took it upon himself to cut his own commission in order to help another person, all while his boss watched. 

After several other meaningful encounters with his employees, the show concluded with the CEO revealing his true identity and commending everyone with whom he had interacted. He made some poignant points about how his experiences had deeply touched his life and would impact his management style. To the welder, he said: I want you to take the message back that we are staying in America. Give them that assurance. To the man who reduced the bill at the cost of his own commission, he rewarded him for his dedication and compassion. 

Business can be a great force for great good. The true potential of companies depends on their people for their greatness. In this case, the CEO was willing to do a self-evaluation of his own leadership style. Perhaps a scorecard should be created to feature businesses that do the right thing: trying their best to keep jobs in America, consistently innovating, and paying just salaries to persons who work hard to support themselves and their families. 

To discover, the boss went undercover, and found what he had not seen. A properly functioning market economy genuinely works for both profits and persons, repairing fractures in our society and enhancing community interdependency—the true source of our nation’s strength.

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Fort Report: Yezidi Red

2016/04/29

Almost everyone is now familiar with the calamities ISIS is causing in the Middle East: the brutal campaign to conquer vast areas of Iraq and Syria and exterminate Christians, Yezidis, and other religious minorities. A lesser known reality is that Lincoln has the largest Yezidi refugee population in America. Through an unusual convergence of circumstances, members of this ancient, peaceful faith tradition, who have historically lived in Iraq, have found a new home in the capital of Nebraska. How did this happen? Many Yezidis stood side-by-side with our soldiers at the height of the Iraq War, putting themselves and their families at great risk while serving as military translators. In turn they earned their citizenship.

The House of Representatives and the United States Government have now declared that ISIS’ atrocities against Yezidis, Christians, and others is a “genocide.” Although I have known Lincoln’s Yezidi community for many years, they contacted me recently asking to come to my office, a kind gesture to thank me for my work on the genocide resolution. I responded, “That’s not necessary, but if you have some type of community celebration, please let me know.”

This past weekend I joined the community for the Yezidi New Year. What an extraordinary experience. Persons welcomed me with warm hearts and open arms, and I felt an immediate bond of friendship. The men lined up and created a type of tunnel walk to greet me with many placing a hand over the heart and slightly bowing as a sign of humble respect. Babies were crying, and everyone was rejoicing. I told a television journalist there that I felt proud to be an American.

One of the Yezidi speakers we heard from had been trapped atop Mount Sinjar in Iraq. He had to make a decision to save his family. His child had fallen on the mountain and had broken his leg, which still bears a foot long scar. With four children in tow and no provisions, he made a harrowing trek across the open desert. The little boy with the broken leg could no longer even cry, only gasp because his throat was so parched. But they survived. As he spoke, he said, “We are smile [sic], because God gives us hope.”

I was asked to give a few words. I thanked the community for their generosity and traced the origins of the genocide resolution. I explained how it serves as a gateway for further policy considerations regarding an ultimate security settlement in the Middle East that allows for the right of return, protection, and reintegration of ancient faith traditions into what was once a rich tapestry of religious diversity in the region. I also discussed the idea of designating the Nineveh Plain area as a safe haven with special security protections. These are big propositions with delicate and complicated dynamics, but the concepts were well received. 

We sat together and joined in a meal. The food was delicious. It kept coming and coming. I said one of the few Arabic words I know, which roughly translates to “big belly.” That got a laugh.

I asked all of the men who had served as military translators to come forward. I frankly thought there would be just a handful, that everyone else had met other refugee criteria. Instead there were a large number—impressive young men—trying to rebuild their lives, protect their families, preserve their tradition, and become good Americans. While everyone there recognized the ongoing nature of the tragedy, the ongoing suffering, the many people left behind, and the need for the right types of policy solutions, this day was simply to pause and rejoice.

There were three flags present: the American flag and the Nebraska flagged properly posted in their place of honor at the front on the gathering. On the wall hung a traditional Yezidi flag. It displayed a sun type emblem in the center and a background of what looked pretty close to Cornhusker red.

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Fortenberry Cosponsored National Bison Legacy Act Passes House of Representatives

2016/04/27

Noem, Hoeven, Fortenberry, Clay, Heinrich, and Serrano announce passage of the National Bison Legacy Act

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) today announced that the National Bison Legacy Act, which he helped lead, passed the United States House of Representatives this week. The legislation names the bison as the National Mammal of the United States. Similar legislation was approved by the United States Senate in December. The legislation is expected to be sent to the President soon for his signature.

“In the midst of such a difficult political environment, it is good to pass legislation that is important to the American narrative. Bison have a storied history in Nebraska and are an important part of our nation's frontier heritage,” Fortenberry said. “By naming bison as our national mammal, we are supporting the ongoing preservation of this majestic species and their essential tie to the American experience.”

In addition to naming the bison as the national mammal, the National Bison Legacy Act (H.R. 2908) recognizes the historical, cultural and economic significance of the bison, which is the largest land mammal in America and a symbol of Native American heritage. The legislation was actively supported and led by Senators John Hoeven (R-ND) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and Representatives William Lacy Clay (D-MO), Kristi Noem (R-SD), and José Serrano (D-NY).

