Yesterday we received an e-newsletter from Nebraska U.S. Senator Mike Johanns which was apparently an effort to make excuses for his vote for the fiscal cliff bill. Two conservative Nebraska congressmen were courageous enough to vote against that bill. Sadly, Senator Johanns and Congressman Fortenberry went along to get along rather than showing any spine--and incidentally, neither of the two had to cast yes votes on the bill given the majorities by which they passed.
We can only hope that Deb Fischer's presence in the U.S. Senate will encourage Senator Johanns to develop a stronger backbone as the new congress convenes and as he prepares to sell voters in Nebraska why he should be re-elected in 2014.
We don't need another Chuck Hagel.......
Here is Senator Johanns' newsletter:
January 2, 2013
Let’s take a step back and look at what has happened over the last few weeks. The President’s initial proposal to Senate Republicans included a $1.6 trillion tax increase, a permanent increase in the nation’s debt limit, and billions in new stimulus spending. By contrast, what he signed was a bill that stops a tax increase for 99 percent of taxpayers. It also permanently protects tens of thousands of farmers, ranchers, and family businesses from the death tax, and it protects the bipartisan spending cuts enacted into law in 2011, without raising the nation’s debt limit.
The bill also repealed an entitlement known as the CLASS Act created by President Obama’s health care law and extended the farm bill through the fiscal year. The bill stopped raises for members of Congress from going into effect, too.
I would have preferred a much bigger package to right our fiscal ship by extending tax relief for every American, significantly reducing spending and making the necessary reforms to strengthen programs like Social Security and Medicare. Unfortunately that wasn’t possible because President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) walked away, refusing to even offer a counterproposal to the plans Republicans offered. That’s why the final agreement was focused on taxes. And, I supported it because it protected 99 percent of American taxpayers.
As I’ve said, much more must be done. My priority in 2013 will be to strengthen our economy, reduce federal spending and rein in our debt. We will have more debates on the debt ceiling, and now that taxes are off the table the focus will rightly be on reduced spending.
I’ll keep you posted as Congress addresses these issues.
Tomorrow begins the 113th Congress and I will have the privilege of welcoming Senator-elect Deb Fischer to the Senate. I look forward to having her as an ally in the fight to reduce spending and address our out-of-control debt."