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Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014
Preserving a legacy of valor (07/14/14)
Our American way of life didn't spring up overnight, and it didn't come without costs. The price was paid in Normandy, Vietnam, Korea, and in many other places around the world, where brave American men and women risked everything for their nation. Our freedom continues to be defended today, as our military heroes battle forces wishing to do us harm in some of the most lawless corners of the world...
Cleaning up the EPA (05/30/14)
Our nation's ag producers have a vested interest in caring for the environment. For centuries, farmers and ranchers have depended on healthy and abundant natural resources for their livelihoods. So it would stand to reason that the ag community would find an ally in the Environmental Protection Agency. Yet America's farmers and ranchers continually find themselves on the receiving end of overly harsh, costly and often unnecessary EPA regulations...
Born to serve (04/18/14)
Nebraskans are no strangers to community service. Lending a hand has been engrained in our culture since our state's earliest days, when neighbor helping neighbor was often a matter of survival on the untamed prairie. Today, that spirit of community service is still alive and well in Nebraska...
How to save a billion lives (04/07/14)
Norman Borlaug might not be a name many would put on a list of American icons, but a statue of this Iowa farmer now stands with sculptures of former presidents and other great American figures in the U.S. Capitol. Inscribed on it is the phrase, "The Man Who Saved a Billion Lives."...
EPA avoids required jobs reports (03/27/14)
While Congress is often seen as a body in constant conflict, there are many broad principles we can all agree on, like the need for a thriving economy so American workers and businesses can remain competitive on the global stage. Too often, this shared goal is framed to be at odds with the importance of a clean and healthy environment for this and future generations...
Forging STRATCOM's future (01/27/14)
Our brave military men and women stationed in far-flung corners of the world stand guard around the clock, protecting us from attacks on our American way of life. They are vigilant sentries, prepared to combat threats that are both visible and unknown to the rest of us. And an important part of their mission is coordinated right here in Nebraska...
Obama's regulatory machine (01/24/14)
As the President gears up for his annual State of the Union address next week, you can bet he will discuss jobs and the economy--topics on the minds of many Americans who continue to struggle with our nation's sluggish climb out of recession. What he won't highlight is the bevy of job-crushing federal regulations his Administration continues to unleash on would-be job creators who are being forced to comply with new federal burdens...
Improving trade is key to improving our economy (10/21/13)
Spend any time traveling across Nebraska, and it's easy to see that agriculture is a big part of our economy. Nearly every stretch of road in our state is flanked by rolling hills of grazing cattle or long rows of field crops. You don't have to go far to find picturesque scenery of our rural way of life, complete with grain bins, windmills or an old red barn...
One step closer to a farm bill (10/11/13)
Despite a government shutdown and ongoing partisan gridlock, a glimmer of good news emerged in Washington for America's farmers and ranchers last week. The Senate appointed members to work with the House of Representatives in sorting out differences in the two chambers' versions of legislation to update farm policy. As you know, the current farm bill expired at the first of the month. While the majority of farmers and consumers will not feel an immediate impact, time is running short...
Taking your thoughts to Washington (09/10/13)
The past few weeks have been a refreshing opportunity for me to travel throughout much of our state and visit with Nebraskans from all walks of life. While I am often required to be in Washington for hearings and votes, I am always energized when I am home meeting with Nebraskans and discussing matters of great importance to folks in the heartland...
Working with our veterans (08/12/13)
Many of our military men and women have honorably served our nation, putting themselves into harm's way to defend our freedoms, only to return home to an anemic job market and unnecessary employment hurdles. Often, veterans, who have gained valuable skills and work experience while in uniform, face new challenges putting their talents to work right here at home, whether it be working a trade or starting a business...
Foster parenting a courageous act of love (05/13/13)
Families are the foundation of our society, providing stability to our communities and instilling values in future generations. Every child deserves the comfort and security of a loving and nurturing home. Foster families help make this possible for the nearly 400,000 children around the country in need of a stable home...
A fair marketplace for Main Street (05/07/13)
Walk down any Main Street, and you'll see storefronts of small businesses that fuel local economies. From quaint "mom & pop" shops to sleek and trendy boutiques, these businesses often provide a human element that helps define the character of our communities. But many of these small businesses, the source of nearly 70 percent of American jobs, face an uphill battle when competing with out-of-state Internet merchants benefitting from outdated tax policy...
