Thanksgiving is the time of year we come together with family and give thanks for our many blessings. This year I’m most thankful for our one-year-old son, Zeke, my wife, Andrea, and our endlessly loving family members who support us at every turn. I’m also thankful for renewed economic growth which increases opportunity for future generations of Americans.
After years of poor economic performance and weak employment prospects, the economy is growing and consumer confidence is building. This trend shows how productive Americans can be when empowered to pursue opportunity. Because of this growth unemployment has fallen such that businesses nationwide are finding it difficult to fill open positions.
This is why I introduced the JOBS for Success Act earlier this year to reform the welfare system and ensure states are doing everything in their power to help TANF recipients find stable employment. Helping people find work is good for employers and good for taxpayers, but best of all for the individuals, themselves, in need of assistance. I’m thankful for such an opportunity to bring disenfranchised workers off the sidelines of our economy and into self-sufficiency.
I’m also thankful for our men and women in uniform. Having recently celebrated Veterans Day, I believe it’s appropriate such a holiday comes just before Thanksgiving to remind us of the sacrifices of so many on our behalf. I was honored to join students, faculty, staff, and members of the surrounding community at Gering Junior High School to commemorate these sacrifices and say thank you. We must also remember that many of our active duty service members won’t be able to come home for the holidays.
For this reason, my office participates in Holidays for Heroes to ensure our men and women in uniform remember how grateful we are while so many of them spend the holidays away from their families. Through this program, the American Red Cross collects cards signed by thankful Americans and distributes them to service members throughout the holidays.
My offices in Scottsbluff and Grand Island serve as collection center for these cards and we pass them along to the American Red Cross. If you would like to participate, please drop off your cards without postage at one of my offices by December 7th. This is such a small gesture we can make to show our gratitude to those who work each and every day toward protecting our families and the freedoms we enjoy. Happy Thanksgiving.Read More
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) delivered the following remarks on the floor of the House of Representatives today to congratulate Kevin Mooney of KNEB in Scottsbluff on his retirement and commemorate his 34 years of service to western Nebraska.
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the service of Kevin Mooney to the communities of Scottsbluff, Gering, and western Nebraska.
This week, after 34 years as a trusted journalist in Nebraska’s panhandle, Kevin will retire from his position as New Director at KNEB radio.
Throughout his career, Kevin has received six Mark Twain Awards from the Nebraska Associated Press and the Trailblazer Award from the Scottsbluff/Gering United Chamber of Commerce.
Kevin names the local sugar factory explosion in 1996 as the biggest story he reported. He stayed on the air all night providing updates to the community.
Kevin is most thankful for his wife, Tracy. He says she has supported him a great deal throughout their 35 years of marriage, given he is on call 24 hours a day.
Even with his busy schedule, Kevin has dedicated himself to charity events such as Thanksgiving in the Valley, which is a collaboration between KNEB, the Scottsbluff-Gering Soup Kitchen, and Scottsbluff Kiwanis Club. They serve around 400 meals every year on Thanksgiving.
Please join me in honoring and thanking Kevin Mooney for his service to Nebraska journalism.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I yield back.
To watch a video of Rep. Smith’s remarks, click here.Read More
Veterans Day, which was originally known as Armistice Day, marks the anniversary of the end of World War I, which ended at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. 2018 represents its 100-year anniversary. In 1954, Congress expanded the holiday to honor not only the sacrifices of those who fought in World War I, but all of our veterans, and renamed it Veterans Day.
We sometimes confuse it with Memorial Day, which takes place in May, but the purpose of Memorial Day is to remember specifically those who lost their lives in service to our country. Given the sacrifices of so many brave men and women on our behalf, it is important that we do our best to honor and serve them, which is why I serve as co-chairman of the Rural Veterans Caucus in the House of Representatives.
We look for ways to support our veterans such as the VA Accountability Act, which was passed by Congress and signed into law last year. This landmark legislation provides the VA Secretary increased flexibility to remove VA employees for poor performance or misconduct, while also strengthening whistleblower protections. Creating a culture of accountability at the VA is the first step to bringing lasting reforms to the department. We need to rebuild veterans’ trust in the VA and make it clear we’re putting them first.
We also passed the HIRE Vets Act to incentivize companies to hire veterans. Those who put their lives on the line to defend our freedom should not struggle to find employment when they return home. With this bill, employers large and small will be recognized for their efforts to hire and retain veterans.
