Nebraska’s Third District has a long tradition of military service. During the week leading up to Memorial Day, we honored two local heroes from different generations who displayed extraordinary valor and an unyielding commitment to our country.
Captain Dustin Lukasiewicz of Alma was one of six Marines killed in a helicopter crash on May 12th while providing humanitarian aid to earthquake victims in Nepal. He graduated from Wilcox-Hildreth High School and had previously deployed to Afghanistan.
In addition to being a dedicated Marine, Captain Lukasiewicz was a devoted son, husband and father. He and his wife have one daughter and a second child on the way. When I spoke with Captain Lukasiewicz’s mother this week, she told me how her son went out of his way to give her a call from Nepal on Mother’s Day – just two days before the crash.
During their talk, Captain Lukasiewicz excitedly described a video the Marine Corps had just produced about their mission. The video ends with him stating, “My name is Captain Lukasiewicz, and we stand with Nepal.” His work on behalf of victims across the world and the thoughtful call on his mother’s special day exemplify his devotion to the care of others. Captain Lukasiewicz’s legacy of service is now forever enshrined on screen and will not be forgotten.
While honoring one brave soldier’s sacrifice, we also paid tribute to another Nebraska hero in Washington, D.C. Donald McPherson of Adams was one of 77 American Fighter Aces presented with the Congressional Gold Medal at a ceremony in the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, May 20th.
Ensign McPherson is one of two surviving World War II fighter aces in Nebraska. These brave pilots earned the title of fighter aces by shooting down at least five enemies in battle. Ensign McPherson earned three Distinguished Flying Crosses and four Air Medals while assigned to fighter squadron VF-83 aboard the U.S.S. Essex in the Pacific. In his F6F Hellcat, he directly faced our enemies in the skies to defend our country and preserve our liberty.
Following the Congressional Gold Medal ceremony, I had the opportunity to thank Ensign McPherson and present him with a copy of the Congressional Record recognizing his service. When asked about his experiences, the humility Ensign McPherson displays is striking. He embodies the selflessness of a true hero.
In addition to Captain Lukasiewicz and Ensign McPherson, thousands of Nebraskans have answered the call to serve their country. At the end of the month, I will have the honor of attending the send-off ceremony for soldiers of the Nebraska National Guard. We pray for our men and women currently serving in our Armed Forces and thank them for representing the greatness of America. Words cannot express our gratitude for their dedication to keeping our homeland safe.
Memorial Day is set aside each year to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice, but we should remain mindful of our military men and women every day. The stories of these selfless heroes, including Captain Lukasiewicz and Ensign McPherson, must be told and their legacies protected for future generations to understand the true cost of freedom.Read More
Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) will meet constituents of the Third District during two “mobile offices” on Tuesday, May 26 in Sidney, and Friday, May 29 in St. Paul.
A “mobile office” allows constituents to meet directly with Congressman Smith about federal issues and take advantage of the constituent services available through his office, such as assisting individuals with challenges they face while working with a federal agency, ordering flags flown over the U.S. Capitol, and booking tours in Washington, D.C.
Smith, who has offices in Grand Island and Scottsbluff, will hold the mobile offices at the following times and locations:
Tuesday, May 26 Cheyenne County Courthouse Commissioners Room 1000 10th Avenue, Sidney, NE 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. (MDT)
Friday, May 29 Community Senior Center 808 Howard Avenue, St. Paul, NE 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. (CDT)
For additional information, contact Congressman Smith’s Grand Island office at (308) 384-3900 or his Scottsbluff office at (308) 633-6333.Read More
Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives today to remember and honor Captain Dustin Lukasiewicz of Alma who was killed in a helicopter crash last week while providing humanitarian aid to earthquake victims in Nepal.
Remarks as prepared:
Mr. Speaker, I rise today in remembrance of a Third District constituent, Captain Dustin Lukasiewicz of Alma, Nebraska.
He and five fellow Marines were killed in a helicopter crash last week while providing humanitarian aid to earthquake victims in Nepal.
Captain Lukasiewicz made the ultimate sacrifice while trying to assist victims no one else could reach.
His service reflects the goodness of America, accepting the call to help those who need it most.
When I spoke with the Captain’s mother yesterday, she told me how her son went out of his way to give her a call on Mother’s Day, just days before the crash.
His attention to his loved ones is a reflection of his life of service, devoting himself to the care of others.
Please join me in praying for the Captain’s mother, father, wife, daughter, unborn child, and all others who lost loved ones in this tragedy.
