Thursday, March 28, 2013 | 6:43 p.m.
Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., called for pragmatic, reasonable solutions to problems facing the nation and Nevada in a speech he delivered to the state Legislature Thursday evening.
The first-term Republican from Carson City peppered his speech with 13 uses of the word “basic,” 11 mentions of the word “reasonable,” and six uses of the phrase “common-sense.”
He disparaged the partisan atmosphere in D.C. and called for a “no labels” approach to governance.
“We’re a No Labels family, living in a No Labels city, from a No Labels state,” he said, noting his participation in a bipartisan group of legislators called “No Labels.”.
Heller called for “common ground” on divisive issues such as immigration reform and gun control. The last word of his speech was “together.”
Unlike Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., who gave a speech to the Legislature earlier this year, Heller did not call for the Legislature to address any particular policy issues.
The 52-year-old Republican instead chose to speak broadly about bipartisanship and his hopes that Nevada’s Legislature could work in a more bipartisan nature than Congress.
“It comes down to reasonable government, reasonable regulations, and reasonable tax measures,” he said. “That’s the kind of governing that our nation needs, and it’s what Nevada needs.”
Reflecting a shift toward the center, Heller called both recently released Democratic and Republican federal budget proposals “highly partisan” and unlikely to gain wide support.
Heller also used his speech to trumpet recent actions and accomplishments such as his “No Budget No Pay” Act and his recent calls for more support for veterans and faster processing of veterans’ medical claims, some of which can take up to two years to be processed.
“Sometimes, veterans are receiving multiple apology letters from the VA before the claim is processed,” he said. “I am committed to continuing to advocate for Nevada veterans on this issue.”
After his speech, he received a basket of Easter eggs full of the stories of immigrants from Astrid Silva, with Dream Big Vegas and the Progressive Leadership Alliance Network. It was part of a campaign called “Keeping Families Together.”