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.
Across the state, the message was clear: legislation that costs too much, regulates too much, and gets too involved in our everyday lives is not what Nebraskans want or need. Many people questioned whether Washington understands how worried Americans are about our skyrocketing debt. I share this concern and do not want to leave a legacy of debt to our grandchildren.
I also had the opportunity to meet with my Agriculture Advisory Council, made up of producers of all types from across Nebraska. A cattle feeder in central Nebraska is frustrated with government regulations that force her and her husband to capture the water that spills out of the stock tanks used to water their cattle. I heard from another producer alarmed by the possibility that farmers would be required to capture the dust from their combine operations. I agree that unless the regulatory environment in Washington is appropriately restricted, overregulation could drive family farmers out of business and production overseas.
In Lincoln, I received a petition signed by hundreds of ag producers from across Nebraska, each concerned that the cap and trade bill, approved in the House of Representatives and pending in the Senate will "raise production costs while lowering farm income." I agree and urge Nebraskans to become more informed on cap and trade's impact on our state and our country. You can find out more by visiting the Agriculture page on my Senate website.
I was especially proud to be a Nebraskan after touring the new Nebraska National Guard Army Aviation Facility in Grand Island and meeting with military families in Hastings. Planning for the Grand Island facility began when I was Governor, and it's gratifying to see how well the Nebraska National Guard is making use of this outstanding facility. The hard work and patriotism of our soldiers reminded me how thankful I am to be able to represent Nebraska. I was so inspired when I met with the families of deployed Nebraskans. Their belief that our missions in Iraq and Afghanistan are important and worth their sacrifice affects how I view the wars.
I'll close with a quick thank you to the Nebraskans who answered the call for help in Haiti. As I told those I met with last week, I am very proud of you. I appreciate the time so many of you took to share your thoughts and concerns, and as always I will keep them with me as I represent you in the U.S. Senate.