As Memorial Day approaches, we must make it our top priority to honor and remember our military heroes.
Captain Lukasiewicz is certainly one of our heroes.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I yield back.Read More
Constituents of Third District Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) who need assistance dealing with a federal agency are invited to attend “Caseworker in Your Community” events on Thursday, May 21 in Falls City and Auburn.
“Caseworker in Your Community” is an opportunity for constituents to meet directly with one of Smith’s congressional caseworkers. Caseworkers may be able to assist constituents who are having problems dealing with a federal agency such as the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Social Security, Medicare, passports and visas through the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, or the Internal Revenue Service.
“Caseworker in Your Community” will be held on Thursday, May 21 at the following times and locations:
Falls City Library & Arts Center First Study Room1400 Stone Street, Falls City, NE 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (CDT)
Auburn Memorial Library Meeting Room1810 Courthouse Avenue, Auburn, NE1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. (CDT)
For additional information, contact Congressman Smith’s Grand Island office at (308) 384-3900.Read More
Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives to applaud the passage of H.R. 1732, the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act. This legislation prohibits the EPA from using its Waters of the U.S. rule to expand its authority beyond Congress’s intent.
Remarks as prepared:
Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 1732, the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act, and applaud its passage by the House of Representatives.
This bill prohibits the EPA from using its Waters of the U.S. rule to expand its authority beyond Congress’s intent.
Waters of the U.S. is yet another executive overreach by this administration.
The Clean Water Act intentionally limited the EPA’s jurisdiction to navigable waters.
Yet Waters of the U.S. would expand federal jurisdiction to include virtually all water flows, from ditches to prairie potholes, even on private land.
Nebraskans are concerned Waters of the U.S. could severely harm our agriculture economy by increasing costs and uncertainty for producers.
America’s farmers and ranchers are already great stewards of the land and take numerous steps to protect our natural resources.
By blocking the Waters of the U.S. rule, H.R. 1732 stops the administration’s latest power grab and supports agriculture producers across the country.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I yield back.Read More
Memorial Day commonly marks the long-anticipated start of summer. Community pools open, backyard grills fire up, and people hit the road for a long weekend spent with family and friends. For many Americans, however, Memorial Day is a solemn remembrance of those dear to them who made the ultimate sacrifice to defend our freedom. During the holiday weekend, we must all make it our top priority to honor and remember our military heroes – our fallen and those still with us who served beside them.
In late April, I had the opportunity to thank 25 Nebraska veterans who traveled to our nation’s capital on a Korean War Hero Flight. As we toured the Korean War Veterans Memorial, they relayed stories of their experiences and how proud they were to serve. Young people approached many of the veterans to say thank you and ask for photos. These heroes, including those who did not return, inspire patriotism in all generations of Americans. Their stories fill us with admiration and gratitude.
To ensure our veterans’ legacies are preserved, my office is continuing the Veterans History Project. Through this initiative, my staff is compiling accounts from Nebraska veterans to be archived in the Library of Congress. If you are a veteran or know a veteran who would be willing to share his or her stories and experiences, please call my Scottsbluff office at 308-633-6333 or visit http://adriansmith.house.gov/contact-me/ to set up an appointment with one of my staff members.
In Washington, I am committed to pursuing policies to support our military heroes. I founded and serve as co-chair of the Congressional Rural Veterans Caucus to address issues affecting veterans in rural areas, such as access to quality health care. Reports show reducing this access causes veterans to choose to delay or even forego the care they require. Our veterans deserve the best care available and should never go without the treatment they need.
To ensure access to care for veterans in rural Nebraska, I continue to advocate for keeping the Hot Springs VA Medical Center open. Last month, I voted in favor of the Fiscal Year 2016 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act, which would require the VA to accelerate claims processing and improve the compatibility of VA and Department of Defense records. The bill also includes language to prohibit funding for the closing of any VA hospital which serves a highly rural population, such as Hot Springs. Veterans should no longer experience lengthy wait times for appointments or be neglected by an outdated system.
Veterans in the Third District who are experiencing difficulties with the VA or other federal agencies are invited to contact my Grand Island office at 308-384-3900. The congressional caseworkers in my office may be able to help you cut through the red tape at these agencies. These caseworkers have years of experience and would be honored to assist our local heroes.
In addition to caring for our veterans, we must also protect the banner our troops fought and sacrificed to defend. I am a proud cosponsor of H.J. Res. 9 to prohibit burning or other physical desecration of the United States flag. Respect for our country’s flag goes hand-in-hand with honoring the legacy of our fallen soldiers, veterans, and those currently serving.