Making the decision to serve (05/01/13)
As a U.S. Senator, I have the privilege and responsibility of nominating Nebraska students to our nation's service academies: the U.S. Military Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Air Force Academy, and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. Nebraskans have a long and proud history of military service. Since our state's founding, our sons and daughters have served our country with valor. This legacy, passed from one generation to the next, is foundational to America's strength...
United we run (04/24/13)
On Monday, one week after twin blasts rocked the heart of Boston, more than a thousand well-wishers braved the snow and rain in downtown Lincoln for a memorial run to raise money for the victims of the Boston Marathon attack. They weren't the only ones. Communities across the country held runs and other events, picking up the torch for the world class race that was so abruptly stopped by evil...
The president's overdue, underwhelming budget (04/15/13)
Long gone are the days when citizens worked the land to pay their share to the crown before being allowed to keep anything for themselves. I think we can all agree it's a good thing those days are behind us. But even though Tax Day is in the books, we are still paying the government to cover this year's tax burden...
Ending the tax on a lifetime of success (04/08/13)
Summer after hot, dusty summer, many of our parents and grandparents worked in the fields, raising their crops. Winter after icy winter, they braved frigid corrals, helping to grow their herds. They often worked the same ground for decades--first as children, learning the trade. Over time, they may have added new land and new equipment here and there--whenever they found an opportunity to expand their life's work. It takes a lifetime to grow a farm or ranch...
The recipe for 'the good life' (04/01/13)
One of the best parts of my job is visiting different communities across Nebraska when the Senate breaks as I did last week. I am always greeted with warm welcomes. Our state's great sense of community is on magnificent display in town after town, whether it is neighbors pitching in to help comfort firefighters battling grass fires, or volunteers hosting a fundraiser for the local food bank...
Budget values mean more than money (03/26/13)
Four years. That's how long it took Senate Democrats to pass a budget resolution. It's also the amount of time it takes to get a degree in finance, economics or accounting. But after looking at their final product, it appears the Democrats didn't use this time doing any of that...
Restoring responsible health care (03/18/13)
Getting in to see your doctor on short notice can be a headache. But imagine being required to schedule an appointment before you can use your own money to buy Aspirin for a headache. Unfortunately, because of the new health care law, this is a reality for 33 million Americans who choose to budget for their health care expenses with a flexible spending account (FSA) or a health savings account (HSA). ...
Celebrating the role of agriculture (03/11/13)
Each morning, while the rest of the world is still fast asleep, ag producers across Nebraska are up, checking on their herds or preparing their equipment for a long day in the fields. Careers in farming or ranching offer few days off. Cattle still need to be fed on Christmas morning. ...
Priorities key to spending reductions (03/04/13)
Last week, automatic, across-the-board federal spending cuts known as sequestration took effect, which will trim $85 billion from federal accounts over the next seven months, and about $1.2 trillion over the next decade. These cuts, originally proposed by the White House, total the same amount the federal government borrows every 28 days to help feed its $3.5 trillion annual spending appetite. That's less than three percent from a budget that has grown nearly 20 percent since 2008...
Far from finished (02/25/13)
These past 30 years have been marked by many blessings for Stephanie and me. Being granted the tremendous privilege to represent a state I love and address issues important to Nebraskans has been one of the greatest honors of my life. As the seasons change, there is a time to plant and a time to reap what has been sown. And while I have decided not to seek reelection in 2014, we are far from the harvest...
Believing in America (02/11/13)
America has endured times of great challenge and great triumph. At a time when doubt is growing about the prospects of a bright future for America, we must remember that the road to prosperity has never been an easy one. And our success has always been because we, as a people, are greater than the challenges we face...
Budget needed to put spending back on track (02/01/13)
Freight trains carry 1.8 billion tons of cargo on more than 138,000 miles of track across the United States each year. It is amazing when you think about the amount of force railroad lines withstand to keep this massive industry on track. Without those parallel strips of steel, relatively small when compared to their burden, there would be nothing to guide the massive trains to their destination...
