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September 17, 2014

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Amber Phillips

Washington correspondent

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Story Archive

Northern Nevada lands bill passes House, heads to Senate
Monday, Sept. 15, 2014
A sweeping lands bill for Northern Nevada that had a bleak outlook just a few months ago passed the House of Representatives with unanimous support Monday. Thought for dead much of this year, legislation to create ...
Expect more attacks from Dems on billionaire Koch brothers
Monday, Sept. 15, 2014
In seven weeks, Nevada Sen. Harry Reid will know if he will still run the U.S. Senate. The campaign to control the Senate is the defining storyline of American politics in the Nov. 4 election, and Reid is ...
Don’t get duped by an inaccurate poll
Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014
It matters how survey questions are phrased and who is asking them.
Q+A: Voters’ guide for the District 2 election and Mark Amodei
Friday, Sept. 12, 2014
In the midst of news of a massive Tesla factory coming to Northern Nevada, the region’s voters will decide this fall whether to re-elect ...
Nevada lawmakers react to president’s plan on Islamic extremists
Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014
As President Barack Obama laid out his plan in a speech Wednesday to counter increasingly violent Islamic extremists, Nevada's congressional lawmakers listened carefully. Underscoring the gravity of the situation, their ...
Titus wants VA benefits for same-sex couples
Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014
The scandal surrounding care of veterans at VA hospitals in Phoenix and elsewhere may have faded from the headlines, but two Nevada lawmakers spent their first few days back in Congress pushing other veterans issues. Sen. Dean Heller and Rep. Dina Titus both ...
Senate Showdown: Congress is back in session — kind of
Monday, Sept. 8, 2014
In eight weeks, Nevada Sen. Harry Reid will know if he will still run the U.S. Senate ...
Congress returns today with goal of funding U.S. government, winning re-election
Monday, Sept. 8, 2014
Congress returns today after a five-week summer break, but lawmakers’ focus will be on politics over policy as they look ahead to the Nov. 4 midterm elections. Here’s what to expect ...
Senate minority frustrated by Reid’s leadership style
Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014
Harry Reid says Republicans are uncooperative in the Senate. GOP aides hope their message — that Reid is the one unwilling to work with their party — gains traction leading up to ...
What you need to know today about Nevada’s deal with Tesla
Friday, Sept. 5, 2014
It’s one of the largest tax-breaks-for-your-business deals in history. Gov. Brian Sandoval announced Thursday ...
Q+A: Voters’ guide for the District 1 election and Dina Titus
Friday, Sept. 5, 2014
District 1 is heavily Democratic. Democrat voters outnumber Republicans 2-to-1. Titus has served in Congress before, representing Henderson and Boulder City before the 2011 ...
What you need to know this morning about Nevada’s deal with Tesla
Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014
It’s the biggest economic news for Nevada since the 2008 recession. Tesla will build a $5 billion lithium ion battery factory in ...
Rep. Mark Amodei says leaders working to make Tesla look smart for picking Nevada
Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014
Tesla’s
Senate showdown: With 9 weeks until Election Day, Harry Reid will stay in national spotlight
Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014
Nine weeks from today, Nevada Sen. Harry Reid will know if he will still run the U.S. Senate. The campaign to control the Senate is the defining storyline of American politics in the Nov. 4 election ...
Titus: No easy solution to child migrant crisis
Friday, Aug. 29, 2014
After a two-day visit to the U.S.-Mexico border, Rep. Dina Titus says the humanitarian crisis of unaccompanied Central American minors coming into the United States through the southern border can’t easily be fixed ...
After attending Michael Brown’s funeral, Steven Horsford steps further into spotlight on race relations
Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014
Nevada U.S. Rep. Steven Horsford's decision to join political and black leaders on Monday for the funeral of Michael Brown — the unarmed black teenager shot and killed by a white police officer — is the latest sign that ...
Social media has had an impact on politics
Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014
Lawmakers take advantage of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to reach their constituents unfiltered.
Sen. Harry Reid upbeat about Democrats’ 2014 chances, less confident in Erin Bilbray, education initiative
Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014