The selfless men and women who put their lives on the line for us and our country deserve our deepest gratitude. However you choose to celebrate Memorial Day this year, I ask you to join me in setting aside time to honor our military heroes who have sacrificed so we may live each day in freedom.Read More
Constituents of Third District Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) will be able to meet with a representative of Congressman Smith’s office at a series of “mobile offices” on Monday, May 18 and Tuesday, May 19.
A “mobile office” allows constituents to meet directly with one of Smith’s staff members about federal issues and take advantage of the constituent services available through his office, such as assisting individuals with challenges they face while working with a federal agency, ordering flags flown over the U.S. Capitol and booking tours in Washington, D.C.
Smith, who has offices in Grand Island and Scottsbluff, will provide his mobile office and a staff member on Monday, May 18 and Tuesday, May 19 at the following times and locations:
Monday, May 18:
Sheridan County Courthouse301 East 2nd Street, Rushville, NE 6936010:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. (MT)
Scotts Bluff County Courthouse1725 10th Street, Gering, NE 693415:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. (MT)
Tuesday, May 19:Banner County Courthouse204 State Street, Harrisburg, NE 693459:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. (MT)
Kimball County Courthouse114 East 3rd Street, Kimball, NE 6914511:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (MT)
For additional information, contact Congressman Smith’s Scottsbluff office at (308) 633-6333.Read More
Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) released the following statement after voting in favor of H.R. 36, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. This legislation, of which Smith is a cosponsor, protects unborn children by prohibiting abortions after 20 weeks and empowering women with a civil right of action if the law is not followed.
“On the second anniversary of Kermit Gosnell’s conviction, today’s passage of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act reflects the will of the American people to never again see such horrendous acts committed,” Smith said. “A majority of Americans support protecting unborn children from painful late-term abortions. Defending the sanctity of all human life is essential to defending freedom, and I remain committed to advancing legislation which promotes a culture of life.”
Smith is a member of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus.Read More
Inspired by the American Dream, entrepreneurship drives our country’s economic success. During National Small Business Week (May 4-8), we recognize the many contributions small businesses make to our communities and local economy. Their wide-reaching impacts include employing more than 75 million Americans and creating approximately two out of every three new jobs.
In Nebraska, more than 167,000 small businesses employ nearly 400,000 people. On my recent travels throughout the Third District, I have had the opportunity to visit many small businesses and talk with owners about the issues they face. From McBattas Specialty Advertising in Fairbury to American Bullet in Kimball to Beatrice Bakery Company, I have seen firsthand how small business owners create jobs in their communities and get Nebraska products to people across the country and around the world. Unfortunately, many federal policies directly interfere with these entrepreneurs’ success rather than supporting their hard work.
The red tape rolling out of Washington is choking small businesses. According to a World Bank report, the U.S. ranked third worldwide in ease of starting a business in 2007. Last year, the U.S. came in 46th. Since 2008, more small businesses have closed than have opened. This is the first time business failures have exceeded startups since this data has been recorded, and it reflects an alarming increase in government regulation.
Last year I launched Regulation Rewind to stand against government overreach, and I am continuing it into 2015. Through this initiative, I have identified unnecessary and overly burdensome regulations which hurt economic growth, limit opportunities for rural Americans, are inconsistent with the law, or are unfair. Many of these regulations directly impact Nebraska’s small businesses. I hope you will contact me at www.AdrianSmith.house.gov/RegulationRewind with your examples of overreaching federal regulations which need to be addressed.
The House Ways and Means Committee, on which I serve, also works to reduce regulation and support small business growth. For example, the America’s Small Business Tax Relief Act originated in the Ways and Means Committee and passed the House in February. This legislation makes long-standing tax provisions permanent to give certainty to small business owners and allow them to plan for the future. In particular, the provision setting higher expensing levels under Section 179 of the tax code provides small businesses the certainty they need to invest in equipment while knowing those expenses will not be taxed up front by the federal government.
Currently the Committee is focused on expanding U.S. trade by passing Trade Promotion Authority, which empowers Congress to direct the administration’s negotiation of trade agreements. In Nebraska, small- and medium-sized businesses constitute 82 percent of exporters. With 95 percent of customers living outside our borders, opening more markets to Nebraska exporters is essential to leveling the global playing field for our small businesses.