Sowing the seed for fresh ag policy (01/14/13)
Last year's attempt at a new five-year farm bill to replace the expiring policy was uprooted when the clock ran out. While I was pleased with the Senate-passed legislation, it never made its way to the President's desk. The result was a last-minute extension of the current policy enacted in 2008 for yet another year...
Resolutions for a New Year (01/08/13)
This new year brings to Washington a fresh start. Last week, we welcomed to the 113th Congress many new faces, including my colleague Senator Deb Fischer. I am proud to be joined by such a competent and capable leader who has aptly served Nebraska for years. I am confident Deb will bring the same passion to Capitol Hill, and I look forward to working with her to address the issues facing our state and country...
2012 in review (12/31/12)
This past year has been filled with many important policy debates, legislative accomplishments, and exciting new developments for Nebraska. I want to take a moment to highlight some of these events and reflect upon the year. By far the most pressing issue facing our nation is the economy. ...
What to expect from the fiscal cliff (12/03/12)
With only four weeks before the end of the year, the fiscal cliff remains the top priority in Washington. At the stroke of midnight on December 31, all Americans will pay the price if the President and Congressional leaders cannot reach an agreement...
Fiscal cliff threatens farmers, ranchers (11/28/12)
A lot of time has been spent discussing how the fiscal cliff will impact our nation's economy. In Nebraska, a large part of our economy is based on agriculture, so it's worth studying how these tax increases and automatic spending cuts will affect our state's ag producers...
Veterans Day, a time for reflection, repayment (11/09/12)
Through the many changes during our nation's history, some things remain constant: America's dedication to democracy and the commitment of the men and women who defend it by putting their lives on the line for the ideals we hold dear. As we reflect upon another Veterans Day, we remember those who sacrificed so much for our great country. Our military heroes left the comfort of family and friends and often put themselves into harm's way to protect and preserve our way of life...
Our Constitution should not be ignored (10/22/12)
I recently joined 41 of my colleagues in supporting a lawsuit to reign in President Obama's overreach and I appreciate the opportunity to explain why I think it is so important. Earlier this year, President Obama deliberately sidestepped constitutional rules designed to limit the power of the Executive branch when he appointed three members to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) without seeking confirmation from the Senate...
Nebraska's growing role in national security (10/15/12)
Before President George W. Bush landed at Offutt Air Force Base on September 11, 2001, few appreciated Nebraska's role in U.S. national security matters beyond nuclear deterrence. But Strategic Command (STRATCOM) at Offutt AFB near Bellevue, Neb., has long been quietly monitoring ever-changing threats to our security and providing global operational support to U.S. ...
A new place to honor our vets (10/09/12)
Scattered across America are monuments to our military, celebrating victories and memorializing campaigns. These are important reminders of the history of our freedom. They help us teach our kids about the men and women who so bravely and selflessly volunteered to stand guard over our ideals and security. ...
National security over politics (09/21/10)
This is one reason why people are angry at Congress: the Majority party in the Senate has hijacked a bill supporting our military efforts and loaded it with its own social policy initiatives. With our nation at war; thousands of Americans putting their lives on the line for our freedom and security every day; and our military depending upon its government to provide it with necessary support; such an endeavor is simply indefensible. ...
Largest tax increase in history looms (09/15/10)
I had the opportunity last month to visit with many of you throughout the state, and it should come as no surprise that the primary concern among most Nebraskans continues to be jobs and our economy. I've returned to Washington with this fresh in my mind, just as the debate has begun on the tax increase set to go into effect on January 1...
August recess: Time for your ideas (08/09/10)
After a very hectic July and early August, the Senate has adjourned for a month, giving me a great opportunity to return home to Nebraska. As you're reading this, I've already embarked on a trip across the state and look forward to meeting with many of you at open coffees from Omaha to Oshkosh...
Small businesses need support, not barriers, for growth (08/03/10)
As our country works hard to pull itself out of a recession, Washington should be focused on policies that support economic growth and job creation. Yet at this crucial moment, small businesses are growing increasingly agitated over a tax filing requirement in the new health care law that will actually inhibit job growth and bury businesses in a new mound of paperwork. ...
