This week, the House passed the Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, legislation to fund our national security needs and support our men and women in uniform by increasing funding for: military training and readiness programs, equipment, and quality-of-life programs for our troops and their families.
I successfully amended the NDAA with an amendment containing similar language to that found in H.R. 520, the National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act, legislation I introduced in this session of Congress to strengthen our national security by more efficiently developing domestic sources of minerals. It’s important to recognize that a recent study published by the Department of the Interior (DOI) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) found the U.S. is 100 percent net import reliant on foreign countries for 21 different critical minerals.
Our present reliance on foreign nations for critical minerals – particularly those of questionable stability – poses a national security risk which increases by orders of magnitude the more import-reliant our country becomes. The reality is that no amount of political misinformation will change the fact that in times of regional emergency or national disaster, America must have the option to responsibly utilize its own resources to protect the national interest and its people. This amendment gives us the option to curtail our reliance on foreign sources of minerals by leveraging our nation’s vast mineral resources, while paying respect to economic, national security, and environmental concerns.
Click here for more information about the NDAA and here for more information on my amendment which has the support of the entire Nevada delegation in the House and the following organizations: Nevada Mining Association, American Exploration & Mining Association; Americans for Limited Government; Citizens Against Government Waste; International Union of Operating Engineers Local 49; National Mining Association; CEMEX, Inc.; Pershing Gold, Women’s Mining Coalition; Alaska Miners Association; Colorado Mining Association; Jobs For Minnesotans; MiningMinnesota; Up North Jobs; Utah Mining Association; Wyoming Mining Association.
It’s always nice to see familiar faces while I’m in Washington. Below are some of the groups I recently met with. Thanks for stopping by!
American Association of Orthodontists
Nevada Emergency Nursing Association
U.S. Forest Service Council
American Land Title Association
National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors
Congress Sends ‘Right to Try’ Legislation to the President’s Desk
This week, the House successfully passed S. 204, the Trickett Wendler, Frank Mongiello, Jordan McLinn, and Matthew Bellina Right to Try Act of 2017. This important legislation waives liability for hospitals and doctors to administer investigational drugs to terminally-ill patients who have provided authorization. As you may remember, the House originally considered this legislation back in March as a suspension bill, but it did not receive the two-thirds majority of votes needed to successfully pass the House.
Giving terminally-ill patients access to potential lifesaving treatments is an issue that hits close to home for my office. Several months ago, my office was asked to intervene in the case of a terminally-ill patient in CD-2 whose parents fought for her to try an expensive, investigational drug that could have saved her life. At the time, the hospital refused to administer the drug because of liability purposes. The passage of this legislation means patients will no longer be denied access to potential life-saving treatments. I applaud my colleagues in the House for working together to give dying patients an opportunity to fight for their lives when faced with an unimaginable situation, and I look forward to the President signing this bill into law.
Markup of the Fiscal Year 2019 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill
This week, the House Appropriations Committee marked up the Fiscal Year 2019 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill.
Like you, I believe transportation infrastructure is one of the most important elements in creating a thriving, job-creating economy. This bill provides critical funding for our nation’s transportation infrastructure to help the traveling public move as safely and efficiently as possible. It also ensures we appropriately meet our nation’s housing needs for the individuals who rely on this funding the most, such as: the needy, the elderly, and the disabled. Finally, my staff and I worked to secure funding for several of Nevada’s transportation and infrastructure projects which include: tourism needs, rural infrastructure challenges, aviation issues, technology development, and public/private partnerships for investment.
School Safety Update
In light of the deadly shooting at a high school in Santa Fe, Texas last week, I wanted to provide you with another update on the work Congress has done, and continues to do, to keep our children out of harm’s way.
Following February’s tragedy in Parkland, FL, there has been renewed interest in the components surrounding the mental health debate and what Congress is doing to appropriately address the issue. The Parkland shooter was not unique. In fact, many of today’s young people are coming to school "broken" in a mental health sense as a result of social, cultural, and familial crises.
However, unlike the Parkland shooting, where a majority of the student body admitted knowing the shooter was troubled and likely to carry out an attack, that was not the case with the shooter in Santa Fe, Texas – but something still went horribly wrong.
To get to the root of what causes young people in today’s society to carry out these horrific acts of violence, we must all begin accepting that school safety is not a one-prong issue. School safety exists under an umbrella of issues, and Congress must continue working toward comprehensive solutions.
Learn more about the work Congress has done recently to address school safety below:
Omnibus Appropriations Bill
In April, Congress passed the Omnibus Appropriations bill which included two important measures that will offer real solutions to the problems facing our nation. The Fix NICS bill and the STOP School Violence Act will work in tandem to empower our academic institutions and law enforcement officials by giving them the tools they need to appropriately identify threats before it’s too late.
The Fix NICS Act is a bipartisan bill to improve the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) by ensuring accurate records of persons prohibited from receiving or possessing a firearm are in the federal system. The bill also provides grants for states to maximize accurate record submission plans.
The STOP School Violence Act passed with an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 407-10 in the House back in March, sending a clear message to the country that we do not consider school safety to be an “us or them” issue and that we’re serious about taking action to keep our children safe. Specifically, the bill will provide millions of dollars in funding for early intervention and prevention programs in addition to enhanced technology and equipment to improve security and stop violence on school grounds.
21st Century Cures Act
Through the 21st Century Cures Act, the omnibus allocates $205 million for various behavioral and mental health programs to improve care for children with serious emotional disturbance and strengthen community crisis response systems. Click here to view the exact sections of the bill that are specific to school safety and violence prevention.
In response to the October 2017 shootings in Las Vegas, Congress passed H.R. 4477, the Fix NICS Act of 2017, legislation requiring the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive’s (ATF) to submit to Congress, within 180 days of the passage of this bill, an administrative review of bump stocks. On March 10,2017, the Department of Justice (DOJ) submitted a proposed regulation to clarify that the definition of “machinegun” in the National Firearms Act and Gun Control Act includes bump stock type devices. Accordingly, federal law prohibits the possession, sale, or manufacture of such devices. Click here to learn more about the DOJ’s announcement.
There is obviously still more work that needs to be done on this issue, as it is evident there are many factors at play. However, before categorizing this solely as a gun violence issue - I ask that you please join me in taking the above facts and solutions into consideration and letting me know what you think through my website.
2018 High School Congressional Art Competition Winner
Congratulations to Wyatt Williams, a sophomore at Reno’s McQueen High School for winning first place in this year’s Congressional Art Competition. Wyatt’s photo, entitled: Valley of Colors, beautifully showcases Bowers Mansion in the fall. He describes his work as the mansion resting “in the historical Washoe Valley”. Wyatt's work will be displayed in the U.S. Capitol for one year and he will also have the opportunity to travel to Washington to attend a congratulatory ceremony with the winners of other congressional districts. I’m incredibly proud of all of the talented young artists who participated in this year’s competition and I commend them on their outstanding work.
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.