Fortenberry is a member of the House Appropriations Committee.

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Fort Report: Got Mail?

2016/04/22

At my last town hall meeting in Bellevue, we had a robust discussion about the challenges facing America. A big surprise came afterward. A constituent told me he had received the invitation to the meeting that same day. Although the invitation had been sent in a timely manner, most people in the community saw it when they returned home from work—after the event. I found the whole thing quite embarrassing. 

Fortunately, through social media, email, and other forms of communication, a reasonable crowd attended the town hall. However, a similar problem occurred to a friend of mine, who stopped me to tell me about his own event, complaining that his invitations had never been received even though they had been mailed well in advance. I hear stories like this over and over again. 

For the most part, my encounters with the United States Postal Service (USPS) in Nebraska, on my personal time or through my office, have been quite good. I have always found persons with the post office eager to help, professional, and kind. Unfortunately, something has gone wrong with the process of late. Prescription drugs are late, bill payments are late, and personal correspondence is late. One person told me about the delay in receiving their heart medication, forcing them to seek pharmacy help until their mail-order prescription arrives. The complaints keep coming. The disruption is real, along with the long term negative impact on the USPS. 

I suspect the root cause of the problem has been the consolidation of mail processing in Omaha. Several local plants have closed. Even a letter going across Lincoln now has to go through Omaha first. According to postal delivery standards, first class letters, packages, and bulk mail dropped off in the communities of Lincoln, Norfolk, Columbus, Bellevue, and Nebraska City should be delivered in two to three days. In some cases, it is taking five to ten days. There are similar delays with first class mail in Platte and Madison counties as well. Years of declining mail volume likely triggered the changes that caused these disruptions. While I shared my concerns with the Omaha processing facility in 2015, the situation has not improved, despite a subsequent letter to the Postmaster General in Washington.

I have requested that the USPS Inspector General intervene and analyze the problems with the mail system in Nebraska. The goal is not to play the typical Washington blame game but to fix troubling mail mishaps. Not conforming to delivery standards could make the USPS less competitive, further reducing the customer base of the postal service. You deserve the highest level of service and my hope is to help the post office retain the reputation it has earned. 

The USPS has been under financial stress for many years due to a variety of factors. Tension exists between the necessary movement toward efficiency and consolidation, the declining use of services, and the constitutional dictate that the USPS deliver mail across the country. One problem for us is that rural communities can become the easiest target for post office closure. But in many of these places, post offices are not only hubs to send and receive mail—they are reinforcement centers of American society. The USPS has enacted some reforms, for example embedding post offices in retail structures. Rethinking government with an entrepreneurial spirit aimed at facilitating social vibrancy could help post offices co-join with other community services.

By consolidating processing plants in Omaha to cut costs, the postal service’s reputation has suffered through a deteriorating service model. Until this year, I rarely received complaints about the mail. Nebraskans value the postal service, and the postal service personnel I know reflect a genuine professionalism and spirit of public service. However, our state deserves a postal service undiminished by utility considerations that damage mail delivery standards. Since post offices are often centers of American community life, there is a balance between retaining the connection to community while enhancing operating efficiencies. 

Write me a letter and tell me what you think! 

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Fort Report: China

2016/04/15

I recently traveled to China with a congressional delegation. As I boarded the Air China plane, the flight attendants were welcoming, accommodating, and professional. They seemed to take great pride in their work. One stood up before the passengers to give the usual spiel about how to buckle your seatbelt and negotiate other safety measures—a talk few people pay attention to. What then followed was quite unusual. The security team leader authorized by the Security Administration Act of the People’s Republic of China made an announcement: there will be penalties and punishments for noncompliance, including for “behaviors that would disrupt the normal order of the cabin.” I wrote a note to myself: “What a different world I’m entering.”

China is a country fraught with contradictions. China has a capitalist-communistic system; China seeks to overcome past humiliations with increasing aggressiveness; China has rapidly expanded economic freedom while restraining many others.

A brief review of recent history can perhaps give some insight. In the latter part of the 20th century, Chairman Mao’s Cultural Revolution starved millions and firmly established communist rule. In the late 1970s and 1980s, Deng Xiopeng delivered another model by ending agricultural collectivization and realizing the potential of the market system. The current President Xi Jinping has moved quietly to consolidate political power and reconcile a market economy with ancient tradition and collectivist control. He is considered the core, a fatherly figure of virtue who will shepherd China’s new ascendency. China is now repositioned as a rising power.

The underlying driver of it all is China’s economy. The country has a strong work ethic and dedication to individual advancement. However, a number of industries are state-owned. Until recently, China achieved an astounding 10% per year growth rate. At the same time, China’s economic development has great costs, contributing to extreme wealth disparity and severe environmental degradation. Beijing is so polluted that living there strikes five and a half years off an average lifetime. One Chinese person whispered to me, “What’s the point of all this economic growth if it kills you?” Interestingly, China is emerging as a world leader in advancing the use of renewable resources.