Unemployment extension should have been paid for (07/27/10)
With our national debt at $13.2 trillion and climbing, the Senate last week inflated that number even further by refusing to pay for an extension of unemployment benefits. I voted against the bill because I will not contribute further to the runaway train of federal spending that has been tearing through Washington. ...
Federal government must not bully communities on immigration (07/19/10)
A battle is brewing between the federal government and our communities over illegal immigration, and the field of play is far from fair. Because the federal government has failed to secure our borders, state and local governments are acting in good faith to protect our communities by passing local immigration laws. ...
Why I will oppose the Kagan nomination (07/12/10)
In preparation for the upcoming Senate floor consideration of the nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court approaches, I have listened to her hearing before the Judiciary Committee and carefully reviewed her record. Just as I did before my vote on Justice Sonia Sotomayor, I carefully considered her view of the Court's role in our government, and whether she is capable of administering justice as a neutral umpire. ...
Pending trade agreements crucial for jobs and exports (06/21/10)
Most of us go through our day without knowing where our food, drink, and other products come from, but it matters more than you might think. There's a decent chance that you're reading this with a cup of coffee or a soft drink; and there's a better chance that those coffee beans or that sugar came from Colombia. ...
Looking ahead for American energy (06/17/10)
Over the past year and a half, a clear pattern has emerged in the policies proposed and enacted by the Administration and its supporters in Congress. That pattern has been to increase the size, scope, and influence of the federal government in an effort to achieve the desired policy result. ...
Nebraskans highlight misguided federal policies (06/08/10)
It was wonderful to meet with many Nebraskans last week for insightful discussions about federal policies and their impact on our daily lives. I wish all of my five hundred-some colleagues in Congress could have been with me to hear the discussions. I met with Nebraskans from Omaha to North Platte whose comments so clearly illustrated how directly federal policy impacts lives, from burdensome regulations to unsustainable spending...
Remembering on Memorial Day (05/24/10)
This weekend, many of us will enjoy an extended three-day break from work and school. Swimming pools will open and the corn and soy bean crops are emerging. For many, it will be a long weekend to mark the beginning of another great summer. We are blessed with many reasons to celebrate over Memorial Day weekend, but let us not forget the troops and their families, past and present, who have served, sacrificed and died for our principles and our freedom...
Nebraska sets standard for smart government (05/17/10)
A longstanding debate in our country is the role government should play in the lives of our families, communities, and businesses. While some favor an activist government, others favor a smaller, less intrusive role for our government -- sensible, responsible policies that lead to job creation, allow businesses to flourish, and enable families to raise their children in a thriving economic environment. ...
Consequences of health care law coming to light (05/11/10)
From the outset of the health care debate, President Obama and other supporters of the health care bill maintained that no matter how drastically our health care system was overhauled, "If you like your health care plan, you can keep it." Yet less than two months after the President signed the bill into law, we're already beginning to see why so many criticized such promises as empty and impossible to keep...
Cutting spending to lower debt is in out future (05/04/10)
When the topic of the public debt comes up, many are quick to blame the budget deficits on the previous Administration. While there is plenty of shared responsibility, this response fails to acknowledge the true problem of our national debt, nor does it justify our current astronomical and unsustainable rate of federal spending...
More proof of health law's flaws (04/27/10)
It is no surprise that trust in Congress is at an all time low. Partisan gridlock has become the norm rather than the exception when addressing today's challenges. As a result, important steps are often skipped. Ideas to improve legislation are often overlooked and efforts to understand the impact of a proposed law by inviting thorough analysis are overtaken by rhetoric. Such was the case with health care reform and the consequences continue to come to light...
Arbor Day sets noble example for today's leaders (04/20/10)
Recognizing the land that has brought us so much prosperity and reminding us of our own individual responsibilities to preserve it, Arbor Day offers a welcome opportunity to dispose of partisan banners and unite for a common cause. It is especially insightful and relevant in today's climate of mandates and regulation...
More spending will not lower our debt (04/12/10)
Two weeks ago I made my way across the state, hosting 13 public events in as many towns. One issue stuck out as critically important to many Nebraskans: our national debt, and what we are going to do about it. Our debt has long been of great concern to me, especially now as unfettered borrowing continues to bankroll an increasing amount of our federal expenditures. ...