Sen. Harry Reid, who runs the Democrats' political machine in Nevada and the U.S. Senate, remains upbeat about Democrats' chances in most, but not all, of the important races this fall. The Senate majority leader, in an interview today with the Las Vegas Sun, repeated ...
Congressional report card: The good, bad and incomplete of Nevada’s delegation
Sunday, Aug. 17, 2014
What went right for Nevada’s delegation? What went wrong? What’s yet to be done?
As Senate Republicans gain momentum, ‘Fire Harry Reid’ campaign grows louder
Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014
The strategy is to paint Reid, the Senate majority leader, as the boogeyman, especially for voters in Republican-leaning states with contested Senate races that could decide the future of the Senate, said Michael Short, an RNC spokesman. “He’s not a very popular figure, he’s ...
Mark Amodei finds new way to get work done amid congressional gridlock
Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014
In a political climate where getting a single bill passed in Congress can take years, one Nevada lawmaker thinks he’s found a workaround. Rep. Mark Amodei, a Northern Nevada Republican, has gotten yes votes ...
Democrats attack Rep. Joe Heck on immigration in Spanish-language ad
Monday, Aug. 4, 2014
Republican Rep. Joe Heck may have sided with Democrats on a contentious immigration vote Friday, but that hasn’t stopped Democrats from attacking him today. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, House Democrats' official campaign arm, is...
Married gay veterans’ next battle is for equal VA benefits
Sunday, Aug. 3, 2014
Don't ask, don't tell is over. And gay marriage — or civil unions, or domestic partnerships — is rapidly becoming legal throughout the country. So why is the Veterans Affairs Department "penalizing" gay soldiers who get married? Rep. Dina Titus, a Democrat from Las Vegas, is trying to get ...
Heck, Amodei defy party in vote to deport Dreamers
Friday, Aug. 1, 2014
Facing a contested re-election bid that is increasingly being framed around immigration, Rep. Joe Heck voted against a Republican bid to require the president to deport ...
Bilbray losing ground? Group says Heck ‘in an enviable position’
Friday, Aug. 1, 2014
One week after getting a shout out from Vice President Joe Biden and other Democratic stars, congressional candidate Erin Bilbray isn’t having the kind of success her campaign ...
Washington Memo: Horsford mocks Boehner, Titus gets a VA win and Heller fights NSA spying
Friday, Aug. 1, 2014
As Congress closes down today for a five-week break from legislating, lawmakers have little to show for their work. As it turned out, they were unable to ...
Northern Nevada lands bill gets new lease on life
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
A sweeping lands bill for Northern Nevada that had a bleak outlook in Congress just a few months ago suddenly has new life. Legislation to create up to 71,500 acres of wilderness and...
Sen. Heller’s views on gun background checks are more complex than you think
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
The conventional wisdom in Nevada politics is that Sen. Dean Heller doesn’t support expanding background checks for would-be gun owners. The reality may be more nuanced than that.
As Congress debates VA reform, Rep. Dina Titus spends long nights in committee hearings
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
While Congress works to to pass a VA reform bill, the House Veterans Affairs Committee has ramped up, going from once-a-week hearings on various veterans issues to ...
Rep. Mark Amodei’s bill shows Nevada needs Congress’ OK to do anything with its land
Friday, July 25, 2014
Much of Congress’ attention this week was on the Veterans Affairs Department, from picking its new leader to trying to agree on a health care reform bill before the August recess. Sen. Dean Heller, a Republican, voted with his ...
Dina Titus stands up for military working dogs
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
There are a lot of niche issues for lawmakers to champion in Congress. Rep. Dina Titus, a Las Vegas Democrat, chose a particularly fluffy one today. In between votes and media interviews, Titus...
In a flash, Sen. Dean Heller’s relatives become the cool kids on the Internet
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Being a United States Senator probably makes you the most famous person in your family, right? Not the case for ...
How does a bill become law in Washington? Follow Joe Heck’s case study
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Today, President Barack Obama is signing into law a bill modernizing the nation’s job training programs. A critical component of the bill can be traced back to Nevada’s Rep. Joe Heck ...
Washington Memo: Puppies, Slurpees and bipartisanship in Nevada’s delegation
Friday, July 18, 2014
Sen. Dean Heller bucked his party this week to support his colleague, Sen. Harry Reid. Heller was the only Republican ...
Heller cites ‘corporate incompetence’ at hearing over GM failures
Thursday, July 17, 2014
