Fischer Makes Impression in First 90 Days


Senator Deb Fischer has wasted no time making an impression on Washington. Ninety days into her term, Fischer is already seen as a key Republican leader.

Early supporters say she has made the kind of impression they had envisioned, as someone who gets down to business.

Some wish she'd be more vocal on women's issues or question her no vote on confirming Chuck Hagel as Defense Secretary. But clearly, she means business.

One of the issues she's been talking about is government red tape. She said there are too many regulations and they're hurting small businesses.

"People complain about regulations all the time. So we started a new initiative in the office. We're encouraging people to go to our website and tell us those bad regulations, give us specifics," she said.

Agricultural producers are especially vocal about the EPA. Fischer said she understands those concerns, but says there needs to be a balance.

She said, "Everybody wants clear air, everybody wants clean water, but let's have some common sense."

She took office on January 3. She said she hasn't wasted any time focusing on the important issues.

"It's been busy," she said. "It's been fun. That's not very wise to say about Washington, but you know what's fun? What's fun about it is seeing Nebraskans that come out because we have so many Nebraskans every day that come out to visit, that come out with their school groups, or they're out there on their own. They want us to help with issues, inform us of issues."

During her tenure, the Senate has taken up some key issues. Senators voted 50-49 to approve a budget. That vote found Nebraska's new senator on the no side.

"We saw a budget finally passed by the United States Senate. I did not support that because it's more taxes, it's more spending, and more debt. That's not what Nebraskans want. We want to control spending, we don't want our taxes to increase," she said.

The budget did include an amendment sponsored by Fischer, to improve rural broadband internet. She said it fulfills a campaign pledge to support towns like McCook and Ravenna.

And she got help from an unlikely source.

She said, "I was really pleased to co-sponsor a bill with Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota. I have to smile at that because it's a bipartisan bill. And if people follow the United States Senate, some of them have said that's a bipolar bill, because Al Franken and I are very different. I think it shows we can work together across the aisle, on any number of issues."

Fischer also addressed the farm bill and EPA regulations with NTV. Watch NTV's Grow Sunday night at 10:35 p.m. for those comments.