Amodei speaks in Carson City about Washington, D.C. | NevadaAppeal.com
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Amodei speaks in Carson City about Washington, D.C.

John Barrette
jbarrette@nevadaappeal.com
Congressman Mark Amodei (R-NV-02) speaks at the Carson City Chamber's 'Soup's On!' at the Gold Dust West Wednesday.
Brad Coman | Nevada Appeal

“House of Cards” is just a TV drama, while Washington, D.C., in actuality, currently is a place where even Frank Underwood would face frustration.

That was the gist of some remarks from Rep. Mark Amodei of Carson City, the Nevada congressman home from what he painted as a war of words and inactivity. He said it involves a divided Republican House, a Senate still captive to minority Democrats because a 60-vote rule brings blockages, and a White House still controlled by a Democrat. Amodei used immigration as a prime example of various logjams hostage to an “all or nothing” approach to many matters.

Speaking at a Chamber of Commerce luncheon, Amodei decried the ”incredibly frustrating” environment in Congress and the nation’s capital as he added this about domestic and foreign policy issues: “These things are important.” He said things can get done, but Congress must quit dividing between what he called political athletes and the issues. He said political athletes currently rule the roost.

After Ronni Hannaman, chamber executive director, prodded Amodei twice about the Netflix TV drama “House of Cards,” the congressman branded the show as BS. The drama stars Kevin Spacey as Underwood, a wheeler-dealer who gets results. Amodei preferred to focus instead on national business being on hold, though regional matters can get traction.

“It’s still possible to move the needle,” the Republican congressman said during a Soup’s On luncheon at the Gold Dust West, citing prospects for and action regarding regional issues such as the sage hen and area federal projects. But at the same time, he said, on immigration and holding Homeland Security funding hostage to that issue, or of previous immigration battles, jockeying among players who control the process merely delays any solution.

“With all due respect, there are problems with immigration,” he said, adding action can happen, as 1986 proved. During the Reagan administration, Republican Ronald Reagan worked with congressional Democrats and immigration legislation was enacted.

Amodei said when he sat on the House Judiciary Committee, however, as that panel held various hearings on immigration bills the Senate ended up having just one on the Democrats’ version. He said it was a markup hearing, which meant there really wasn’t testimony from those affected.

Nothing got done then. he said, and more recently the Homeland Security budget holdup over immigration didn’t work out either. He advocated an end to tying political policy to such maneuvering by using national purse strings. Pointedly saying he wasn’t necessarily speaking only of Democrats, he vowed with these words to fight on for his issues-oriented approach: “If you quit, you know the other side has won.”