Rep. Mark Amodei of Carson City told a breakfast meeting hosted by the Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday Congress’ problem is its inability to follow its own rules and it’s lack of oversight.
That list, Amodei said, is topped by the House’s attempt to impeach IRS Tax Commissioner John Koskinen straight from the floor instead of going through the Judiciary Committee and following the rules.
“There are some pretty specific rules about how you impeach somebody,” he said. “If you want to impeach somebody, go through the process. Don’t be a hypocrite.”
Amodei, a Republican, said the House has legislative processes in place but “there’s not a lot of that going on these days.”
He told a crowd of about 50 at the Silver Oak Golf Course clubhouse “every issue that gets über politicized gets ruined.”
He said that includes education, healthcare reform, immigration, criminal justice reform and anything to do with the Second Amendment.
He said without leadership, everything gets turned into a marketing speech instead of a discussion of the issue. He said the gun rights debate is a good example.
He said the nation has long restricted Second Amendment rights, barring those with felony and domestic violence commissions the right to have weapons and limiting where a weapon can be carried.
“Does anybody really want bad people to have guns? But before you take them away, you’ve got to give them due process,” he said.
And he said the President needs to be transparent about handling controversial issues instead of surprising Congress and the public.
“It’s amazing how easy these issues get when you’re transparent,” Amodei said.
He said the numerous executive orders being issued and regulations coming down without warning are a major problem because there’s no legislative oversight. He said Nevada has a system in which regulations get vetted by lawmakers to ensure they meet with legislative intent.
“There’s nothing like that at the federal level,” he said. “Oversight is becoming a lost art.”
He said the fix for that problem is to remember Congress has control of the money.
“The only real stick Congress has is the ability to appropriate.”
Although he says he will support Donald Trump’s candidacy, Amodei made it clear he doesn’t agree with everything Trump says.
He cited Trump’s claim he will repeal the Affordable Care Act on his first day as President.
“I got a C-minus in government but it seems to me the executive branch can’t repeal anything.”
On Trump’s claim he’ll build a wall along the southern border, he pointed out he’d have to have a budget, which only Congress can provide.
“And really, our answer to that is a 2,000 mile wall — to do what they did in China 3,000 years ago?”