Thursday, April 5, 2018 | 12:33 p.m.
U.S. Rep. Jacky Rosen told Las Vegas business leaders today that her priorities included obtaining funding for Interstate 11, blocking any attempt to resurrect the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository and spearheading legislation to promote the growth of small technology businesses.
During a Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting, Rosen, a Democrat, said it was “absolutely ridiculous” that Las Vegas and Phoenix still haven’t been connected by an interstate and urged audience members to maintain pressure on local, state and congressional leaders in Nevada and Arizona to obtain funding for the project.
“We think that is holding us back, so we’re going to continue to fight for our fair share of funding so I-11 can continue as planned,” she said.
Rosen, who was elected in 2016 to Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District seat, touted her efforts to beat back lawmakers seeking to restart development of the Yucca Mountain project, which obtained no funding in the omnibus spending bill passed by Congress last month.
On tech jobs, she said she planned to introduce a bill this year providing tax credits for tech research and development startups to add employees to their workforces. The tax package also would include credits for angel investors providing up to $500,000 in capital, she said.
For Rosen, who is vying to unseat U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., such infrastructure and jobs initiatives will be key selling points to voters in what is expected to be one of the most contentious races in this year’s midterms.
With Nevada having voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016, national Democrats believe the race offers one of their best opportunities to flip a seat in the Senate.
The race has already drawn dueling accusations of misconduct, including a complaint filed by the Nevada Republican Party with the Federal Election Commission alleging that Rosen hadn’t paid a law firm that represented her in a defamation lawsuit filed by Danny Tarkanian, her GOP opponent in 2016.
Rosen’s campaign said the services had been paid for and reported to the FEC.
Heller had been expected to face a heated primary battle against Tarkanian, who announced last year that he would seek the Senate seat, but President Donald Trump gave Heller a boost last month by encouraging Tarkanian to instead vie for the House. Tarkanian followed Trump’s direction and dropped out of the Senate race, filing instead as a candidate for the 3rd Congressional District.
In the last quarter of 2018, Rosen raised $1.5 million to Heller’s $823,721. Coming out of 2018, however, Heller had amassed a total of $4.2 million to Rosen’s $1.8 million.
Although Rosen didn’t address Heller this morning, she did take swipes at the Trump administration and congressional Republican leaders. Among them, she said the Trump administration’s new tariffs had already produced unintended consequences that could prove damaging for American businesses.
She said China’s retaliatory tariff on U.S. soybeans, the top U.S. agriculture import to China, had left farmers “really distressed” about how to adjust. Futures on soybeans immediately fell 5 percent when the China tariff was announced.
She said she wasn’t opposed to tariffs but that a more measured, thoughtful approach was needed.
“You can’t win a trade war by tweet,” she said.