Posts Tagged ‘Rep. Joe Heck’

Nevada’s GOP Congressional Delegation Spending Time With Constituents, Family, During Convention

By Sean Whaley | 11:36 am August 27th, 2012

CARSON CITY – As GOP Gov. Brian Sandoval prepares to deliver remarks in Tampa at the Republican National Convention tomorrow, the three GOP members of Nevada’s Congressional delegation are staying close to home.

U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, who is facing a tough election battle against Rep. Shelley Berkley, will still be following the convention from afar, however.

Heller will be in Las Vegas later today to attend a Team Nevada Convention Watch party.

Rep. Mark Amodei, representing Nevada’s 2nd Congressional District, will be spending the week attending events and meeting with constituents across northern Nevada, from the capital to Minden, Lovelock, Winnemucca and Elko.

Rep. Joe Heck, representing the 3rd Congressional District, is taking some time with his family after spending the past three weeks meeting with constituents and fulfilling his mandatory military duty.

As the GOP convention gets under way with the threat of Tropical Storm Isaac diminishing for Florida, Gov. Mitt Romney had no public events scheduled today. His vice presidential candidate, Rep. Paul Ryan, was campaigning in his hometown in Wisconsin. Ryan attended a Republican National Convention send-off Victory rally at Joseph A. Craig High School in Janesville.

Also today, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus unveiled a national debt clock mounted inside the convention hall of the Tampa Bay Times Forum to reinforce the “desperate need” for new fiscal leadership in the White House.

Sandoval’s brief speech at the convention is now set for 6 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time tomorrow after being rescheduled from today because of the threat from Isaac. Sandoval is expected to highlight the importance of protecting the American Dream for future generations along with the Gov. Romney’s own American success story.


Sen. Heller Gets National, Local Chamber Endorsement As Rep. Berkley Touts Her Own Business Support

By Sean Whaley | 2:57 pm August 9th, 2012

SPARKS – U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., showed up at a Sparks floral shop today to receive the endorsement of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in his reelection bid against Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev.

The national endorsement was made by former U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, who said the choice was clear for the organization.

“This is a time, as you all know, of great contrast in politics,” said Spellings, president of the U.S. Chamber’s Forum for Policy Innovation. “These are not close calls; these are not tough calls, these endorsements. People who support business do so proudly and we are proud and honored to support them. While a lot of people talk a good game, it’s pretty easy to decide who is pro-business around here.”

Sen. Dean Heller speaks in Sparks after being endorsed by the U.S. and Reno-area Chambers of Commerce with Tray Abney and Margaret Spellings looking on. / Photo: Nevada News Bureau.

Spellings, who served as U.S. Secretary of Education from 2005 to 2009, said Heller’s leadership on pro-growth policies, including American energy production, removing regulatory barriers for small business growth and reining in government spending, is what will get the nation’s economy back on track.

The Berkley campaign at the same time announced support from business leaders for her Senate campaign, including Republican businesswoman Maggie Arias Petrel of Las Vegas.

“Shelley has consistently supported small businesses in our community by voting for legislation like the Small Business Jobs Act, which provided incentives to get small businesses to start hiring again,” Petrel said in a release from the campaign. “We need Shelley to keep fighting for Nevada businesses in the years to come as a U.S. Senator.”

The Chamber of Reno, Sparks and Northern Nevada announced its endorsement of Heller at the same time at the Sparks Florist, despite not having interviewed Berkley first.

Tray Abney, director of government affairs for the regional chamber, representing 2,500 member businesses, said the group decided to endorse Heller because of his past support for pro-business policies. The chamber had expected Berkley to speak to the group during the August recess, but had not heard from her through today, he said.

Abney criticized Berkley, saying she is a “reliable vote for higher taxes, she’s a reliable vote for big government, she’s a reliable vote for making your energy costs more expensive.”

Berkley’s vote for the Affordable Care Act, for example, will lead to increased health insurance costs for small business, he said.

Tony Fiannaca, owner of Sparks Florist, also spoke in support of Heller, noting his family-run business that employs 40 people was built without government support.

Heller took the opportunity to criticize Berkley for voting for “cap and trade,” which he said would cost 50,000 jobs in Nevada.

The American Clean Energy and Security Act would allow the government to set a cap on the total amount of greenhouse gases that could be emitted nationally. Companies would then buy or sell permits to emit the gases, primarily carbon dioxide.

“In this Congressional District here, I knew we would lose 15,000 jobs and for that reason I voted against it,” Heller said. “Who in their right mind in Washington, DC, believes, that when presented an option of actually voting against your own constituents; losing jobs in this economy; would actually vote for it.”

