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Weekly Column: The Open Road in The Good Life

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By Senator Johanns

With the turning of the calendar page to August, Congress has adjourned for the month, leaving behind unfinished business and a large host of issues to be resolved this fall. I'm tremendously disappointed the Senate Majority gaveled out of session without passing much-needed drought relief. Nebraska and most of the country is suffering from an historic drought and the livestock needs to be fed now, not six weeks from now when Congress returns. Leaving town without getting this done is wrong, and I was prepared to stay as long as necessary to get it accomplished, if others had been willing to join me.

But now that the doors of the Senate floor have closed, I look forward to traveling across our great state. Summer adjournment is a tradition dating back to the early days of our republic, when hot days made Washington, D.C. nearly intolerable. Today, it provides me with a great opportunity to travel throughout the state to hear your ideas, thoughts and concerns. I encourage you to visit my website or check your local newspaper for my events and to come and participate.

As a citizen, your ability to be involved in representative government extends beyond voting on Election Day. Our government is constructed to be transparent and responsive to the people, but you cannot take advantage of this opportunity if you stay home, unheard.

The things I hear from you while home in Nebraska I take back with me to Washington. They influence how I approach issues -- what measures to support and oppose and how I encourage my Senate colleagues to do the same. My work in Washington is truly influenced by your insight.

This August, I'll meet with Nebraskans in Omaha, Lincoln, Pierce, Norfolk, Hastings, Red Cloud, Franklin, Alma, McCook, Trenton, Hayes Center, Curtis, Elwood, Ashland, Scottsbluff, Harrisburg, Kimball, Sidney, and Alliance. At virtually every stop I'll be hosting Community Coffees, open to anyone interested in attending, where I'll provide a brief update on current affairs, take questions and listen to comments.

We have many challenges lying ahead of us as a state and as a country. That's why it's so important to me to hear from you when I'm home. I hope to see you soon. If you can't join me, I invite you to visit my website at www.johanns.senate.gov and sign up for my e-updates.


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