A third, the Forever GI Bill, eliminated the 15-year time limit for veterans to use their GI bill benefits and cut down on red tape. With the ability to attend college at any time in their lives, veterans will have greater opportunities for professional development. It also provides flexibility for veterans to make the best education choices for themselves and their families.
Additionally, my office participates in the Veterans History Project, whose purpose is to chronicle the stories of Nebraska veterans to be included in the Library of Congress for the education of future generations. If you’d like more information on this program, please let my office know so we can get you connected.
My grandfather was a U.S. Navy Seabee in World War II, and his service inspired me to serve my community. He was one of 325,000 Seabees recruited in World War II to build naval bases throughout the globe. Many of us call the United States the “land of the free and home of the brave,” but I prefer “land of the free because of the brave.” Be sure to thank a veteran for their sacrifice this week.Read More
We’ve all been there. Our families sit down for a nice, relaxing dinner and just as we begin to eat, the phone rings. But who could it be? It’s fairly late in the evening and mostly anyone who would call at such an hour is already gathered together.
Not wanting to miss an important call from a friend in need, we take the bait and answer the phone. Immediately, we find ourselves in the middle of a sales pitch for the latest and greatest home security system or a mortgage refinancing product which promises to have us debt free in a matter of months.
It’s obviously a recording, but what to do now? Do we wait for it to end, at which point we can select an option indicating we wish to be removed from their calling list, which rarely works, or simply hang up only to be called back shortly thereafter? In my case, I sometimes receive as many as five unwanted calls in a day, despite having registered my number with the Do Not Call Registry (1-888-382-1222.)
These calls are illegal. In some cases, they’ve gone as far as to imitate the Social Security Administration in an attempt to steal retirement benefits which prompted its inspector general to issue a public warning to would-be victims. According to the report, criminals are using “spoofing” technology to make the Social Security Administration’s 1-800 number display on caller IDs when they call. If you or your loved ones happen to receive one of these fraudulent calls, please note the following.
The Social Security Administration will never threaten your benefits. Callers have reportedly offered to increase benefits or push through approvals if their victims would only provide personal information such as Social Security Numbers and bank account information. If you receive a suspicious call, you may report it to the Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General at 1-800-269-0271.
If you’re concerned a genuine problem exists after receiving a call requesting your personal information, hang up and call the government agency, bank, or credit card company in question directly at their public number. This puts you in control by ensuring you’re on the phone with the right people.
In 2010, I supported a bill which was signed into law to make call spoofing illegal and empower U.S. law enforcement and consumer protection authorities to put an end to them. To further strengthen these laws, I voted last year with the vast majority of my House colleagues to ensure this prohibition extends to spoofed calls coming from international locations.
Unfortunately, stopping these criminals is challenging. The technology they employ is constantly evolving and requires new approaches by law enforcement officials. As we continue to grapple with this problem, I remain committed to considering new and innovative measures aimed at bringing an end to fraudulent and unwanted calls.Read More
Washington, D.C. – The office of Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) will host Senior Service Fairs in Scottsbluff on Wednesday, November 14 and in Grand Island on Thursday, November 15 to coincide with Medicare Open Enrollment.
Officials from the Nebraska Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) will offer one-on-one consultations on available Medicare Part D prescription drug plans. Seniors seeking assistance should bring a complete list of their prescriptions, including dosage information.
Representatives from Social Security and the VA will be on hand to answer questions and nursing students from the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) will provide complimentary blood pressure screenings.
The Senior Service Fairs will be held at the following times and locations:
Scottsbluff Wednesday, November 14 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (MT) Lied Scottsbluff Public Library 1809 3rd Avenue, Scottsbluff
Grand IslandThursday, November 15 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (CT) Grand Generation Center 304 East 3rd Street, Grand Island*It is strongly recommended Grand Island attendees schedule appointments directly with SHIIP in advance of the fair by calling 1-800-234-7119.
For additional information, please contact Smith’s Grand Island office at (308) 384-3900.
As I travel the Third District and visit our schools, I never cease to be amazed at the intelligence and drive of our students. Their informed curiosity over key issues facing our country has left a particularly strong impression on me this summer and it is this curiosity I seek to nurture through my outreach efforts.
College students interested in gaining firsthand experience in the legislative process are invited to apply for an internship with one of my offices during the spring, summer, or fall. Interns are provided the opportunity to assist with constituent services, attend events, and work side-by-side with my staff on policy issues.