How the health care bill affects you (03/23/10)
Last Sunday night, the House of Representatives passed an overhaul of our health care system. In a series of late-night votes, the House approved the Senate legislation that passed in the upper chamber last Christmas Eve. As I write, the President is announcing plans to sign this bill into law this week. ...
Fiscal responsibility means owning up to costs (03/16/10)
With the call for fiscal responsibility growing louder and louder, the Senate passed legislation in January that was purported to address irresponsible spending. The bill, nicknamed "Pay As You Go" or PAYGO, was advertised as preventing passage of legislation that would be paid for by adding to our already astronomical national debt. ...
Japan must drop U.S. beef ban (03/09/10)
The recent reports about faulty Toyota products have brought to the forefront a critical disconnect between the United States and a valuable ally, Japan. On one hand, Japan expects the U.S. to be patient and keep our borders open to Japanese cars and car parts. ...
Using budget reconciliation for health care unwise (03/02/10)
With the health care debate back in the spotlight, Americans continue to call for a new approach to health care reform. The original Senate bill was very partisan and costly, and required multiple special deals just to garner support from all Democrats. ...
Nebraska visit reaffirms passion for representing Nebraskans (02/22/10)
I spent the last week in Nebraska reconnecting with many of you throughout the state. Your informed views help to shape my approach in Washington, and always serve as a refreshing reminder of why I love to serve this great state. I was shown many examples of just how closely all of our lives are tied to actions taken by the federal government, which makes it all the more important that we take a thoughtful, open-minded approach when it comes to making laws...
Obama administration's budget worsens deficit problem (02/09/10)
With the health care debate simmering on the back burner, much of the focus has been on the release of the President's annual budget. The budget proposes funding for the programs and agencies throughout the federal government. Yet I am troubled by what is now becoming a pattern for the Obama Administration: record-setting deficits, a ballooning debt, and no indication of reining in our out-of-control spending any time in the near future. ...
U.S. needs stronger commitment to national security (02/01/10)
In his State of the Union address last week, President Obama expressed a renewed commitment to protecting our homeland and fighting terrorism abroad. Yet serious concerns remain regarding whether his policies and recent actions truly reflect those words. ...
Time is now to reverse increasing debt burdens (01/26/10)
In 2009, the U.S. government accrued a record $1.4 trillion in debt -- three times as much as the previous record set in 2008. The federal government has spent so far beyond its means that we have once again reached the debt ceiling, a Congress-mandated cap on how high a tab the Treasury can run. ...
Senate bill last line of defense for life (01/22/10)
Last January, few would have predicted President Obama's first major legislative initiative would be in serious jeopardy a year later. One of the primary reasons the Senate health care bill has stalled is because of its attempt to undermine a nearly thirty-five-year precedent of federal law that has kept federal tax dollars from funding elective abortions. ...
Here to serve Nebraskans (01/18/10)
As the devastation in Haiti weighs heavily on all of our hearts, I commend you for reaching-out to offer support, as Nebraskans always do. I am pleased my office has been able to connect many of you with the appropriate federal agencies responsible for relief coordination. We are also assisting several Nebraska families in the midst of adopting Haitian children, hoping to help bring these children -- now in desperate need -- together with their new families...
2010 challenges will require strong leadership (01/12/10)
Amidst the bustle of Christmas and the New Year, two headlines reminded us of why the government should strive to rise above politics when debating and enacting policy. When a man with ties to al Qaeda attempted to blow up an American airliner on Christmas Day, it served as a fresh and stark warning that our enemies abroad remain committed to waging war against our country and our ideals. ...
Johanns: CMS analysis more evidence health care bill does nothing to improve the system (01/11/10)
WASHINGTON -- Sen. Mike Johanns issued the following statement regarding the analysis released over the weekend by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) Actuary Richard Foster. The analysis was in response to a request Sen. Johanns and 27 Senators made to the CMS Actuary requesting an updated analysis of the Senate-passed version of H.R. 3590, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)...
Looking forward to 2010 (12/22/09)
I'm not sure I could have picked a more intense year to become a member of the U.S. Senate. In 2009, we saw our country enter an economic recession; our government bailout Wall Street; our military recommit to our efforts in Afghanistan; and our citizens, businesses, hospitals, and public officials make their voices heard regarding proposed health care reform...
