August 3, 2015

Congress has much to consider in weight Iran nuclear deal (AUDIO)

Congressman Jeff Fortenberry

Congressman Jeff Fortenberry

Congressman Jeff Fortenberry sees promise as well as peril in the nuclear agreement reached with Iran.

Fortenberry says the Obama Administration has been pushing hard for Congressional approval of the nuclear agreement reached with Iran. Secretary of State John Kerry has led the push, speaking before Congressional committees and even behind closed doors about the deal.

Hundreds of pages of documents have been delivered to members of Congress who have a couple of months to complete their review and vote on the agreement.

The agreement was announced in Vienna, a result of 18 months of negotiations between Iran and a coalition led by the United States which included Great Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and China.

Fortenberry says there are positive aspects of the agreement, but they carry great risk.

“The ultimate question for Congress to seriously debate and deliberate on is whether or not this agreement pulls us enough back from the nuclear threshold as to justify, in effect, giving them legitimacy as a nuclear-threshold state,” Fortenberry tells Kevin Thomas, host of Drive Time Lincoln on Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN. “That is a serious tradeoff”

Fortenberry says if the answer is “yes” then the agreement should be approved…if concerns remain that it doesn’t, it should be rejected.

AUDIO:  Brent Martin reports [:45]

Colorado woman charged in fiery fatal crash on I-80 in Nebraska

Police-car-lights[1]A Colorado woman has been charged in a fiery fatal crash on Interstate 80.

The Nebraska State Patrol says 36-year-old Laura Foster has been charged with motor vehicle homicide and driving while intoxicated in the wreck in west-central Nebraska.

According to NSP, 43-year-old Angela Miller of Ravenna died in the crash.

NRP reports Miller was traveling east on I-80 near Paxton when her pick-up was rear-ended by an SUV driven by Foster. Miller lost control of the pick-up, it crossed the median and ran onto the westbound lane of traffic, crashing into a semi tractor-trailer carrying hazardous material. The tanker burst into flames.

A hazardous materials crew had to clean up the mess.

The patrol closed I-80 between Paxton and Sutherland for a time Thursday night due to smoke from the burning semi.

Brent Weithorn, KXPN, contributed to this report.


Congressman Fortenberry calls for suspension of money for Planned Parenthood

Congressman Jeff Fortenberry

Congressman Jeff Fortenberry

Congressman Jeff Fortenberry says federal funding for Planned Parenthood should be suspended while Congress investigates videos released by an anti-abortion group.

A fourth video has been released by the Center for Medical Progress in which it appears a Planned Parenthood officials discusses the trafficking of fetal tissue and organs after abortions.

Fortenberry says Planned Parenthood has carefully cultivated an image of providing women health care.

“Now the façade has come down,” Fortenberry tells Kevin Thomas, host of Drive Time Lincoln on Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN. “The gruesome realities of this organization are exposed. It is sickening. It is shameful. And this is a taxpayer-funded organization, by the way, to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars and that doesn’t even count what they receive through various affiliates and associates in overseas monies.”

The selling of fetal tissue and organs from abortions is illegal. Planned Parenthood insists it has not broken the law and has stayed within federal statutes.

Fortenberry says federal funding for Planned Parenthood should be suspended while Congress investigates whether that is true.

“But there is a deeper issue here of really what this organization has stood for in the past and why we continue as Americans to not really work hard to heal the past,” according to Fortenberry. “Everyone out there, everyone is affected in some way or another by the painful reality of abortion. But the selling of unborn baby parts brings this to a gruesome level that should awaken the conscience of the entire nation.”

Fortenberry rejects the notion that if Planned Parenthood doesn’t receive federal money, women won’t receive medical care.

“As a matter of first principle, abortion is not health care,” Fortenberry responds. “This organization is completely entangled in profiting in the profitable industry of abortion and that’s the reality.”

Fortenberry says Congress needs to investigate, but the nation needs to reflect.

“As gruesome and sickening as this is, the reality is it makes us confront something that we all want to push off to the side and just sanitize and not deal with.”

Export-Import Bank revival could become part of highway bill

Congressman Adrian Smith

Congressman Adrian Smith

The fate of the Export-Import Bank could be tied to a long-term transportation bill.

The Senate included reviving the bank in its six-year $350 billion highway bill that will not be taken up by the House until September.

Congressman Adrian Smith says if the Export-Import Bank is to be revived, it should undergo change.

“Bare minimum: there needs to be significant reforms in Ex-Im,” according to Smith. “So far, I don’t have a lot of colleagues who resist that notion.”

The Export-Import Bank provides low-interest loans to help U.S. agriculture and companies to sell their goods and services overseas. Its charter expired at the end of June.

Smith says the future of the bank is uncertain.

“Yes, it has officially expired and yet there are some contracts still in place that will last some time, protecting us, some of the exporters as well. I would hope that we can find some solutions, though,” Smith says.

Sen. Deb Fischer voted for the Senate transportation package, but not for the amendment that added revival of the Export-Import Bank to it.

“I did not vote for that amendment that passed and was attached to the bill, but this is a case when you have two houses in Congress, it offers those opportunities that if the House doesn’t want it in the House won’t put it in,” Fischer says.

Highway funding has been extended for three months as the House and Senate negotiate differences in the transportation bill.

Florida woman who drowned puppy in airport restroom sentenced

A Florida woman accused of drowning a 3-week-old puppy in the restroom of a central Nebraska airport has been placed on probation for two years.

57-year-old Cynthia Anderson of Edgewater apologized and pleaded for mercy during her court appearance in Hall County in Grand Island Thursday.

In May, Anderson pleaded no contest to a charge of cruel neglect of an animal resulting in its death.

The Central Nebraska Regional Airport in Grand Island stopped Anderson from boarding a flight on January 23rd, because the puppy was not in a proper container. Authorities say Anderson was seen entering the restroom. Another woman later reported finding the carcass of the Doberman puppy in a toilet.