He also criticized Berkley for her support of President Obama’s proposal to end the Bush tax cuts for individuals making $200,000 or more and couples making $250,000 or more.

Pam duPré, executive director of the Washoe County Democratic Party, offered a different perspective, saying Berkley has been a friend to business throughout her political career.

Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev.

“One good example is the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010,” she said. “It created $30 billion in capital for community banks to lend to small businesses to help them grow and create jobs. Republican Governor Brian Sandoval applauded the bill saying it would help create jobs in Nevada.”

Four Nevada banks used the funds in 32 locations, duPré said.

Heller voted against the measure, calling it “another bank bailout.”

But so did then-Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., who lost to Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev., in the 2010 general election. Titus told the Nevada NewsMakers television show in April 2012 that she too was concerned it was a bank bailout. Titus is now running for the 1st Congressional seat in Las Vegas.

The Wall Street Journal reported in March 2011 that critics of the fund said some banks were applying for money to refinance outstanding government debt rather than to boost their small-business lending.

DuPré said the chamber “perhaps” could have done more research before making the endorsement.

“Shelley Berkley has always been a strong supporter of small businesses,” she said. “The choice really is very clear. Shelley supports giving small businesses the tools they need to grow and prosper and create jobs here in the United States. Dean Heller continues to support tax breaks for corporations so they can ship their jobs over seas and he continues to support tax breaks for big oil companies.”


Audio clips:

U.S. Chamber spokeswoman Margaret Spellings says the choice is clear in the Nevada Senate race:

080912Spellings1 :24 pro-business around here.”

Spellings says Heller favors policies that will get the nation’s economy back on track:

080912Spellings2 :15 back on track.”

Tray Abney of the Reno area chamber says Berkley is not a friend to small business:

080912Abney :10 costs more expensive.”

Sen. Dean Heller says Berkley voted for cap and trade, which would cost 50,000 jobs in Nevada:

080912Heller :17 vote for it.”

Washoe County Democratic Party Executive Director Pam duPré says Berkley voted for the Small Business Jobs Act, which Heller opposed:

080912Drum1 :27 against that bill.”

DuPré says Heller supports tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas:

080912Drum2 :24 big oil companies.”



Presidential Race Gets Local Focus As Obama, Romney Supporters Weigh In On Jobs, Deficit

By Sean Whaley | 2:50 pm May 15th, 2012

CARSON CITY – While Mitt Romney and Barack Obama were campaigning elsewhere today, Nevada Democrats and Republicans took up the battle for the presidency on their behalf.

Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev., held a telephone conference call to talk up Romney’s credentials as a “turnaround specialist” who will get the country back on track. He also criticized Obama for failing to get spending or the national deficit under control as he promised early on in his presidency.

Mitt Romney speaks at a rally in Reno in February. / Nevada News Bureau file photo.

Nevada labor officials, meanwhile, attacked Romney’s business practices while with Bain Capital, a private equity firm he headed that has been criticized for cutting jobs.

As the Las Vegas Sun reported today, between 2000 and 2002, Stage Stores, a clothing chain, shut down three stores in rural Nevada as part of a bankruptcy. The stores’ closures came after Bain Capital had sold off its interest in the company in 1999.

Romney’s time at Bain Capital and his jobs record is the subject of a new ad by the Obama campaign.

In a Reno press conference featuring Todd Koch, president of the Northern Nevada Central Labor Council, Romney’s economic philosophy was defined as: “CEOs and wealthy investors prosper by any means necessary – even when it means companies fail and workers get left behind.”

“No one here today is challenging Romney’s right to run his business as he saw fit,” Koch said. “However, this is about whether the lessons and values Romney drew from his time as a buyout specialist are the right lessons and values we want in our president. In deal after deal, Romney and his partners’ first priority was to make a personal profit regardless of the cost to others.”

Paul McKenzie, secretary treasurer of the Northern Nevada Building Trades Association, said: “The bottom line here is that Stage Store’s workers really lost out, and Romney and his partners did not. This was the quintessential case of two different sets of rules, and that’s not the kind of economy we want. Romney economics aren’t a prescription for a stronger economy and they aren’t a prescription for a stronger country.”

In his remarks, Heck said Obama’s recent comments on same sex marriage are an example of a campaign effort to avoid the real issue, which is the national debt.

“Unfortunately President Obama has no rationale to offer for his own reelection, and no record of achievement to run on in the area of debt and deficit. All he has is a record of broken promises,” Heck said. “As Mitt Romney said it’s still the economy, and we are not stupid.

