Friday, Sept. 7, 2018 | 3:13 p.m.
Vice President Mike Pence is spending the day in Las Vegas visiting Nellis Air Force Base with Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Laxalt and incumbent GOP Sen. Dean Heller.
Laxalt and Heller joined Pence on Air Force Two once it landed at Nellis and exited the plane with the vice president, shaking hands and posing for photos with service members on the tarmac.
Pence spoke to service members before heading to the Venetian to attend a Republican Governors Association event and a campaign stop with Laxalt, both closed to the media.
Heller, who is on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee and introduced Pence before he spoke, told airmen and veterans that he’s helped introduce or cosponsor 19 veterans bills that have become law. Both Heller and Pence said the Trump administration has approved the largest pay raise in roughly a decade for men and women in the armed forces.
“Sen. Heller stood with us every step of the way as we made these efforts in our national defense,” Pence said.
Pence said Nellis has “been the center of American national security for more than 75 years,” training the “best combat aviators in the world.”
“With this commander in chief, this White House will always have your back,” Pence said, drawing applause.
Heller is running for re-election against Democratic U.S. Rep. Jacky Rosen. Her campaign has criticized Heller for his mixed votes on repealing Obamacare.
Heller had said he did not support a repeal bill that would “pull the rug” out from under hundreds of thousands of Nevada residents.
The senator’s vote against Affordable Care Act repeal last year led Trump to question whether Heller wanted to remain a senator. Heller later voted in favor of one of the GOP’s failed efforts to repeal the act.
Both Heller and Pence pointed to efforts to improve health care services for veterans.
Heller said that under the Trump administration, mental health services for veterans have been expanded.
Pence pointed to the Veterans Choice Program, initiated under former Democratic President Barack Obama.
“Whether it’s fully funding our military, giving our service members the largest pay raise in the last 10 years, delivering reforms for the care of our veterans that they receive at the VA, it is clear that this administration, President Trump, Vice President Pence, are committed to supporting the men and women who answer our nation’s call,” Heller said.
Pence, Heller and Laxalt did not take questions from reporters.
Pence was later set to attend a closed campaign event for Laxalt, who is running for term-limited Gov. Brian Sandoval’s seat against Democratic Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak.
Pence is expected to be back in Washington, D.C., tonight.