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Priorities for the New Year

Monday, January 9, 2012

With this final year in the Senate I intend to make every day count, focusing on the future of the country and working vigorously on a bipartisan basis to solve problems. It won't all be done in a year but I will re-double my efforts of the last 11 years hoping to make progress.

My priorities for the New Year include reducing the national debt, protecting seniors from efforts to undermine Medicare and Social Security, growing the economy, creating jobs, promoting energy independence, and working to end partisan bickering and gridlock in Washington. The inability to work together is hurting economic growth and stability for our nation. When you don't work together you cannot find common ground and nothing gets done.

Nebraska Focus

Specific to Nebraska, I plan to make sure the nation is secure by keeping the improvements to STRATCOM on track, which we should see as ground is broken on its new headquarters. My plans also include taking care of Nebraska veterans with a modern Medical Center and keeping a close watch on the implementation of the new Hiring Heroes Act so our veterans receive training and education they need to find work back home as their battlefield service ends.

Additional priorities are to safeguard agriculture in the new farm bill, improve our highway infrastructure, and maintain excellence within our schools and universities.

Nebraska has always been a leader in the pursuit of energy independence with renewable fuels such as biofuels, solar and wind power, and I'll continue working to expand these domestic sources of energy that are abundant on the Great Plains, so the U.S. can rely more on our own resources and less on those of other countries.

Nebraska's rural communities of course remain a top priority, particularly maintaining rural postal services, rural health care services and the Essential Air Service program that helps economic development.

National Debt

The fiscal condition of the country needs considerable attention. We need to cut spending and reorder priorities, and have a pathway to reduce the deficit and pay down the debt which, in turn, will help in the creation of jobs. This needs to be our top priority and Congress should set aside political games find ways to work together for the good of the country. That is what Nebraskans want Washington to do.

Public office is a place for public service, not personal profit. It's about promoting the common good, not the agenda of the radical right or the radical left. It's about fairness for all, not privileges for the few. And, it's about protecting the rights of individuals, even if it angers the majority.

I hope and believe I have fulfilled these principles to the best of my ability, and will continue to work toward them during this year in the Senate.

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