“You probably remember that when he first was elected he pledged to cut the deficit in half, stating that if he was unsuccessful that this would be a one-term proposition,” Heck said. “Well instead, we’re on track to have the fourth, greater than a trillion dollar deficit this year, all under this president’s administration.”

Obama was actually referencing the economy when he made the one-term proposition comment in February 2009. But he also promised to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term.

President Obama in Reno on Friday. / Nevada News Bureau file photo.

Heck said Romney’s record of accomplishments in business, creating a successful Salt Lake City Olympics and cutting spending as the governor of Massachusetts makes him one of the most qualified candidates for president in modern history.

“This country needs a turnaround specialist, and Mitt Romney’s career has been about taking things that are failing, and turning them around, and making them successful,” he said.

Romney will simplify the tax code and cut corporate tax rates to bring business and manufacturing back to the U.S., Heck said.

In response to a question, Heck addressed Romney’s time at Bain Capital and the fact that there were some job losses.

“There will be some pain and suffering in trying to turn around the economy,” he said. “And while there may have been some jobs lost during some of those reorganizations of companies that Gov. Romney brought back from the brink, the ultimate end point was that there was a creation of more jobs than jobs actually lost,” he said. “Now those jobs may have been in a different area, and certainly that is no consolation to the person who lost the job in their home town if the job was created somewhere else.”

But he pointed to Romney’s successes with the retailers Staples and Sports Authority.

Nevada lost more than 70,000 construction jobs in the current downturn, and many of those workers have left the state and are not likely to return, Heck said.

“And that’s part of the process in trying to turn around the economy,” he said. “And I think that is what we’re going to see nationally as we try to stimulate our economy and go back to a pro-job growth economic outlook.”


Audio clips:

Rep. Joe Heck says Obama has failed to address the federal deficit:

051512Heck1 :24 are not stupid.”

Heck says Obama promised early on in his term to cut the deficit:

051512Heck2 :20 this president’s administration.”

Heck says Romney’s time at Bain Capital resulted in more jobs created than lost:

051512Heck3 :27 created somewhere else.”

Rep. Joe Heck Joins With Sen. Dean Heller In Opposing Federal Legislation To Require Online Sales Tax Collections

By Sean Whaley | 7:24 pm May 14th, 2012

CARSON CITY – Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev., said today he agrees with his congressional colleague in opposing federal legislation requiring online merchants to levy sales taxes on purchases.

Heck, interviewed on the Face To Face television program, said he agrees with U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., in opposing such legislation in Congress.

Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev.

The question of internet taxation has become an issue in Nevada with Gov. Brian Sandoval’s recent agreement with online retailing giant Amazon to begin collecting Nevada sales tax on purchases.

The deal reached by Sandoval and Amazon is scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1, 2014, or sooner if federal legislation is passed to allow states to collect revenues from internet purchases.

Heller said in a statement that he remains opposed to such federal legislation.

“Sen. Heller does not support imposing a federal internet sales tax mandate,” said Chandler Smith, campaign spokeswoman for Heller, in response to an email inquiry. “The Amazon agreement in Nevada is a state issue.”

Heck today said he agreed with Heller although he had no issue with Sandoval’s deal with Amazon. But the sales tax rate is different in many counties, he said.

“I do, I do,” Heck said. “I don’t think we should be collecting the sales tax at this time via the internet until the state figures out a way to be able to apply whatever tax rate they are going to apply in a uniform manner. We have a different rate here than we have in Washoe than we have in Elko. Which sales tax is the state going to collect.”

Heck was also asked about President Obama’s announcement last week that he believes gay couples should have the right to marry.

“I believe marriage is between a man and a woman,” he said. “I believe that the people of the state of Nevada have made that decision, they put it in our state constitution.”


Audio clips:

Rep. Joe Heck says now is not the time for federal legislation requiring internet sales tax collections:

051412Heck1 :15 going to collect.”

Heck says marriage is between a man and a woman:

051412Heck2 :09 our state constitution.”


Yerington Public Lands Bill To Get DC Hearing Next Week

By Nevada News Bureau Staff | 12:24 pm April 13th, 2012

CARSON CITY – Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev., is praising the decision by the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands to hold a legislative hearing for H.R. 4039, the Yerington Land Conveyance and Sustainable Development Act, on Tuesday.

The hearing is an important first step before the bill can be marked up by the committee and brought to the House floor for consideration.

“For more than four years, the city of Yerington and Lyon County have worked on this sustainable development plan to enable all community stakeholders to benefit from an increase in adjacent private lands,” Amodei said in a prepared statement. “The conveyance of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land would enable the city and county to grow while providing needed tax revenue and the potential for hundreds of long-term, high-paying jobs.”