Although National Small Business Week has come to a close for 2015, I encourage all Nebraskans to support Third District small businesses year-round. In Washington, I will work to reduce burdensome regulations and open more trade opportunities for local entrepreneurs. I look forward to partnering with you on Regulation Rewind and other efforts to ensure Nebraska’s small businesses receive the support they deserve.Read More
Congress has the duty to wisely steward taxpayer dollars. However, for many years, Congress procrastinated instead of taking a stand against growing government debt and deficits. Our nation’s finances were mismanaged and ruled by out-of-control spending for far too long.
Thankfully, we have successfully shifted the conversation in Washington from how much to spend to how much to cut. These decisions are not easy, but a national debt exceeding $18 trillion makes them necessary. The House of Representatives is tasked with using the appropriations process to determine how government revenue will be spent.
The House and Senate have now come to an agreement and passed a joint budget to cut more than $5 trillion in spending and balance the books in less than 10 years without raising taxes. It is the first joint 10-year balanced budget resolution since 2001. Because we reached a budget agreement, the House was also able to begin the annual appropriations process this week.
The passage of this joint budget and the earliest start of the appropriations process since 1974 signal a welcome return to regular order in Congress. It is important for us to utilize the legislative process to make responsible funding decisions and find savings. Instead of governing by short-term fixes, we can now make long-term, sound policy decisions to tackle our national debt and help grow our economy.
Through the appropriations process, Congress can also fulfill its constitutional duty of serving as a check on the executive branch. For example, the Fiscal Year 2016 Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act passed by the House this week contains language to block the proposed expansion of Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) regulations. This Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule would expand federal jurisdiction to include anything from ditches to prairie potholes, and would place a massive regulatory burden on our nation’s farmers.
By refusing to fund the administration’s power grabs, Congress can halt their implementation. We will likely have more opportunities throughout the appropriations process to push back on executive overreach while President Obama continues his refusal to engage with the legislative branch.
Additionally, Congress can enforce needed reforms for federal agencies through appropriations legislation. The Fiscal Year 2016 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act passed by the House this week requires the VA to accelerate claims processing and improve the compatibility of VA and Department of Defense records. Too many veterans are still struggling with lengthy wait times for appointments and an archaic medical record system. By tying the VA’s funding to demonstrated results, we can ensure better care for our heroes.
With this year’s early start to the appropriations process, we have more time to make productive funding decisions in the best interest of our country. A total of 12 appropriations bills are required to fund the government, and I am hopeful we can address them under regular order in the coming weeks. It is time for Congress to use the legislative process the way it was intended to cut waste and bring accountability back to Washington’s budget.Read More
2241 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Congressman Adrian Smith has earned praise for his leadership, hard work and dedication to Nebraska commonsense. Smith has tackled issues ranging from biofuels and other forms of domestic energy to transportation research and development to fashioning legislation promoting rural America.
Smith has consistently voted against tax increases, massive government bailouts, and was unwavering in his opposition of the misguided health care bill now creating massive uncertainty for our nation’s job creators.
Smith, a co-sponsor of the Balanced Budget Amendment and a supporter of a Congressional earmark moratorium, has earned a reputation as a solid conservative through his votes to protect the rights of gun owners, efforts to limit the scope of government, and his strong pro-life voting record.
Smith, who serves on the House Committee on Ways and Means, actively promotes access for Nebraska agriculture products in Asia, South America, and throughout the world. Nebraska’s $4 billion in worldwide agricultural exports creates $6.7 billion in additional economic activity. Smith supports trade agreements which will continue to create new opportunities for our agriculture producers and their products to keep Nebraska’s economy strong.
Smith’s assignment on the Ways and Means Committee also puts the Nebraskan on the front lines in the debate on how to create jobs, promote economic growth, and directly impact tax policy – such as the Death Tax which threatens family farms and ranches.
Smith’s also has introduced the bipartisan Small-Scale Hydropower Enhancement Act which would help stimulate the economy of rural America, empower local irrigation districts to generate revenue, and decrease reliance on fossil fuels by encouraging the use of small-scale hydropower projects.
The Gering native, whose family has called Nebraska home for six generations, was first introduced to politics by his grandfather. Prior to his election to Congress, Smith served his hometown as a member of the City Council. He then represented District 48 for eight years in the Unicameral.
He continues to reside in Gering.
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2 Nebraska aces among 77 fighter pilots awarded gold medal by Congress for ‘daring devotion’ in combat - http://t.co/Z2l1Ln3IWz