USDA analysis confirms cap-and-trade damages agriculture (12/15/09)
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has provided a summary of its latest analysis of the cap-and-trade bill, and we now have a clearer picture of just how much damage the bill would do to agriculture. Several of my Senate colleagues and I requested the analysis in July, and it's taken USDA nearly six months to provide it. While the Senate has yet to be provided a copy of the actual analysis, the USDA testimony confirms we are right to be very worried...
Deep cuts to medicare is not reform (12/08/09)
The health care debate has most recently been focused on Medicare. Some would have you believe the proposed cuts to Medicare in the Senate health care reform bill will have no impact on services or benefits. They will try to convince you the cuts will simply eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse of the system. ...
Preventive measures a necessity in health care coverage (11/30/09)
When the federal government promises to provide more for less, red flags rightly go up. This has been part of the health care reform debate. How can the government provide health insurance to tens of millions more people without skyrocketing costs, a decrease in services, or both? It simply cannot. ...
As health care bill proceeds, still much to do (11/24/09)
On Saturday, the motion to proceed to debate on the Senate's health care reform bill passed on a 60-39 vote. Next, amendments will be offered and voted on, then the Senate must vote to end the debate, which will also require 60 votes. Although this was the first step in the bill's approval process, studies show that 97 percent of bills become law after this type of vote passes. ...
Health care is still a hot topic across Nebraska (11/17/09)
Last week I hosted town hall meetings in Grand Island, Lexington, Kearney and Lincoln, where I outlined my principles for health care reform and heard feedback from Nebraskans on the latest proposals in Congress. In Lexington, I heard from a small businessman who provides health care to his employees but is concerned that the House bill will raise his taxes and compromise his ability to stay in business. ...
Health care is still a hot topic across Nebraska (11/17/09)
Last week I hosted town hall meetings in Grand Island, Lexington, Kearney and Lincoln, where I outlined my principles for health care reform and heard feedback from Nebraskans on the latest proposals in Congress. In Lexington, I heard from a small businessman who provides health care to his employees but is concerned that the House bill will raise his taxes and compromise his ability to stay in business. ...
Cap-and-trade heading down the wrong path (11/09/09)
Imagine if the Senate decided it was going to overhaul the health care system by simply drafting legislation and passing it without complete analysis from any health care professionals or economists. What if we passed a bill without knowing the cost, the impact on families and small businesses, or whether or not premiums or taxes would go up? You'd probably think we all ought to find new work...
Taking care of the vulnerable (11/02/09)
Nebraskans should be very proud of the progress our state has made in transforming mental health services. We are now looked upon as a national leader in this area. I am very pleased to have introduced a bill that would adjust our nation's policies to follow Nebraska's good example by helping those facing mental illnesses, as well as the physically and developmentally disabled, to access affordable housing. ...
Don't defy the Founding Fathers (10/26/09)
Don't Defy the Founding Fathers Senator Mike Johanns October 26, 2009 Each day I spend in the U.S. Senate representing you, I become more in awe of our Founding Fathers' remarkable system of government checks and balances. The difference between the House of Representatives and the Senate is a perfect example. The House was created to be a majority body. If there is a solid majority by either party, as the Democrat Party holds today, that party will almost never lose a vote...
Back door deals undermine democratic process (10/19/09)
Part of what makes our country great is the transparency that exists between citizens and their government. We make laws at the will of the American people; therefore it's your right to be as informed as possible about the laws that will significantly impact your life. ...
Flawed health care plan would affect many Nebraskans (10/13/09)
As I write to you, the Senate Finance Committee has acted on the latest version of health care reform. I continue to believe we need to reform our health care system to bring down rising costs and shore up our delivery system. Paying for this reform is a big part of the debate. ...
Broken promises not the way to fix health care (10/05/09)
Throughout his presidential campaign, President Obama routinely promised that no one earning less than $250,000 would see their taxes increased. In fact, he promised not to raise taxes for those individuals by "one single dime." Yet if the health care proposal currently being debated in the Senate Finance Committee were to become law, this promise would be shattered. I was very disappointed last week when a proposal requiring the fulfillment of this promise was voted down in the committee...
