WASHINGTON -- Sen. Ben Nelson released the following statement regarding the economic recovery package currently being discussed in the Senate:
"I am troubled by the worsening impact the national economic downturn is having on Nebraskans and I believe we may need a targeted, tailored stimulus bill to create new jobs, save jobs and open new job opportunities.
"Several thousand Nebraskans have lost their jobs or been laid off and unemployment lines are growing. Major Nebraska companies like First National and Union Pacific and many smaller businesses are facing hardship, as are Nebraska families and workers. And we hear that more serious job loss is likely ahead.
"I am working with Republicans and Democrats in the Senate to try to redirect the major stimulus bill to boost more job creation spending and trim non-stimulative items.
"For example, there's $75 million for smoking cessation, $345 million for Agriculture Department computers and $100 million for Energy Department computer research.
"This isn't about pork, but it may be about sacred cows.
"We want to make this stimulus bill better and bipartisan so we get more bang for the buck. I want a final bill that puts a lot of Nebraskans back to work, keeps others on the job and provides a robust stimulus to our weakened economy."