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Ben Sasse’s Mendacious Response To Nancy Pelosi’s Visit To Nebraska

Last Saturday night, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was the headline speaker at the Nebraska Democratic Party’s annual Morrison-Exon fundraising dinner. The event was a huge success and drew a record turnout. As a matter of fact, the main ballroom was sold out within a few days and tickets were then sold out for an overflow room. I would like to thank NDP Chair Jane Kleeb and the rest of the party for putting together such a fantastic event.

Ben Sasse responded to Pelosi’s visit to Nebraska by demanding an up or down vote in the House on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). In an opinion piece in the Omaha World Herald, Sasse falsely accused Pelosi of “stonewalling” and “not doing her job.” The hyper-partisan Sasse — without a hint of irony- lamented that “angry partisans rage at the cameras on the empty floors of the House or in hallways crowded with Twitter-obsessed reporters.” Sasse was also joined by Jeff Fortenberry and Don Bacon at a press conference where they repeated this phony talking point.

What Nebraska’s Congressional representatives didn’t tell you is that the USMCA is virtually identical to NAFTA. The only reason why Trump negotiated a new deal is because he hates Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Moreover, the USMCA is a big give away to the pharmaceutical industry. This treaty would solidify monopoly power for ten years for medications that are already allowing big pharma to grab billions of dollars a year.

Meanwhile, Speaker Pelosi is doing her job on the USMCA. House leaders have been negotiating behind the scenes on environmental and labor standards, as well as other details. I suppose Ben Sasse didn’t want the facts to get in the way of a hyper-partisan and disingenuous talking point.

What makes Sasse’s opinion piece especially misleading was his demand for an up or down vote on the USMCA. My response to this demand from Sasse is simple: Merrick Garland. Merrick Garland. Merrick Garland. I will never let anybody forget that Sasse and his fellow Senate Republicans denied hearings and an up or down vote to Merrick Garland in 2016. Sasse would like you to forget about this. Don’t.

Equally misleading was Sasse’s charge that Speaker Pelosi isn’t doing her job. What Nebraska’s junior Senator somehow failed to mention is that the House Democratic majority has been very productive in passing legislation that is good for the country. Since the House Democrats were sworn in earlier this year, they have passed bills on: election reform; LGBTQ equality protections; a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients; equal pay for women; gun background checks; climate change; strengthening the Affordable Care Act; the renewal of the Violence Against Women Act; a higher minimum wage and net neutrality. The House will soon pass a bill lowering the exorbitant costs of prescription drugs.

Fortenberry, Bacon and Smith voted against everyone of these measures. Since those bills have passed, Mitch McConnell — with the connivance of Ben Sasse — has refused to schedule an up or down vote on any of these bills. Mitch McConnell has proudly labeled himself the “grim reaper” of progressive policies.

In 2020, Ben Sasse will be up for re-election. In addition to being hyper-partisan, Sasse has been an ineffectual do nothing Senator who is more interested in making money off his books rather than serving his constituents. Chris Janicek, Angie Philips and Dan Wik are all running against Sasse. I would recommend that you get behind one of these candidates and help them throw out Ben Sasse. We must regain control of the Senate and end McConnell’s destructive obstruction. Now let’s get it done!

I’m a trial lawyer, a Democratic activist and a sports fan.

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