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Republicans vote for the 38th time to repeal the Affordable Care Act

19 July 2013

LINCOLN --  This week Democrats on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce released new reports showing how the Affordable Care Act is already benefitting Americans. While the Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted for the 38th time to repeal or dismantle the Affordable Care Act yesterday, President Obama explained in remarks earlier today - and these reports show - how middle class families are benefiting. Millions are receiving rebate checks from their insurance companies, children are benefitting from being able to stay on their parents’ insurance plan until they are 26, seniors are saving hundreds of dollars per person on prescription drug costs, and individuals are now benefiting from free preventive care services.
Nebraska Democratic Party State Chair Vince Powers released the following statement on the Affordable Care Act and House Republicans’ attempts to repeal it:
“During a week in which the Republican-controlled House voted for the 38th time to get rid of the Affordable Care Act, they can’t hide from the fact that millions of Americans are already benefiting from the law. Instead of working with President Obama and Democrats to make sure this historic health insurance reform provides better benefits and lowers costs, Republicans chose yet again to turn back the clock on middle class families.
“Make no mistake, Republicans’ real goal is to return to the days of letting seniors pay more for prescription drugs, forcing kids off of their parents insurance plans before they turn 26, and denying people coverage because of a pre-existing condition. It’s time Republicans stop playing partisan games and start working on legislation that will actually help working Americans.  They need to stop standing with insurance companies and start standing with Nebraskans.”
You can read the House Energy & Commerce Democratic reports here.


Nebraska Democratic Party Statement In Support of President Obama’s Plan to Combat Climate Change

25 June 2013

LINCOLN – The Nebraska Democratic Party released the following statement in support of President Obama’s plan to combat climate change:

“As Nebraskans, we know we are stewards of the earth and have a moral obligation to leave our children a planet that’s not polluted or damaged.  We applaud President Obama’s plan announced today that takes an all-of-the-above approach to begin to slow the effects of climate change.

“We know that no single step can reverse the effects of climate change, which is why we need a comprehensive approach to meet this challenge head-on.  The President’s plan will cut carbon pollution in America, prepare the United States for the impacts of climate change, and will help us lead international efforts to address global climate change. It will do so in a way that helps develop homegrown energy, protect our children’s health, and foster innovation among America’s entrepreneurs. 

“Nebraskans know that this is one of the major challenges of our time and that now is the time to act. Under the President’s leadership, we have increased the efficiency of our cars and household appliances. The President’s plan will build on those successes to help Nebraska families cut energy waste and lower their gas and utility bills. In Nebraska, we look forward to working with the President to meet the challenge of climate change in a way that advances our economy, our environment and public health.  We applaud the President for speaking out on this important issue, and recommit ourselves to advancing efforts to slow down climate change for the sake of our planet and future generations.”



On 50th Anniversary of Equal Pay Act, Congressman Terry Remains Stuck in Extreme, Anti-Woman Ideology 

10 June 2013

On 50th Anniversary of Equal Pay Act, Congressman Terry Remains Stuck in Extreme, Anti-Woman Ideology 

Today the nation will celebrate the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy signing the Equal Pay Act – landmark legislation that served as a first step toward guaranteeing American women equal pay for equal work. But Congressman Lee Terry and House Republicans continue to stand in the way of fundamental progress by blocking the Paycheck Fairness Act.


Women still make only 77 cents for every dollar that men earn, and the Paycheck Fairness Act would make much-needed progress toward erasing that disparity by closing loopholes and imposing effective, strict penalties on employers who discriminate based on gender. Congressman Terry and his House Republicans refuse to even vote on this legislation.


“It is just as wrong today as it was in 1963 for women to earn less than men for the same work, but instead of working to solve the problem, Congressman Terry is stuck in an extreme ideology that will block any progress,” said Emily Bittner of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “Congressman Terry and his House Republican leaders must stop obstructing the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would put more money in the pockets of middle class families. The women of Nebraska deserve a representative who will stand up for their equality in the workplace, not one like Congressman Terry who stands in the way because of extreme ideology and an anti-woman agenda.”




