News - April 17, 2019 - by Ray Hagar
By Ray Hagar
Nevada's 2nd U.S. House District Rep. Mark Amodei said on Nevada Newsmakers that he misses former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid -- even though they are in opposite political parties.
Amodei, a Republican from Carson City, also said his Pershing County land bill was killed by a 'maverick' senate staffer who was trying to get revenge on Reid, a Democrat who retired from the U.S. Senate in 2017 after serving since 1987.
Although Reid was not popular in rural Nevada, Amodei said Reid championed causes for the vast stretches of rural Nevada.
"He wasn't out grippin' and grinning (in rural Nevada) but he worked those issues pretty well," Amodei said about Reid.
Amodei told a story how the Pershing County Economic Development and Conservation Act died in an act of revenge on Reid.
The Pershing County bill sailed through the House of Representatives last year. The bill was dear to Amodei's heart. And without Reid, it was stoned in the Senate with some bad under-dealings, Amodei said
The bill was about economic development in the rural county where Lovelock is the county seat. Seventy-five percent of Pershing County is owned by the federal government, with much of this ownership is a checkerboard pattern of lands, hindering the county’s ability to expand economically. This bill would have sorted it out and allow for the land to be sold when it was ready for development.
"Everybody voted for it (in the House) right?" Amodei said of the Pershing lands bill. "Then, it gets over to the senate and there is a staffer on Senate Natural Resources (committee), whose name is not important. He knows who he is. He basically stopped the bill and the ranking member at the time let him do it. You know why, I was told? Because he was mad at Harry (Reid) because Harry rolled them all on all of those Nevada public lands bills.
"And so I got to tell you, there is part of me that misses Harry now," Amodei said, adding, "God forbid, there's a news flash."
Reid got things done for Nevada, Amodei said.
"When things got the way Harry wanted them, they went, whether he was in the minority or the majority," Amodei said. "So now, I've got some maverick staffer over there saying, 'We're paying him back.
"Seriously? If you want to pay him back, why don't you go to Summerlin (affluent master-planned community in Las Vegas) and pay him back. I mean this (Pershing lands bill) is something that has been worked through the process so I am hoping that the new ranking member from West Virginia over there basically say, 'Listen, if they have done a good job ... and I've got to tell you Catherine Cortez-Masto was a fighter in that for us."
He praised Sen. Catherine Cortez-Masto, D-Nv., for taking an active part in representing rural Nevada. She toured the Northern Nevada I-80 corridor earlier this year and met with -- among others -- the Nevada Cattlemen’s Association in Beowawe and with residents in Winnemucca to talk about broadband access.
"I'm happy to see her up here because it helps when I am working with her on issues that are special to us up here," Amodei said of Cortez-Masto.