The bill would convey approximately 10,000 acres of BLM land to the local governments for industrial, recreational and cultural development. The transfer would allow the governments to leverage the substantial infrastructure investments being made by Nevada Copper at its nearby Pumpkin Hollow project.

It is being sponsored by Amodei, along with Nevada Reps. Joe Heck, R-Nev., and Shelley Berkley, D-Nev. U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., has introduced companion legislation in the Senate.

The Pumpkin Hollow project is a new copper mine being developed by Nevada Copper. A ground-breaking ceremony for construction of the mine was held in February.

“Nevada’s unemployment rate is the highest in the nation and Lyon County’s is the highest in Nevada,” Amodei said. “According to the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, in February roughly 6,500 Nevadans gave up looking for a job and left the labor force all together. If we’re serious about the economy, then this community-driven plan, with no cost to taxpayers, is exactly the sort of thing the federal government needs to fast-track.”

Amodei, elected to the 2nd Congressional District seat in a special election in September, is a member of the House Natural Resources Committee.

Nevada Copper invested nearly $50 million in exploration to justify the $1 billion investment necessary to fully develop the mine. The mine will produce 250 to 300 million pounds of copper per year. The initial shaft sinking is already producing economic benefits with the creation of 30 to 40 jobs. An additional 250 to 500 construction jobs could start in 2013 if the land transfer is successful. At full operation in 2015-2016, Pumpkin Hollow is projected to employ 750 to 800 people directly.

Rep. Amodei Not Optimistic On Budget Or Deficit Deal, But Sees Chance For Lands Bills In Congress This Year

By Sean Whaley | 2:56 pm February 22nd, 2012

CARSON CITY – Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev., said today he is not optimistic that Congress will make any substantive progress on a balanced budget or deficit reduction this year given the focus on the presidential election.

But Amodei, in town on a brief recess, said he is hopeful that progress can be made on Nevada-related public lands bills he is sponsoring as a member of the House Natural Resources Committee.

Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev.

The U.S. Senate has gone over 1,000 days without a budget, he said in a brief interview after speaking to the Carson City Area Chamber of Commerce.

“So you ask yourself what will change in the next six months on that side?” he asked. “If history is any indicator probably nothing. Will the House vote on a budget? Yup. So, I don’t know. Being optimistic is probably not something you should be, for the budget.”

Amodei said he is very optimistic about moving his lands bills within the next several months, however.

“We’ve got some good stuff in the hopper that should move, so that’s the way I’m going to approach it,” he said.

One of the measures is the Yerington Land Conveyance and Sustainable Development Act, which is jointly being sponsored by Amodei, Rep. Shelley Berkeley, D-Nev., and Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev.

The bill would convey approximately 10,000 acres of land administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to the City of Yerington for commercial, industrial, recreational and cultural development. The city and Lyon County are seeking to leverage the substantial infrastructure investments being made by Nevada Copper at its nearby Pumpkin Hollow project.

The Pumpkin Hollow project is a new copper mine being developed by Nevada Copper. A ground-breaking ceremony for construction of the mine was held this past weekend.

Amodei is also pursuing a measure along with the rest of the Nevada delegation to create the Pine Forest Range Wilderness Area north of Winnemucca. The proposal has been endorsed by Humboldt County officials and other stakeholders.

He also plans to introduce legislation making it easier to dispose of small pieces of federal land that are adjacent to urban areas to help in economic development.

Amodei said he is grateful for Republican leadership and Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tenn., for making room for his appointment to the Natural Resources Committee. Fleischmann stepped down from the committee so Amodei could serve.

Members of the chamber asked about local issues, including the completion of the V&T Railroad and the Carson City bypass, which remains unfinished.

Amodei said there are no more earmarks for such projects, but that a Transportation Bill is being prepared that could potentially provide assistance for the bypass. Supporters of such projects need to identify the opportunities in the federal budget process to pursue funding, he said.

Amodei has been in Congress for just over five months, having been elected to the 2nd Congressional District in a special election in September 2011. Amodei replaced Dean Heller, R-Nev., who was appointed by Gov. Brian Sandoval to fill the vacancy in the Senate created with the resignation of John Ensign.


Audio clips:

Rep. Mark Amodei says he is not optimistic about efforts to balance the federal budget this year because of the election:

022212Amodei1 :25 for the budget.”

Amodei says he is hopeful for progress on his lands bills, however:

022212Amodei2 :18 to approach it.”