Sen. Dean Heller blasted what he called “corporate incompetence” at yet another congressional hearing examining how General Motors sold cars that could lose power at any moment, a fault linked to 13 deaths and thousands of crashes. “General Motors failed to understand...
The stories told by the candidates’ bank accounts
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
It’s that time of the campaign cycle when candidates are judged by how much money they’ve raised. Nevada’s congressional lawmakers — and hopeful congressional lawmakers— filed ...
Biden, DNC chair to campaign in Las Vegas for congressional hopeful
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Vice President Joe Biden will be in Las Vegas next week, in part to stump for congressional candidate Erin Bilbray. Bilbray’s campaign confirmed Biden would be a special guest at an …
Republican Dean Heller wants to extend unemployment benefits. Mark Amodei doesn’t. Here’s why.
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
In a rare feat of bipartisanship, Republicans and Democrats from Nevada’s six-person delegation have backed Heller’s effort to renew benefits for the long-term unemployed. ...
Dina Titus takes on Yucca, and Dean Heller grills NCAA president
Friday, July 11, 2014
Nevada's congressional delegation tried its best this week to strip federal funding for research to store the nation's nuclear waste in Nevada's Yucca Mountain, but it was a futile effort ...
Chances slim for law to blunt court’s ruling on contraceptives
Thursday, July 10, 2014
It’s got a catchy name, but a proposal by Senate Democrats to override a Supreme Court decision striking down part of a federal mandate requiring companies to provide women with birth control isn’t likely to become law anytime soon. The Not My Boss’ Business Act would guarantee...
Congress clears Henderson to buy, clean up toxic mine site
Thursday, July 10, 2014
An abandoned mine outside Henderson could go from toxic eyesore to residential high-rises after Congress approved the sale more than 900 acres of federal land to the city of Henderson. The Senate approved legislation Wednesday...
Steven Horsford, Darrell Issa and Congress’ most politicized committee
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
There’s a place in Congress where the nation’s biggest scandals get dissected. From questionable IRS scrutiny of conservative nonprofits to the 2012 killings of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is on it. And Nevada’s Democratic Rep. Steven Horsford is right in the middle ...
On America’s birthday, Congress takes a break, and it’s a sign of how Washington works
Thursday, July 3, 2014
It’s America’s birthday week, but the country’s most recognizable landmark is empty. The marbled halls of Congress, normally bustling with striding, suited lawmakers and their harried aides ...
Harry Reid: Court’s ruling jeopardizes access to essential health care
Monday, June 30, 2014
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Congress will have to pick up where the Supreme Court left off after the court ruled that employers don’t have to provide contraceptives to their employees. “If the Supreme Court will not...
Conditions for young, detained immigrants are humanitarian crisis, Horsford says
Saturday, June 28, 2014
Horsford toured a southern Texas detention facility Saturday and was appalled by what he saw: About 50 children crowd into bedroom-size cells, where they sleep on concrete floors ...
Washington memo: Rep. Joe Heck’s big week
Friday, June 27, 2014
Rep. Joe Heck probably had the Nevada delegation’s most successful week in Congress, and Sen. Dean Heller continued his fight to extend unemployment benefits for ...
Democrats lean on House to pass immigration reform
Thursday, June 26, 2014
Congressional Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., renewed their calls today for House Republicans to take up immigration reform. “Republicans are the reason we haven’t been able to do immigration reform,” Reid said at...
In a rare swing district, Republican Rep. Joe Heck faces test from Democrat Erin Bilbray
Thursday, June 26, 2014
In a relatively quiet Nevada election year, the race to represent Henderson and Boulder City in Congress will be big and bitter in one of America’s last true swing districts in the U.S. House of Representatives. Republican incumbent Rep. Joe Heck is ...
Congress passes bill to help retrain workers
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Congress approved a bill today to modernize workforce development programs, which in Nevada help train job-seekers for new industries and provide educational opportunities for workers. Congress last addressed workforce programs...
Heck holds hearing on benefits denied to Filipino-American veterans
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
When Congress acts to right a wrong, sometimes it doesn’t do a very good job. Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev., would argue that’s the case with regard to...

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