United States Sen. Deb Fischer says she takes into account constituent input before she makes a decision on the nominees of President Trump.
Fischer took incredible heat for her key vote to confirm Betsy DeVos as Education Secretary, both in Washington and in Nebraska.
She says she heard the critics and reviewed the comments that came to her office.
“But, ultimately, I am elected to then make a decision on how I will vote after taking all of this into consideration,” Fischer tells Nebraska reporters during a conference call.
Fischer says she voted for DeVos after gaining assurances from the nominee that she respected local control of education. Fischer acknowledges she received a lot of calls and emails about DeVos, though she declines to reveal how the input tilted.
Fischer says every nominee attracts strong reactions, pointing to the suspicions some Midwestern agricultural groups hold toward former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, nominated by Trump as Agriculture Secretary. They worry Perdue will be biased toward Southern agriculture and lacks and understanding of Midwestern agriculture. Fischer, though, says she has been convinced Perdue understands the big picture of the USDA’s role and that is what she looks for in a nominee.
Fischer says she considers every nominee individually and welcomes the constituent input, even if it runs counter to her vote.
“This is a way for people to express themselves and I believe that that’s important. It needs to be done respectfully,” Fischer says, adding that she hopes her staff treats constituents with respect, even if they disagree with the senator.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]