Congressman Terry voted against considering the Paycheck Fairness Act. [H Res 198, Vote #132, 5/07/13]

Gubernatorial Candidate Conspicuously Missing

30 May 2013
Untitled Document

Thursday, May 30, 2013
CONTACT:  Dennis Crawford
(402) 466-3040,

Gubernatorial Candidate Conspicuously Missing


LINCOLN—On Tuesday the Nebraska Legislature showed its independence from the Executive branch by overriding approximately half of the Governor’s line-item vetoes. But there was one State Senator that chose not to take part in the process; Charlie Janssen. Senator Janssen was present for the morning proceedings but did not return after lunch for the important veto override votes. This on top of his vote against $230 million in property tax relief for Nebraska families. Does the state of Nebraska really want a Governor who won’t tackle the big issues?

These are the issues Senator Janssen did not want to take a stand on:

  • funding for the University of Nebraska Nursing School in Lincoln
  • funding for the Omaha Area Learning Community
  • funding for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund
  • funding for Public Advocacy Legal Aid and Services Fund
  • funding for the Dept. of Roads public transit aid
  • funding for Court Appointed Special Advocates and salary increases for county court employees
  • funding for the Homeless Shelter Assistance Fund
  • funding for the Nebraska History Museum renovations
  • funding for Postsecondary Coordinating Commission data analyst position
  • funding for Capitol improvements
  • funding for Dental Services Aid
  • funding for the Dept. of Health and Human Services dental health director




Nebraska Democrats' Statement on Johanns' Announcement

18 February 2013

LINCOLN - Today U.S. Senator Mike Johanns announced he will not seek re-election in 2014.

"The Nebraska Democratic Party wishes Senator Johanns the best of luck in his upcoming endeavors," said Vince Powers, Nebraska Democratic Party State Chair. "With Johanns' retirement, the Nebraska Republican Party continues to define their future by skewing even more to the right thanks to State Senator Charlie Janssen's announcement today that he will run for Governor in 2014 and Governor Heineman stalling his ill-conceived tax plan to hurt Nebraska's middle class."



Lack of Leadership from Nebraska Republicans

31 December 2012

LINCOLN- The Nebraska Democratic Party released the following statement:

The decision by House Republicans to not vote on any Senate compromise to prevent taxes going up on Americans means that House Republicans, Fortenberry, Terry and Smith and the rest of House GOP say to America:

"We only care about millionaires and billionaires"

Since Fortenberry, Terry and Smith have punted on the fiscal cliff issues, they should have had time to come up with common sense gun safety ideas.

Nebraskans have been waiting over five years since the Von Maur shooting for these representatives to attempt to protect Americans. Nebraska awaits their ideas.




Mayoral Candidate Welch Goes Down In Flames

13 December 2012

LINCOLN- Yesterday, Dan Welch, candidate for Mayor, in discussing the fire contract stated, "Union folks will put in provisions we don't understand that will cost us money in the future."

The Nebraska Democratic Party issued the following statement:

"The Nebraska Democratic Party Chair Vince Powers agrees with Mr. Welch that he and other challengers to Mayor Suttle can't even understand a contract."


Mr. Welch's statement appears on OWH: Luncheon fans flames in fire contract talks



Nebraska Democratic Party Statement on Johann's Vote on UN Treaty for Disabled Rights

10 December 2012
Last Week, US Senator Mike Johanns voted last week against the ratification of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities. In making this vote, Senator Johanns turned his back on some of our most vulnerable citizens.

LINCOLN- Last Week, US Senator Mike Johanns voted last week against the ratification of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities. In making this vote, Senator Johanns turned his back on some of our most vulnerable citizens.

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, negotiated under President George W. Bush and signed by more than 150 nations, takes a stand against "discrimination on the basis of disability and in favor of respect for inherent dignity." This treaty was modeled after the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990, which was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush.

The Senate rejected the Disabilities Treaty with a final vote of sixty-one to thirty-eight but it fell short of the two-thirds vote necessary for ratification. Former Senate Majority Leader and GOP Presidential nominee Bob Dole made a dramatic Senate appearance, sitting in a wheelchair just off the floor so that members would have to see him as they entered the chamber to vote. Eight Republicans broke ranks joining Senator Ben Nelson and rest of the Democrats in supporting the treaty, but the clear majority of the Senate GOP voted to block it.