Regarding questions of security, China desires to overcome its past dominance by foreign powers. In relation to America, China claims that plenty of room remains in the Pacific for two superpowers. Yet shared power is a foreign concept to the Chinese. China values stability, yet expanding Chinese ambition in the South China Sea is disturbing the region’s normal nautical equilibrium. America pushes China to try and control its neighbor, North Korea, from its destabilizing and nationalistic militarism, but the effectiveness of China’s efforts has been unclear—and at this point matters may be beyond their control.

Finally, in a very privileged meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, we had a frank and open conversation about our need for friendship, honest discussion about differences, and harmonious relations. The congressional delegation and I talked about a range of issues including North Korea, the South China Sea, the issue of intellectual property rights, and censorship. I thought it was particularly important to use the Chinese concept of individual economic liberty to press for additional space for religious expression. I quoted China’s president, who has called for a spiritual and cultural renewal. In return, I received a polite and thorough answer about the Chinese constitution’s guarantee of religious freedom and the Confucian religious tradition. Ironically, as we were meeting, crosses were being removed elsewhere in the country in an ongoing “beautification” campaign that over two years has eliminated an estimated 2,000 crosses from churches.

As I wandered through Tiananmen Square under the watchful eye of the image of Chairman Mao, I felt safe from crime and any hostility, or even any security scrutiny. The Chinese citizens around me appeared to go about their business with a curious indifference to my presence. In the side streets, beyond the formal government buildings and urban skyscrapers, it was a bit of a different flavor; the people were welcoming and friendly, eager to smile and engage.

From my hotel room window, Beijing showed itself a thriving metropolis of modern offices, hotels, apartments, luxury retail, and neon lights. On closer examination, right below me, I saw an old neighborhood of traditional Chinese architecture, preserved from modern development: a maze of narrow alleyways, curving peaked roofs made of clay tile, and a type of functioning poverty. And next to that was another startling sight, what I believed to be a “Patriotic” Catholic Church, a 100 year old structure reopened after the Cultural Revolution. China truly is a curious mix of seemingly contradictory forces that marches toward ever increasing power.

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Fortenberry Statement on Approval of Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Bill

2016/04/13

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) today made the following statement after the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs approved its Fiscal Year 2017 Appropriations bill.

“The Military Construction and Veterans Affairs legislation is the first appropriations bill to move forward in Congress this year,” Fortenberry said. “This priority demonstrates our highest level of support ever for veterans and their needs. This bill encourages the option of public-private partnerships in constructing VA facilities, which is significant for the Omaha VA project.”

“The bill also continues to promote and provide oversight for the important runway replacement at Offutt Air Force Base. This has been a priority of my Offutt Task Force and I am pleased that runway repairs remain a national security priority.”

Fortenberry made requests in the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs report on the following projects with importance to Nebraska: promoting runway repairs and replacement for Offutt Air Force Base; supporting a public-private partnership to build a new Veterans Administration (VA) hospital in Omaha; and encouraging the VA to work closely with the Small Business Administration to further improve entrepreneurial opportunities for veterans. Fortenberry previously introduced the Veterans Entrepreneurial Transition Act (H.R. 3248).

Fortenberry serves as Vice Chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs.

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Fortenberry Honored at Lincoln Yezidi Celebration

2016-04-25 18:02:37


Fortenberry discusses genocide designation with CNN's Elise Labott

2016-03-18 21:24:24


Fortenberry Discusses Genocide with Fox's Shannon Bream

2016-03-18 16:22:08


Fortenberry joins House leaders regarding his genocide resolution

2016-03-15 16:54:00


Fortenberry speaks after House unanimously passes his ISIS genocide resolution

2016-03-15 16:49:22


Fortenberry Remembers Scalia on 10/11 Pure Nebraska

2016-03-08 18:29:07


Fortenberry Speaks with Military Chiefs on Quality of Life in the Military

2016-03-04 16:59:01


Secretary Kerry Responds to Fortenberry on Genocide in the Middle East

2016-02-24 18:33:29


Fortenberry Discusses Pope Francis, Donald Trump with Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren

2016-02-19 17:50:53


Fortenberry Remembers Justice Scalia with CNN’s John Berman

2016-02-16 20:39:05


Fortenberry discusses the Prayer Breakfast on EWTN

2016-02-11 14:51:27


Fortenberry Floor Speech on Nebraska Values

2016-02-03 18:05:08


Fortenberry Responds to State of the Union on C-SPAN

2016-01-13 16:27:53


Fortenberry floor speech on protecting life

2016-01-11 16:09:56


Fortenberry Remembers Chuck Clifford

2016-01-08 19:34:36


Fortenberry speaks on national security and protecting America

2016-01-07 17:56:42


Fortenberry honors nuns killed in El Salvador

2015-12-02 22:49:09


Fortenberry Speaks at Hearing on Russia’s Escalation in Syria

2015-11-04 19:29:55


Fortenberry Condemns Planned Parenthood Trafficking Scandal

2015-07-23 19:44:26


Fortenberry Supports Boys Town Commemorative Coin Act

2015-06-23 20:29:24


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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