Congressman Mark Amodei says the problem with Congress is lack of leadership
Rep. Mark Amodei said on Tuesday major issues ranging from immigration to health care to the federal budget remain stalled by lack of action in Congress Amodei blamed on a lack of leadership.
Amodei told the Carson City Rotary Club’s weekly meeting at Gold Dust West even the five-year transportation funding bill approved recently is completely flawed because how it’s paid for is “absolutely, totally fictitious.”
“What we’re talking about is leadership,” Amodei said.
He said the GOP establishment is paying the price this year.
“The reason Trump has done as well as he has is because people are angry,” Amodei said.
Amodei said the power of the Legislative branch lies in its ability to appropriate money to fund programs but the Senate and House have been unable to do that.
“We’ve got to figure out how you get your co-equal status back,” he said.
He said the problem is manifest in the long-running health care reform debate that has seen more than 60 attempts by the House to repeal Obamacare.
“Do we need healthcare reform in this country? Absolutely,” he said.
He said the House Republicans have been complaining the ACA “sucks,” but haven’t even tried to bring a plan that works to the body.
“I blame the Republican leadership in the house.”
Health care, he said, “affects everyone from birth to death so it’s kind of important,” he said. “And what have we done? Nothing.”
He said the answer is “to have all the shareholders in and have your hearings.” That, he said hasn’t happened.
He complained Justice Antonin Scalia “hadn’t even passed two hours” when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McDonnell, R-Kentucky, announced there would be no hearings for an Obama appointee.
“Why wouldn’t you give this person a hearing and vote next week,” he said.
If Obama’s choice doesn’t get a majority vote, the president would then choose someone else, he said.
Amodei said the problem with federal land management in Nevada is the managers who live here aren’t making the decisions, and those policies are coming from “politicians dictating from a couple of thousand miles away.” Citing the debate over the sage grouse, Amodei said, it makes no sense to blame permits for surface mining when, over the past 20 years, the state has lost some seven million acres of habitat to wildland fires and just a tiny number of mining permits have been issued.
“We have this because there’s a political agenda,” he said.
But asked about the notion the Republican establishment is planning to derail Donald Trump’s road to the nomination, he made it clear he doesn’t think it’s that organized.
He said the party couldn’t pull its act together with just three or four nominees when McCain ran and far fewer than this year when Romney ran. This year started with 16 or 17 candidates.
Amodei said he’ll be in Carson City and Nevada for nearly two weeks during the congressional break and plans to spend most of that time meeting with “the people who hired me” — his constituents.