Another way I interact regularly with students is through the Third District Youth Advisory Council, which is open to high school juniors and seniors. Through in-person meetings, Facebook forums, and conference calls, I meet with this group throughout the school year to discuss the matters they find most important. Applications for the 2019-2020 school year will open in the spring.
I also take great pleasure in welcoming school groups to Washington, D.C. on the steps of our nation’s capital. From 4-H groups to Close-Up programs and others, the summer is the busiest time of year for these visits. If you have a group of young people who would like to visit Washington, D.C., my office is always available to assist in arranging tours of the Capitol, White House, and other national sites. For White House tours, I encourage your group to contact my office three months in advance to comply with its security protocols.
As a young person, my interest in politics was sparked by my grandfather who served as a Seabee during World War II and it is because of him that I cherish our responsibility to bring the next generation of Nebraskans into civic participation. If you know someone who would be interested in applying for an internship with my office, please encourage them to do so.
I welcome active engagement from Third District students of all ages and always appreciate hearing their ideas for America’s future.Read More
During Medicare open enrollment, current and prospective beneficiaries are able to update or initiate Part D coverage as needed. This year’s open enrollment will take place from October 15th to December 7th, allowing seniors to make decisions regarding their 2019 Medicare coverage.
While no action is required if current beneficiaries are happy with their coverage, formularies can change from year to year and it is highly recommended every beneficiary review their coverage annually. In order to guide Nebraska’s seniors through this sometimes difficult process, my office will conduct our annual Senior Services Fairs in Scottsbluff and Grand Island.
The Scottsbluff Senior Services Fair will take place at the Lied Scottsbluff Public Library located at 1809 3rd Avenue from 9:30 a.m. to noon (MT) on November 14th. The Grand Island Senior Services Fair will be held on November 15th from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (CT) at the Grand Generation Center located at 304 E 3rd Street.
Representatives from Social Security, the VA, the Nebraska Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP,) and my office will be on-site to answer any questions or concerns regarding these agencies and programs. We recommend Nebraskans seeking assistance with Medicare Part D at the Grand Island event make appointments by calling Nebraska SHIIP at 1-800-234-7119.
In addition, if you plan to seek assistance with choosing a Part D plan at either of these events, please be sure to bring a full list of your prescriptions and dosages to ensure representatives can help you choose the best plan to cover your recurring prescriptions.
For those who may not be able to travel to one of these events, I also hold an annual Medicare teleconference through which a representative from Medicare can answer your questions about open enrollment. Residents of the Third District who would like to be included in this annual teleconference are encouraged to call my Grand Island office at 308-384-3900 prior to November 13th.
For additional information, seniors may visit Medicare.gov to learn more about available options, check current enrollment, and apply for new coverage. Nebraskans can also speak with experts by calling Nebraska SHIIP at 1-800-234-7119 or Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227.)
I sincerely hope seniors needing advice or assistance will utilize one or more of these resources to receive coverage through this vital program. Medicare Part D was designed to improve coverage and keep costs down by requiring insurers to compete. Taking an active role in reviewing your coverage improves your ability to benefit from this competition.
As a member of the House Ways and Means Committee which has jurisdiction over Medicare, I will continue to ensure its benefits remain available for future generations of Americans.Read More
On October 5th, President Trump signed into law the 2018 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act to update and authorize its activities for another five years. This is important to Nebraska’s Third District because it contained a policy change whose specific aim is to support and revive commercial air service to our rural communities.
Air travel volume at smaller airports in rural areas such as the Third District declined in recent years due in part to increased government regulations. One major cause occurred in 2013 when the FAA changed its requirement for first officers, or co-pilots, to certify 1,500 hours of flight time instead of 250 hours, which was previously the norm.
Under the previous regulation, junior pilots were able to earn a wage while training on the job with experienced pilots. This change, while well-intentioned from a safety standpoint, created a shortage of co-pilots which was cited as the main reason behind the bankruptcy of two airlines which previously served Third District airports.
The domino effect continued as air traffic declined and in turn threatened these airports’ access to federal funding should they fall below 10,000 enplanements per year, which is the threshold for full funding under the Airport Improvement Program. This program provides funding for capital and safety improvements to buildings, runways, control towers, and fueling infrastructure.
