Last week, the House successfully passed H.R. 5895, legislation that includes the Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs appropriations bills for Fiscal Year 2019. You might be interested to know that my staff and I were successful in securing several priorities important to Nevada as part of the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies appropriations bill. These priorities will direct the Department of Energy (DOE) to determine liability for remediation, study reprocessing capabilities, and offer clarification for Nevada institutes of higher education to conduct environmental monitoring and participate in nuclear waste research.
Prior to getting these measures included in the Energy and Water appropriations bill, I first attempted to include them as an amendment to H.R. 3053, the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 2018. If enacted, H.R. 3053 will accelerate the licensing application at Yucca Mountain as the nation's permanent repository for nuclear waste. My amendment to H.R. 3053 would have given Nevada a seat at the table to expand upon the mission of the repository. Unfortunately, after three years of work on these priorities, the House Rules Committee deemed my amendment out of order because it included a transportation component. The reason being, if nuclear waste is going to potentially be transported across state lines via surface or rail transportation, then it’s probably responsible to begin discussing transportation plans at the beginning stages of this project.
My amendment being ruled out of order led me back to where this entire discussion started: if I am only given a chance to vote on a bill to designate Nevada as the nation’s nuclear land fill – I will not support it. Accordingly, I voted against H.R. 3053 when it came to the floor for a vote last month.
While I would have preferred for all of these Nevada-centric priorities to be included in H.R. 3053, I am pleased that we were able to replace the majority of these measures in other legislation that has successfully passed out of the House, so the end result is a very good seat at the table and a win for all Nevadans. My staff and I are continuing to work with Rep. Schuster and staff on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to get the transportation component included in other pieces of legislation.
Markup of the Fiscal Year 2019 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill
Last week, the House Appropriations Committee marked up the Fiscal Year 2019 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. I offered two amendments to this legislation that will positively affect private landowners in Nevada and also give local stakeholders the ability to set forth and implement responsible and effective resource and land management strategies when it comes to the greater sage grouse.
My first amendment is related to water rights and would ensure that no funds are used by federal land management agencies, like the Forest Service or the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), to require the transfer of private water rights to the federal government in exchange for permitting. By ensuring federal land managers abide by state water rights, our farmers and ranchers will be protected from land managers attempting to insert federal authority over private water rights. The second amendment would give state wildlife agencies and the Administration an opportunity to implement a stakeholder-driven, science-based plan to restore sage hen habitat. My amendment to this legislation follows previous action by the Administration to work with state and local governments to refresh the sage grouse conservation plan.
In Case You Missed It
House Productivity Update
Cutting your taxes isn’t the only thing House Republicans have done this Congress. We’ve continued working hard on the issues that matter to you and your family, like funding the military and combating the opioid crisis. As of May 25th, 2018:
- 803 bills have passed out of committee
- 695 bills have passed the People’s House
The House's recent passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) will give our troops a pay raise and support readiness recovery. This is the least we can do for those who put themselves in harm’s way daily to protect our freedom. This legislation also makes key investments in our ability to confront the growing threats of North Korea, Russia, China, and Iran.
Landmark Veterans Reform
Our veterans deserve the best care and treatment. Last month, we also passed 11 bills aimed at reforming the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) and refocusing the VA on its one, solemn duty – our nation’s heroes.
I joined MSNBC’s Ali Velshi last week to discuss efforts by Members in the House to bring legislation to the Floor for a vote that would secure our borders, prevent future illegal immigration, and offer permanent fixes to the most broken parts of our current immigration system. Click here or on the video above to listen to our full discussion.
As always, thank you for subscribing to the Amodei Report. I look forward to continuing to keep you up to date on the issues you care about most.
For additional information, please visit my website at amodei.house.gov or call my Washington office: (202) 225-6155, Reno office: (775) 686-5760 or Elko office: (775) 777-7705. To receive updates on what I am doing in Washington and in Nevada’s 2nd District follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube.