Skip down to the two-minute mark on this video of Rep. Mark Amodei arguing for a bill that allows the city of Yerington to buy 10,400 acres of federal land to facilitate development of a copper mine for the “money quote.”
Did he mention that the bill would lead to the creation of 800 jobs paying $75,000 on average? I think so. Did he mention it will cost the federal treasury not one dime? A time or two. As for the comparison of the return on investment of what Amodei is proposing as opposed to Harry Reid’s renewable energy “investments,” the congressman noted that the $1 billion in federal money spent on “green” energy projects in Nevada has resulted in 136 jobs. Talk about bang for your buck. But none of the local news media picked up on this and most ignored the story entirely.
On Tuesday the House passed by a vote of 232-188 H.R. 4039, the Yerington Land Conveyance and Sustainable Development Act. It was bundled with a dozen other land and water use bills. It was Amodei’s first bill to pass the House.
Sen. Dean Heller put out a press release praising the House action and noting he has a companion bill working in the Senate.
Heller’s remarks were similar to those delivered by Amodei on the floor of the House:
“This legislation is an example of how Congress can act to encourage job growth, and I am pleased the House passed this measure. Mining is the backbone of Nevada’s rural economy and we are fortunate to have resources in our own backyard for economic development. Nevada has led the country in unemployment for the past 32 months, and Congress should focus on every opportunity available to create jobs. Lyon County faces the highest unemployment in the state. This legislation will create hundreds of jobs providing much-needed relief in one of Nevada’s most distressed counties. Every member of the Nevada delegation should support this measure and work to pass it out of Congress.”
Both Rep. Shelley Berkley, Heller’s opponent for his senate seat this fall, and Rep. Joe Heck are co-sponsors of the House bill.
But Berkley voted no. She said in a statement she supports the bill but opposed the package. “It is extremely unfortunate the House did not have the opportunity to vote on this important job-creating measure except as part of a larger legislative package that has no chance of passing in the Senate and faces strong opposition in Nevada,” she was quoted as saying by the Nevada News Bureau.
Heller responded, “Instead of supporting legislation that would have created jobs in Yerington, she chose to side with the League of Conservation Voters. This is typical Shelley Berkley, saying one thing and then doing another. Today she cast another vote in a long string of votes where she stubbornly refused to acknowledge that people in Nevada are actually hurting.”
If you are wondering what Amodei is talking about when he mentions 90 days, at an early hearing on the bill the bureaucrats at the Bureau of Land Management balked at the prospect of doing all the paperwork in 90 days as the bill requires. I compared it to a tantrum and the lyrics of a Sinatra song.