A small decline in enplanements could snowball into a much larger issue affecting the competitiveness of our airports by allowing them to fall into disrepair if deprived of such a vital source of funding. In order to stop this chain reaction, I wrote and introduced the Small Airport Regulation Relief Act in 2014, which was enacted into law in 2016 and again in 2018 as part of the FAA reauthorization I mentioned above.
Its purpose is to provide relief to these airports by exempting them from the 10,000 enplanement minimum and allowing continued access to federal funding as the pilot labor market expands to fill the void created by increased regulation by the FAA. In meetings with pilots and airline representatives, I have been told that changes to the structure of pilot training programs will help to provide additional pilots moving forward.
Should this not materialize, I am ready and willing to consider additional regulatory relief to deliver a full recovery at Third District airports. Declining demand is not a fact of life at our rural airports as recently announced direct service to Las Vegas from Central Nebraska Regional Airport in Grand Island has shown us. Commercial air service is vital to maintaining a vibrant rural economy and it will remain among my highest priorities as I serve as your representative in Congress.Read More
Washington, D.C. –Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) has introduced H.R. 7033 to reclassify and rename Homestead National Monument in Gage County, Nebraska as a National Historical Park.
“Homestead National Monument commemorates the Homestead Act of 1862 which was instrumental in bringing settlers to the Midwest and forming the state of Nebraska. The purpose of this bill is to ensure the cultural and historical value of this site is properly recognized in order to maximize its benefits to education, tourism, and economic development. I thank the members of the local community who brought this to my attention and look forward to continuing to work with them going forward.”
To read H.R. 7033, click here.Read More
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) praised President Trump’s decision to allow the year-round sale of E15 in accordance with legislation introduced by Smith. In a White House announcement today, the president directed the EPA to begin rulemaking to allow E15 to be sold during the summer months.
“The year-round availability of higher ethanol blends such as E15 is a simple, common sense measure which I have long championed for its benefits to producers, refiners, and consumers across America. In addition to introducing legislation requiring the EPA to allow the sale of E15 throughout the year, I have sent multiple letters and consulted administration officials on numerous occasions to this end. President Trump has long stated his support for renewable fuels, and I appreciate him following through on this commitment.”
To download an audio clip of Rep. Smith’s comments, click here.
To read about Rep. Smith’s bill to allow year-round sales of E15, click here.
To read Rep. Smith’s latest column on E15, click here.
To read Rep. Smith’s latest letter to the administration on E15 and 2019 RVOs, click here.Read More
2241 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Congressman Adrian Smith has earned praise for his leadership, hard work and dedication to Nebraska commonsense. Smith has tackled issues ranging from biofuels and other forms of domestic energy to transportation research and development to fashioning legislation promoting rural America.
Smith has consistently voted against tax increases, massive government bailouts, and was unwavering in his opposition of the misguided health care bill now creating massive uncertainty for our nation’s job creators.
Smith, a co-sponsor of the Balanced Budget Amendment and a supporter of a Congressional earmark moratorium, has earned a reputation as a solid conservative through his votes to protect the rights of gun owners, efforts to limit the scope of government, and his strong pro-life voting record.
Smith, who serves on the House Committee on Ways and Means, actively promotes access for Nebraska agriculture products in Asia, South America, and throughout the world. Nebraska’s $4 billion in worldwide agricultural exports creates $6.7 billion in additional economic activity. Smith supports trade agreements which will continue to create new opportunities for our agriculture producers and their products to keep Nebraska’s economy strong.
Smith’s assignment on the Ways and Means Committee also puts the Nebraskan on the front lines in the debate on how to create jobs, promote economic growth, and directly impact tax policy – such as the Death Tax which threatens family farms and ranches.
Smith’s also has introduced the bipartisan Small-Scale Hydropower Enhancement Act which would help stimulate the economy of rural America, empower local irrigation districts to generate revenue, and decrease reliance on fossil fuels by encouraging the use of small-scale hydropower projects.
The Gering native, whose family has called Nebraska home for six generations, was first introduced to politics by his grandfather. Prior to his election to Congress, Smith served his hometown as a member of the City Council. He then represented District 48 for eight years in the Unicameral.
He continues to reside in Gering.
Retweeted by repadriansmith
Retweeted by repadriansmith
Retweeted by repadriansmith
Retweeted by repadriansmith
A caseworker from my office will be available today in Kimball at 2:00pm MST and in Sidney at 4:00pm MST. Please be… https://t.co/J8IQTnRyjD