On January 3, I had the privilege of taking the oath of office and becoming Nebraska's 39th United States Senator. I am grateful that members of my family and so many friends traveled from Nebraska to share this special day, and I am honored by the trust placed in me by Nebraskans. I am also thankful to have such an excellent partner in Senator Mike Johanns, who has proudly served our state and nation for many years. Senator Johanns has been gracious and welcoming as I transition to Washington and I look forward to working with him on behalf of all Nebraskans.
I have received my committee assignments for the 113th Congress. I will be serving on the following five committees: Armed Services; Environment and Public Works (EPW); Commerce, Science, and Transportation; Small Business and Entrepreneurship; and Indian Affairs. These committee assignments provide me with a variety of opportunities to address a wide range of issues and place me in a strong position to stand up for Nebraska citizens.
For example, my seat on the Armed Services Committee will allow me to ensure that America's armed forces remain second to none. America's military should not suffer simply because leaders in Washington lack the will to cut wasteful spending. Moreover, my position on this committee will allow me to ensure that key Nebraska defense interests, such as Offutt Air Force Base and the U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM), receive appropriate attention and funding from the federal government. These military installations play a critical role in ensuring America's national security and serve as engines of economic growth in Nebraska.
One of my proudest accomplishments in the Nebraska Unicameral was securing the passage of LB 84, a bill to fund the lifeblood of Nebraska's communities -- its roads. Now, as a member of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, I will continue to work on innovative ways to improve and rebuild our nation's aging roads and infrastructure. My work on the EPW Committee will allow me to weigh in on water issues, as well as EPA rules and regulations that can be overreaching and burdensome on our citizens.
As a member of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, I look forward to tackling America's number one priority: job creation. In order to create jobs, we must provide certainty to employers, reduce those burdensome regulations, and promote economic growth. However, we cannot revitalize our economy without reining in government spending, which has dangerously increased the national debt to over $16 trillion.
Nebraskans know all too well that government cannot be everything for everyone. When traveling the state this past year and a half, I heard a single, consistent message: Washington must cut spending. The road ahead requires some tough choices and the federal government must set its priorities. I plan to develop strong relationships with my colleagues -- Republicans and Democrats -- so that together, we can have the courage to make these hard decisions. We're all tired of the talk; it's time to get to work on behalf of hardworking taxpayers.
Finally, I am pleased to announce office locations in Washington, D.C., Omaha, and Lincoln. To ensure that I am able to adequately serve Nebraskans in all areas of the state, I intend to also open offices in other Nebraska communities in the months ahead. Contact information for my current offices can be found below:
825 B Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Phone: (202) 224-6551
Fax: (202) 228-1325
440 North 8th Street
Lincoln, Nebraska 68508
Phone: (402) 441-4600
Fax: (402) 476-8753
11819 Miracle Hills Drive
Omaha, Nebraska 68154
Phone: (402) 391-3411
Fax: (402) 391-4725
I hope you will contact our offices with any questions or concerns you may have. Your input is important to me. Thank you for sharing in our democratic process, and I'll visit with you again next week.
United States Senator