Crawford For Congress: It’s Time To Repeal And Replace Fortenberry

Washington, D.C. is broken and the GOP majority in the Congress has failed the country and the people of Nebraska CD01. Representative Jeff Fortenberry is part of the problem — his votes have enabled the extreme GOP Congressional leadership that is hurting the country. Electing Jeff Fortenberry to an eighth term won’t solve these problems — it will only aggravate them. If you want different results out of Washington, you need to elect different people.

That’s why I announced that I’m running for Congress this week. I’m a family man, lifelong Nebraskan, attorney and small business owner. I’m running to act as a check and balance on Trump and to make sure our children have the same kinds of opportunities I had growing up in Lincoln. When I’m elected, I will put Nebraska first. Unfortunately, Fortenberry has been putting Trump and the special interests first.

Fortenberry’s recent vote in favor of Trump Care certainly didn’t put Nebraska first. Instead, my opponent voted to throw thousands of Nebraskans under the bus. If Trump Care were to become law, approximately 49,000 people in CD01 would lose their insurance coverage. Overall, Trump Care would take away insurance from 24 million Americans to fund a $600 billion tax cut for the special interests and the wealthy.

Trump Care wouldn’t only kick millions off insurance, it would gut the consumer friendly ban on pre-existing conditions clauses in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). States would be authorized to give insurers unlimited power to raise premiums for those who are sick or who may get sick. At the same time, Fortenberry and other members of Congress would still enjoy the ACA’s consumer protections.

My opponent and his party bosses are hell bent on passing Trump Care because under the Congress’ arcane budget rules, it would allow the Republicans in Congress to pass a permanent tax cut for the wealthiest Americans. Back in January, Fortenberry voted to add $9.7 trillion to the national debt in a budget resolution that was rammed through on a straight party line vote. This reckless budget would pave the way for trillions of dollars of tax cuts for the wealthy. It would also double the annual budget deficit and return us to the days of $1 trillion annual deficits.

The Nebraska CD01 member of Congress has no problem with adding trillions to the national debt for special interest tax breaks but he believes we need to end Medicare as we know it because of costs. My opponent has voted several times to privatize Medicare and turn it into a voucher program. This radical transformation of Medicare would cost baby boomers and senior citizens thousands of dollars in additional out of pocket medical costs every year. Nebraska senior citizens would end up paying a lot more for vastly inferior insurance coverage.

While the focus this year has been on domestic policy, we shouldn’t overlook the fact that Fortenberry has a troubling record on national security and is soft on terrorism. On two occasions in 2015, my opponent voted to shut down the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) over an unrelated immigration issue even though the U.S. was being threatened with terrorist attacks.

Fortenberry’s two votes to shutdown DHS over a partisan dispute with President Obama were especially reckless since a shut down of that agency could slow down or weaken a U.S. response to a terrorist attack. The second vote to shutdown DHS came at a time when the Mall of America in Minneapolis was threatened with an attack by a radical Islamist group. Despite that threat to the Midwest, Fortenberry defended his votes by saying that: “The House of Representatives has done the right thing here. We’ve stood on principle.”

It’s pretty obvious that Fortenberry is out of touch with his constituents and that he has prioritized Trump and the special interests. It’s time for new leadership in Washington. As a member of Congress, I would:

- Act as a necessary check and balance on the executive branch as was envisioned by the Founding Fathers.

- Support a Medicare “buy in for all” plan. If the GOP manages to destroy the ACA, we need to take steps to establish a Medicare for all system.

- A higher minimum wage.

- Genuine infrastructure investments. Money for projects — not special interest tax breaks and privatization.

  • Investments in renewable energy such as wind and solar power.

It’s time for Nebraska’s member of Congress in CD01 to put Nebraska first. When I’m elected, it will be Nebraska first, Nebraska always. It’s time to repeal and replace Fortenberry!

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

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