"In voting against this humanitarian treaty, Johanns took the position of the most radical members of his party," said Nebraska Democratic Party State Chair Vince Powers. "Such party leaders as Senators John McCain and Richard Lugar supported the treaty but Senator Johanns was content to allow his vote to be influenced by the likes of Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. Senator Johanns should know better than to take his cues from the Right Wing Media which is more interested in higher ratings and profits than the responsible governance of this country."


NDP Chair-Elect Vince Powers Responds to GOP Chair's Attack of Nation's Most Decorated Navy Seal

13 September 2012
Nebraska GOP Chair Launches Disgraceful Attack on Medal of Honor Recipient and Republican Kerrey Supporter

LINCOLN - Nebraska GOP Chair Mark Fahleson took to Twitter this week to launch a shameful attack on Medal of Honor recipient Mike Thornton, the nation's most decorated Navy SEAL and a Republican supporter of Senator Bob Kerrey.

Fahleson tweeted "More signs #nesen is over: @kerreybob telling carpetbagger stories on Facebook and campaigning with a Texan."

The "Texan" Fahleson is referring to is Medal of Honor recipient Mike Thornton.

"Mr. Fahleson's attack on Mike Thornton is beyond the boundaries of legitimate political discourse," NDP Chair-Elect Vince Powers said. "Mike Thornton is a national hero and the most decorated Navy Seal in the country. He has earned the right to back whatever candidate he chooses. Fahleson should be thanking Mike Thornton for his service to our country, not insulting him."

Thornton, a Republican, came to Nebraska this week to offer his support for Senator Kerrey and to tell Nebraskans why he should be elected to the Senate.

"Bob has been to war," Thornton told the Lincoln Journal Star. "He understands the military and the sacrifices. He understands what our veterans need and deserve."

Thornton told the Omaha World Herald that Senator Kerrey is a "warrior."

"Senator Kerrey has the support of people across the political spectrum because they know he is the kind of person that puts country first," Powers said. "This is an inconvenient truth for Nebraska Republican Party leaders, but it does not excuse their shameful attack on the most decorated Navy SEAL in the nation."

Thornton's most prestigious decoration was bestowed for heroic actions on his last tour of duty in Vietnam, which resulted in saving the life of a fellow SEAL.
Lieutenant Thornton's personal decorations include:

- The Congressional Medal of Honor
- Silver Star
- (3) Bronze Star Medals with Combat "V"
- Purple Heart
- Meritorious Service Medal
- (3) Navy Commendation Medals with Combat "V"
- Navy Achievement Medal
- The Combat Action Ribbon with Gold Star
- The Vietnamese Service Medal with one Silver Star and
- Two Bronze Stars
- Numerous unit citations

In May 1992, Lieutenant Thornton retired, being the last Congressional Medal of Honor recipient serving on active duty in the Navy.

Read more about Lieutenant Thornton here:



Fischer Attempts to Distance Herself From Palin

6 August 2012
Fischer claims her politics differ from Palin's, but offers no examples

LINCOLN-- Sarah Palin made an unscheduled drop-in to Omaha this weekend to visit with Deb Fischer. The two women met for the first time, and Palin noted about Fischer, "I love her common sense. I love her passion for sound policy." In May of this year, Sarah Palin endorsed Deb Fischer in Nebraska's Republican Primary after Fischer wrote to Palin requesting her support as "a fellow female Republican" and strong conservative. In Sunday's Omaha World Herald article about the Palin-Fischer meeting, Fischer's spokesperson denied that his candidate is tightly aligned with Palin's political philosophy.

"Deb Fischer now wants Nebraskans to believe she's not a student of her mentor Sarah Palin," said Vince Powers, Nebraska Democratic Party's National Committeeman and Chair-elect. "If there's a contrast between Fischer and Palin, then Deb Fischer needs to tell Nebraskans which of Sarah Palin's positions she disagrees with and which positions she supports. The two Tea Partiers do have one sharp contrast. Palin claims she wants to end government subsidies and Fischer plans to keep her big money government handout, available to a select few."