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Congressman Smith updates area residents

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HARTINGTON — Third District Congressman Adrian Smith talked with three dozen area residents Monday about his national and international concerns, and asked them to share their opinions during a 90-minute listening session here.

Smith addressed everything from Afghanistan to infrastructure and Medicare, to border security, before opening the meeting up for questions.

The eight-term Republican said he hopes that “some sort of infrastructure bill gets passed.”

The U.S. Senate approved a $2 trillion infrastructure bill last week, which now moves to the House for its consideration. He is concerned, however, that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will get the bill bogged down with politics.

“Infrastructure is important,” he said, adding that he believes Broadband should be considered as a key component to the infrastructure bill.

He is also concerned there are too many legislators willing to make government pay for something that private enterprise has paid for in the past.

“Don't get me wrong. I believe rural Nebraska needs Broadband, but we’ve gotten this far with broadband because of private enterprise. I’m concerned about government getting involved in something that private enterprise has been willing to do on its own.”

Smith also expressed concern about some of President Biden’s policies, particularly Biden’s penchant for new taxes and tougher environmental laws.

“The president says he wants to undo everything we did in 2017,” Smith said, referring to corporate and personal tax cuts put in place by the Trump Administration. “I don’t think he really means that. I think it’s just a sound bite.”

That tax cut has been good for the country and its citizens, Smith said.

"It would be devastating for the country to lose that," he said.

Smith said the tax cuts have helped bring big business back to America's shores.

“In the 10 years prior to the tax reform bill, there were hundreds of companies that set up shop outside of our country,” he said, adding that the tax breaks brought many of these companies back to the U.S.

An increase in the Capital gains tax or the inheritance tax would also be bad for the country, Smith said.

“Any family-run business knows that having to sell off part of their assets just to pay the taxes, that leads to a company that is less viable,” he said. “I don’t think it’s right to have to take out a loan to pay the estate taxes.”

Smith said he believes it would be better to “leave these dollars in people’s own communities where they can be better used rather than sending that money to Washington."

"The federal govt. is not always the best solver of problems,” he said.

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