Congress: Dean Heller

Name: Dean Heller

Age: 48

Phone number and campaign Web site:

Education: Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration, specializing in finance and securities analysis, from the University of Southern California in 1985.

Profession: U.S Congressman

Political experience:

U.S. Congressman Dean Heller was elected as Nevada's Representative for the Second Congressional District on November 7, 2006. Prior service to the State of Nevada includes two terms in Nevada's State Assembly and three terms as Nevada's Secretary of State. Heller currently serves on the House Financial Services Committee, which is one of only four exclusive committees in the U.S. House of Representatives. Heller became the first Nevadan freshman congressman since 1995 to be appointed to an exclusive committee.

Heller is a former member of the House Natural Resources Committee. Issues such as mining, public land management and wildfires continue to be top priorities. Heller led the fight against destructive mining reform legislation that would have placed Nevada's mining jobs in jeopardy. He received a field hearing in Elko on the legislation and successfully amended it. Heller has been successful in moving legislation beneficial to local communities throughout the state.

Please write a short biography of yourself (you might include such things as birthplace, career, community involvement, family, etc.):

Dean Heller grew up with five brothers and sisters and graduated from Carson High School. In 1985 he received a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern California, specializing in finance and securities analysis, and worked as a stockbroker and as a broker/trader on the Pacific Stock Exchange. After college, Congressman Heller and his wife of 24 years, Lynne Heller, moved back to Carson City and raised their four children Hilary, Harris, Drew, and Emmy in Carson City. The Heller's still reside in Carson City today.

Have you ever been arrested? If so, when and for what offense?


What will be your top two or three priorities if elected?

With more than $300 billion in proposed tax increases and bloated spending bills to match, I am deeply concerned with Congress's current tax and spend attitude. Lower taxes, smaller government, fiscal responsibility are fundamental principles Congress should embrace. Congress needs to learn who pays for more government, higher energy prices, and higher food prices.

Our country needs a portfolio of energy to sustain our economy and provide affordable energy that includes the development of renewable energy and encourages conservation, but also realizes there is a greater need to drill for oil and use clean coal technology to generate electricity. We need to secure our borders and enforce the laws we have on the books today. Moreover, Amnesty for illegal immigrants should never be an option. Finally, I will continue to fight mining reform pushed by east coast special interests that would have devastating effects on rural Nevada.

What if anything should Congress do to address climbing gas prices?

Record high gas prices are dragging down our economy and crippling family budgets. Airline routes to Nevada are being terminated because of high fuel prices. Congress should embrace energy legislation that promotes conservation, encourages renewable energy development, and increases our domestic oil supply in an environmentally safe manner. In Congress, I have consistently supported renewable energy production including a national renewable portfolio standard. I petitioned the President with 94 of my colleagues to remove the moratorium on off-shore drilling and have urged Speaker Pelosi to bring comprehensive energy legislation to the House floor. I also toured the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and joined my colleagues on a trip the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to learn first hand the energy potential in the North Slope of Alaska.

What if anything should Congress do to address illegal immigration?

It is estimated that illegal immigrants cost the American taxpayers nearly $100 billion a year in education, health care, and law enforcement. If legislation that provides amnesty becomes law, that cost has been estimated at $2 trillion and higher. I oppose amnesty for those that enter America illegally and believe that the federal government should enforce current laws. Immigrants that wish to become citizens must follow our laws. I support increased efforts to defend America's borders and protect our country from those who want to do us harm. I have voted to prevent taxpayer-funded benefits like housing, welfare, health care and government contracts, from going to illegal immigrants. Businesses who hire illegal immigrants should be held accountable and fined.

Would you vote to formally establish English as the national language, and require its exclusive use in all public institutions and on all public material?

I authored legislation to require English Only ballots for federal elections.

I also coauthored legislation to make English the official language of the United States and legislation to allow private employers to require English on the job site.

Do you believe the United States should maintain its troop levels in Iraq? What do you believe should be done about the Iraq situation?

I believe the United States should get out of Iraq more intelligently than we got in. I have joined both Republicans and Democrats in cosponsoring legislation to implement the recommendations of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group. I have a brother in the region and a nephew in Baghdad. My fellow Nevadans have brothers, sisters, sons, and daughters currently in harms way. As a member of Congress, I believe it is imperative that these soldiers are provided with the necessary tools they need to win this war. Progress is being made in Iraq and the Iraqi government is taking more responsibility for its country's security. Recently, the Iraqi government has been speaking about reducing U.S. troop levels. This is a welcome development. U.S. troops should get off the front line as soon as conditions allow and make the Iraqi government responsible for their security.

What measures, if any, do you think the U.S. should take to address global warming?

The scientific community continues to debate the extent and causes of changes in global climate. Congress should look at innovative ways to reduce harmful emissions; however, these provisions should not come at the expense of our country's ability to be competitive in the global market. I am convinced that our nation can find ways to have both economic growth and prosperity while maintaining a safe, clean environment for future generations.

Should workers be allowed to invest a portion of their payroll tax in private accounts that they manage themselves?

The Social Security program provides our senior citizens with important benefits, as well as many disabled families. As a Member of Congress, I have pledged to protect the commitment made to hard-working seniors who have worked their whole lives and now depend on this program. I oppose any change to Social Security that would jeopardize an individual's ability to receive their payments. However, the Social Security system in its current form is financially unhealthy and needs reform. Congress should consider options to reform this system, without removing benefits from current and near-retirees who are counting on these benefits in their retirement.

What else would you like voters to know about your ideas and qualifications?

I have fought for lower taxes, smaller government, secure borders, and have always put Nevada first since coming to Congress. I have introduced legislation to open federal lands for economic development in Reno and Henderson. I have passed legislation to help alleviate demand for water in northern Nevada by providing a more efficient water use authority along the lower Colorado in southern Nevada. I authored legislation to provide a tax credit for Nevada's veterans to assist them with travel costs when visiting healthcare facilities greater than 25 miles from home. In Carson City, I have been able to secure funding for the rehabilitation of lands burned by the Waterfall Fire. It has been an honor to serve my fellow Nevadans and I will continue to put Nevada first while I'm in Congress.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment