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Senator Sasse Hosts Town Hall in Aurora

Friday was day two of town halls in Nebraska. This time Senator Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), made a stop at the co-op in Aurora. (NTV/Ifesinachi Egbosimba)

Friday was day two of town halls in Nebraska. This time, Senator Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), made a stop at the co-op in Aurora.

"Will you support an independent, nonpartisan investigation into Trump's ties with Russia," one man asked of the senator.

"I am all for a nonpartisan investigation, and I'm for a congressional investigation," Sen. Sasse replied.

There were also questions about Russia’s overall involvement in U.S. affairs.

"One of the fundamental problems we face is that we are playing into Russian's hands by allowing our arguments about what Russia tried to do last year, to be perceived through the partisan lens of whether you were for candidate X or Y. Clinton or Trump,” said Sen. Sasse. "Russia spends and extreme amount of money with false information and fake news among all their near neighbors. Russia has an ambition to use that kind of strategy against the U.S. and Europe.”

Many were concerned about the federal budget and spending.

"The NEA (National Education Association) and the NHA (National Humanities Alliance) only take up $300 million of the budget, which is a very, very tiny percent," said one man.

“It' isn't the case that we're having a fight about national security spending and NHA spending. That isn't what's happening in America. What's happening is the entitlement portion of the budget has grown," said Sen. Sasse. "Health entitlements in the 1960's were 1% of the federal budget. By the 1980's were 11% of the federal budget. Today 5 mandatory programs, 3 health programs; Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare, social security and interest on the debt are 71% of federal spending over the next decade. So the simple fact is, the reason Washington spending is out of control isn't because of the NHA, and it isn't because of the defense department, it is because of entitlements that we don't tell the truth about. That's the conversation we have to have.”

"Do we really need a wall," one woman asked.

"Border security is a fundamental responsibility of the federal government and we don't have border security right now," the senator said. "Is a wall the right tool to the end of border security? Most of people the people who have been advocating for stronger and better borders wouldn't say that the wall is the right way to accomplish that end," he added. "We should be having debates about what actual border security looks like."

One farmer wanted to know where the senator stands on trade.

"Trade is good for America. Trade is good in theory and great for Nebraska," said Sen. Sasse. “I'm regularly meeting with and trying to advise and push this White House is their trade agenda is bad economics and it's bad for Nebraska.”

There was also a question about the White House proposing budget cuts to after school programs, the senator said he'd like to see more control go back to the local level.

NTV spoke with people who went to both Senator Fisher's town hall on Thursday, and Senator Sasse's Friday meeting.

"I think it went well for Nebraskans. We are diverse as Nebraskans and we have a lot of different views,"said Mike King from Holdrege. "My particular one I don't think he answered correctly, not correctly but effectively was protection of our water rights with the Keystone XL pipeline. That's not a partisan issue, that's a Nebraskan issue."

"I want to hear directly from them what they have to say and it's so complex," said Esther Osborne from Grand Island. "Everything there is no simple answer and so I just wanted to come, I wanted to listen and to show my support for them and just pray for them."

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