Nebraskans and Senator Fischer meet face-to-face in heated town hall

Nebraskans, met face to face with Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb) in Holdrege Thursday, and did not hold back their concerns. (NTV/Ifesinachi Egbosimba)

Nebraskans, met face to face with Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb) in Holdrege Thursday, and did not hold back their concerns.

Questions about guns, immigration, healthcare and even Russia were all fired at the senator, and everyone was eager to her responses.

From the very first question, passionate Nebraskans demanded answers.

"What makes Secretary DeVos qualified?" said one woman. "How many people called in a said don't support DeVos? Raise your hand." another woman asked the audiance.

"It boils down to me getting information, listening to people, and then it's my judgement,” Senator Fischer responded. “It comes down to my judgement. That's what I am elected to do. We don't take polls in order to determine how a vote is going to happen."

Several people fired up about the senator’s support of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

"How is she qualified?” one woman asked.

"She and her husband have run and very successful business,” the senator responded. "Running a department with thousands of employees, that's part of it."

Others were unhappy with President Trump.

"Do you Senator Deb Fischer care enough about the integrity of our democracy to demand that President Trump release all of his tax returns?" one person asked.

"Yes. It's not a requirement to run for president. It's been practiced in the past. I think President Trump should release them," said Senator Fischer.

“When will you publicly call out the president on his fear-mongering language that is intended to divide rather than unite," another person asked.

"What I would say is none of it can be tolerated and we should show respect for all people no matter the religion, no matter the race," said the senator.

Healthcare dominated the conversation.

"Why doesn't the county do what every other country does and have basic healthcare for everyone?” one man asked.

"We need healthcare, we don't need more guns," another person said.

“Can we count on you to vote to protect and to enhance affordable healthcare coverage for all citizens of this country?" another voter said.

"I think and I believe that we have to come up with another healthcare proposal. The House is working; we'll see what they come up with," said Senator Fischer.

One man was concerned about oil being pumped though the Cornhusker State.

"Do you support the Keystone XL Pipeline?" he asked.

"I support the pipeline because I think it's a way we can have more energy needs met in this country," Senator Fischer answered.

There was a question about Russia and its relationship with the United States; Senator Fischer responded saying Putin is not a friend to this country.

As for Secretary DeVos, the senator says her skills running a successful business and managing money will be beneficial in her role as education secretary because she is in charge of thousands of employees and a large budget.

NTV caught up with some in the crowd after Thursday's town hall, and here's what they had to say.

"I think probably the most positive thing that happened today is that Debra Fisher showed up and talked to people because I for one felt like she was avoiding us totally," said Sandy Black from Lincoln. "Now I don't know if she's listening to me still but at least she was here and she went through the motions of that and that's a good thing."

"I was pleased she took as many questions as she did," said Vicki Grunwald of Omaha. "I've heard other stories that they weren't even passing around microphones and she at least honored that by giving them to people and by letting them have the floor. Some of her answers were evasive and I don't want to say well she's a politician but overall I think it was a positive experience for me."

Senator Ben Sasse will hold his own townhall event Friday, March 17 at 3:00 p.m., in Aurora at the city's co–op.

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