Listening to You

By U.S. Senator Deb Fischer

As a U.S. senator, my job is to work for the people of Nebraska. To do that job well, I need to know your concerns and views. And that means listening.


Listening conveys respect. It affirms value. It also directs how I go about meeting the needs of Nebraska families through the important work of constituent service. 


This can mean anything from answering questions about legislation to advocating a Nebraskan’s cause with a federal agency. Constituent service sometimes means casting a vote for a bill. Other times, it requires voting against a harmful measure or regulation. But no matter the circumstances, constituent service always means listening.


I am proud to listen, and act, on your behalf. As one year ends and another begins, I’d like to share some numbers about the actions my office has taken for Nebraskans this past year.


In 2016, I drove 8,364 miles across Nebraska. Along the way, I met families from all over our state. Whether hosting community coffees or touring small businesses, I heard directly their concerns and ideas for making our country freer, safer, stronger, and more prosperous. My dedicated staff also held 93 mobile “office hours” events across our state to ensure Nebraska voices were heard.


When a constituent shares a problem they have with the federal bureaucracy, my staff will investigate to see if there is a way to help. When that happens, a case file is opened. My office opened 793 new case files this year. I am proud to report we also closed 793 case files. These cases covered a wide range of issues, from education, labor, and law enforcement to health care, disaster relief, and agriculture, to name only a few. More than 30 percent of these were undertaken on behalf of veterans or members of our military.


Last year, my office recovered $210,527 for Nebraskans. This amount included Social Security payments, IRS refunds, or VA benefits that were mistakenly denied by the federal government. I am relieved to know these funds have been restored; I am frustrated that such errors occurred in the first place. Bringing greater accountability to the federal bureaucracies will remain among my top priorities in 2017. 


In this past year of listening, I have often heard the same concerns over and over. Nebraskans want their government to do a few things exceptionally well. They want it to defend us from danger and behave responsibly with our money. Nebraskans also desire government to be disciplined. In particular, they are frustrated by its bureaucrats and their reams of rules and regulations. Too often, government makes simple tasks unnecessarily complicated.


As Nebraska’s U.S. senator, I have the opportunity, and the obligation, to carry your concerns to Washington and work to find solutions. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve you, and I am humbled by your trust.


Thank you for taking part in our democratic process. I look forward to visiting with you again next week.

About katcountryhub
I am a graduate of Northeast Community College with a degree in journalism. I am married to Jeff Gilliland. We have two grown children, Justin and Whitney and four grandchildren, Grayce, Grayhm, Charli and Penelope. I will be covering Lyons, Decatur, Bancroft and Rosalie and am hoping to expand my horizons as time progresses!

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