Johans: Increasing taxes and health care costs is not true reform (09/29/09)
WASHINGTON -- Sen. Mike Johanns today spoke on the Senate floor to discuss his concerns regarding the proposed tax increases embedded within the Senate Finance Committee's health care legislation. "In our current economic crisis, the last thing American families need is to see more of their paychecks going to pay more taxes. ...
Disappointing lack of transparency in health care debate (09/28/09)
A very important opportunity was missed in the Senate last Wednesday. Throughout the week, the Senate Finance Committee debated and deliberated over amendments to a health care proposal that, if passed, will have a profound impact on the lives of every American. ...
New Senate health care proposal needs work (09/22/09)
Last week, the Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Senator Max Baucus of Montana, released its proposal for health care reform. I am still reading through it to analyze and determine how this will affect the health care of Nebraskans. However, I have already discovered some details of great concern...
ACORN funding cut off (09/15/09)
On Monday, my colleagues in the Senate rose above partisan loyalties to support my amendment that will prevent tax dollars from supporting an organization shrouded in controversy: ACORN. Employees of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now have been convicted of irresponsible, fraudulent, and at times illegal behavior, and I took action to protect taxpayers...
How much debt is too much? (09/08/09)
Late last month, the White House's Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released its annual mid-year review of the federal budget. We all knew it would report a record-setting deficit--$1.6 trillion for 2009--but the review further revealed the challenges we will face as a country if the current track of fiscal irresponsibility continues. The report revealed the deficit over the next ten years would be $2 trillion more than previously estimated by OMB...
Flimsy evidence supporting cap-and-trade (08/27/09)
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack's August 23 op-ed about cap-and-trade offered incomplete and largely speculative analysis to justify the costs to American farmers and ranchers. His rhetoric falls in line with the Administration's pattern of nice sounding ideas unsupported by facts. Unfortunately, the costs of cap-and-trade are real, while so far the benefits for farmers and ranchers are theoretical. Nebraska producers are realists. And realists sift through rhetoric to focus on facts...
Unanimous agreement on improving VA facility (08/24/09)
Last week, our state and our military veterans got some great news at a Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee field hearing I chaired in Omaha. Every witness, including VA officials, agreed that major new construction is needed at the Omaha VA Medical Center. ...
Health care hot topic in Nebraska (08/19/09)
Last week, I traveled approximately 1,100 miles across Nebraska from Scottsbluff to South Sioux City, holding seven town halls, five round tables, and other meetings in 11 counties. I listened closely to Nebraskans' concerns and there is overwhelming anxiety about health care legislation...
Veterans always a high priority (08/10/09)
I am so glad to be back in Nebraska for the August work period. I know many Nebraskans are eager to continue our dialogue about health care and I look forward to it. Cap-and-trade will be another hot topic that has huge potential consequences for Nebraska. ...
Medicare, Medicaid should not pay for health care reform (08/04/09)
The Senate is wrapping up its final days before adjourning until Labor Day. Even though no health care legislation has come to the floor in the Senate or the House of Representatives, health care remains a hot topic. Both houses have proposals working through the committee process, which have struggled in committee because they are significantly flawed. ...
Why I will oppose Judge Sotomayor (07/28/09)
After meeting with Judge Sonia Sotomayor, watching the confirmation hearings, reading her past judicial decisions, and carefully reviewing her overall record, I have decided I cannot support her nomination for the Supreme Court of the United States. She has good reason to be proud of a long career as a public servant. However, for the reasons detailed below, she will not have my vote...
Cap-and-trade questions need answers (07/21/09)
As many of you know, climate change legislation, known as cap-and-trade, has passed the House of Representatives and is now ready for consideration by the Senate. Although 44 Democrats voted against it in the House and it required a considerable amount of arm-twisting by House leadership to pass, it is being heavily endorsed by the Obama Administration and the U.S. ...
Sen. Mike Johanns
Sen. Mike Johanns
U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns is a former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Nebraska governor and Lincoln mayor.

Address: 404 Russell, Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510

Phone: (202) 224-4224
Fax: (202) 228-0436

You may contact Senator Johanns by emailing mike_johanns@johanns.senate.gov. If you would like to receive a response from Senator Johanns, please ensure you include your name, full address, and phone number.