Yesterday, Sen. Harry Reid unveiled his Nevada legislative priorities for the 112th Congress during a press conference where he discussed how his agenda for the next two years will focus on strengthening Nevada’s competitiveness in a 21st century global economy by:
1. Creating good-paying clean energy jobs in Nevada;
2. Improving the Nevada’s education system to train a competitive workforce;
3. Modernizing Nevada’s transportation system;
4. Investing in Nevada’s small businesses.
Below is a list of Reid’s legislative priorities for the 112th Congress:
Priority 1: Putting Nevadans Back to Work To Compete in a 21st Century Economy
Job Creation Through Clean Energy Investment
Senator Reid will continue working to ensure Nevada leads the nation in clean energy jobs by taking advantage of the state’s abundant natural resources like solar, geothermal and wind. This begins by expanding the state’s transmission capacity for wide scale renewable energy development, attracting new companies and creating export markets for Nevada’s clean power. Additionally, Senator Reid is working to create clean energy jobs by extending production and investment tax incentives, investing in research and promoting solar and wind projects on appropriate public lands.
Improving Nevada’s Education System
Senator Reid will continue leading the charge to ensure Nevada’s schools are preparing our children to compete in a global economy. He will fight to secure the federal resources the state’s cash strapped elementary and secondary school need, while working to increase accountability, improve tests to measure student achievements and promote innovation. Additionally, he will continue fighting to expand access to higher education through more financial aid opportunities so that all Nevadans can become part of a competitive workforce.
Encouraging Growth, Job Creation Through Reform of the Tax Code
Senator Reid will build on his track record cutting taxes for Nevada’s middle-class families and small businesses by promoting tax policies that spur innovation, create jobs and bring relief to struggling Nevada families.
Rebuilding Nevada’s Water, Transportation Infrastructure
Senator Reid will work to strengthen Nevada’s transportation infrastructure to create good paying jobs and accommodate Nevada’s growth and tourism population. Large construction projects building roads, highways, railways and airport infrastructure are one of the best ways to help put Nevadans back to work. In the 112th Congress, Senator Reid will fight to ensure that Nevada gets its fair share of transportation funding the next Highway Reauthorization bill. He will also work to improve air travel to Nevada in an FAA Reauthorization bill.
Additionally, Senator Reid will continue leveraging his leadership position to improve Nevada’s clean water infrastructure to provide communities and businesses with reliable, healthy water supplies, as well as prepare for emergencies like prolonged drought and flooding.
Restoring Fiscal Responsibility
Senator Reid is committed to working on a bipartisan basis to reduce the budget deficit, eliminate wasteful spending and restore fiscal responsibility to Washington. He also will work to retain strong pay-as-you-go rules, which have been effective in the past in blocking new legislation that would increase the deficit.
Priority 2: Defending and Improving Health Insurance Reform
Repeal Is Too Extreme for Nevadans
Senator Reid will continue to protect Nevada families, seniors and small businesses from attempts to repeal health insurance reform by the extremist wings of the Republican party.
Repeal of health insurance reform would raise taxes on more than 30,000 Nevada small businesses, increase prescription drug costs for nearly 60,000 Nevada seniors by re-opening the Medicare “donut hole”, take away free preventive screens like mammograms for more than 300,000 Nevada seniors, allow insurance companies to deny coverage to Nevada children with pre-existing conditions and increase the deficit by more than $1 trillion over the next two decades.
Priority 3: Protecting Social Security for Nevada’s Retirees
Blocking Republican Extremists From Killing Social Security
Senator Reid is committed to protecting Social Security from the extreme Republican agenda of killing, privatizing or slashing Social Security. As Senate Majority Leader, Reid will continue blocking any attempt to break our promise to seniors who have spent a lifetime contributing to the system.
Priority 4: Keeping Nevada Families in their Homes
Providing Assistance for Homeowners
Senator Reid will continue working tirelessly to keep Nevada families in their homes, building on his record of securing hundreds of millions of dollars in “Hardest Hit” funding and providing direct assistance through his office to hundreds of struggling homeowners. He will keep fighting for fairer housing and foreclosure policies while continuing to hold banks’ feet to the fire to help Nevadans keep a roof over their heads.
Priority 5: Ensuring Yucca Mountain Stays Dead
Eliminating funding for Yucca Mountain
Senator Reid will continue leveraging his position as Majority Leader to ensure the ill-conceived Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump proposal is dead forever, blocking any further attempts to revive the defunct project.
Creating jobs by responsibly pursuing alternatives
Senator Reid is committed to working with federal officials, private industry, and others to find alternative uses for Yucca Mountain that will actually benefit Nevada’s economy, create jobs and ensure the site is never used for nuclear waste.
Priority 6: Protecting and Improving Nevada’s Homeland Security, Defense, & Law Enforcement
Fighting for Nevada’s Veterans
Nevada’s veterans will continue to be a top priority for Senator Reid in the upcoming Congress. He has already secured hundreds of millions of dollars to build the new Southern Nevada Veteran’s Hospital and will work to ensure it is completed as quickly as possible. Furthermore, he will continue fighting against unfair concurrent receipt policies that are keeping veterans from drawing their full military retired pay as well as VA disability compensation at the same time.
Supporting Nevada’s Military Installations and Personnel
Senator Reid will continue delivering for Nevada’s military installations, projects and personnel by providing the funding they need to successfully carry out their mission, keep the nation safe and boost local economies.
Delivering for Nevada’s Law Enforcement
As a former police officer, Senator Reid understands the role that Nevada law enforcement plays in strengthening communities and is committed to ensuring law enforcement personnel have the resources required to keep drugs off Nevada streets, combat sex trafficking and fight crime.
Priority 7: Boosting Nevada’s Rural Communities
Standing up for Nevada Farmers and Ranchers
Senator Reid will continue fighting for Nevada’s farming and ranching communities to help them recover from droughts and floods, invest in clean energy on their lands and avoid overbearing regulation on their products. Furthermore, he will continue working with the US Department of Agriculture to help ranchers by protecting the threatened sage grouse.
Priority 8: Protecting Nevada’s Natural Resources
Enhancing Wildlife and Ensuring Responsible Use of Our Public Lands
Senator Reid will continue his work with local hunters and anglers to protect Nevada’s best wildlife habitat and to make sure that key species like the Lahontan cutthroat trout and the Desert Bighorn Sheep are thriving in our state. He will also continue his work with communities around the state to ensure that our public lands are properly managed.
Priority 9: Passing Comprehensive Immigration Reform, Securing Our Border
Comprehensive Immigration Reform
Senator Reid will continue fighting to pass comprehensive immigration reform that strengthens our immigration laws and secures the border. Immigrants here illegally should be required to register, pay back taxes and fines, learn English, pass a criminal background check, and go to the back of the line, or face deportation.
Senator Reid will continue working with the Department of Defense and others to pass the DREAM Act, legislation that will allow young people brought to America as children through no fault of their own to earn legal status by putting their life on the line through service in the US military or getting a college education.
Priority 10: Delivering for Nevada’s Native Communities
Boosting Education for Native American Students
Senator Reid is committed to investing in Native American students by providing crucial resources to improve educational opportunities that respect the sovereignty and self-determination of Indian tribes and protect Native American culture.
Creating Jobs for Nevada Native Americans Through Clean Energy, Transportation Infrastructure
Senator Reid will continue working to improve laws and regulations and increasing access to the transmission grid to spur energy and economic development on tribal lands. Additionally, he will work to provide further assistance for tribal highways, bridges and transit programs in support of public safety and economic opportunities in Indian communities.