Interview – Mark Amodei, Incumbent Republican Congressional District 2
Mark Amodei, Incumbent (vs Kristin Spees)
Please post a short personal resume:
Education: Bachelors of Arts, University of Nevada, Reno, 1980; Juris Doctor, University of Pacific; McGeorge School of Law, 1983
- Lawyer, sole practitioner, 2009 to Present
- President, Nevada Mining Association, 2007 to 2008
- Lawyer, Kummer, et al., 2004 to 2007
- Lawyer, Allison, MacKenzie, et al., 1987 to 2002
- Lawyer, United States Army, Judge Advocate General Corps, 1983 to 1987
- Nevada State Assembly, 1996 to 1998
- Nevada State Senate, 1998 to 2010
- President Pro Tempore, Nevada State Senate, 2003 to 2008
- Member, Colorado River Commission
- Member, Uniform State Law Commission
- Member of Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Legislative Oversight Committee
Children: Daughters Ryanne and Erin
1. You are the incumbent. Define your strengths and why you would better serve Nevada in this position than your opponent.
Since my election to the U.S. House of Representatives in September of 2011, I wasted no time in delivering for Nevada. Identified by the Brookings Institution as one of the most productive members of the 113th Congress for advancing legislation, Republican and Democrat colleagues alike have praised my ability to reach across the aisle to do what is best for my constituents. And recent stories in The Washington Post and The Reno Gazette Journal point to my success in an otherwise gridlocked Congress.
2. What do you see as your greatest Congressional accomplishments to date?
Most recently, through persistence and determined work, I was able to secure unanimous passage by the House Natural Resources Committee of a historic package of Northern Nevada lands bills – six introduced by me and one by Rep. Steven Horsford. The bipartisan support clears the way for the legislation to be brought to the House floor in September as a non-controversial suspension bill for final passage.
These community-driven lands measures will create jobs without cost to federal taxpayers and will have a direct impact on the economic futures and quality of life for communities across Northern Nevada from Storey County to Elko.
I try to focus on the issues most important to Nevadans, from jobs and the economy to offering a successful amendment to address the disability claims backlog at the Reno VA Regional Office. And I do so while running a fiscally conservative office. At this beginning of this year, I returned approximately $104,000 in unspent office funds to the U.S. Treasury to be applied toward deficit reduction. It represented nearly 8 percent of my budget for 2013. This was on top of the $167,080 cut to my budget from the sequester and other changes. The previous year I returned $172,143.52 to the Treasury. Since my election in September 2011, I returned approximately $370,000.
In the face of a $17.3 trillion federal debt, I think it is a sign of basic respect to Nevadans and Americans to run a fiscally conservative office while offering the greatest possible service to my constituents at the lowest possible cost to taxpayers.
3. What do you see as your greatest challenges in the next two years?
My greatest challenges in the next two years will be continuing to advance legislation for Nevada and to check the executive overreach by the administration. Perhaps the greatest challenge of all will be to prevent the endangered species act listing of the sage hen, which has huge ramifications for the economy of Nevada and is seen by some as inevitable. Recently, I was able to include language in the FY 2015 Interior, Environment and Related Agencies appropriations bill to delay for one year any potential Endangered Species Act (ESA) listing of the sage hen.
More time is needed to convince the Department of the Interior, which controls the vast majority of the sage hen habitat, to undertake the necessary work to conserve the resource and prevent the ESA listing. Interior needs to stop ignoring its financial responsibility while simultaneously attempting to saddle state and private landowners with the obligation to fund fuels management and habitat restoration projects that are absolutely the responsibility of the federal government. Until that happens, funding for any potential ESA rule with respect to the sage hen should be withheld.
The sage hen issue has been a priority of mine as an ESA listing would severely restrict multiple use across Nevada’s public and privates lands, including recreation, ranching, mining, energy production and other economic activities. The ESA listing would also fail to save the sage hen habitat, which is threatened primarily by wildland fire and invasive species.
4. What do you consider to be your opponent’s greatest weakness as a potential U.S. Congresswoman?
I encourage and applaud the civic engagement of running for elected office. However, I think my experience and perspective from time spent in the Army, the private sector and then the state legislature greatly shaped my ability to successfully represent my constituents in the U.S. House of Representatives.
5. Please use this space to elaborate on any issues not covered above.
In addition to advancing legislation important to Nevada, I think it’s important to consider the significance of a Republican majority in the House as it seeks to check the agenda of the Democrat-controlled Senate and the Obama Administration.
House Republicans stopped:
- Extreme gun control legislation.
- Elimination of the Bush tax cuts.
- Card check passage.
- Terrorists brought to American if Guantanamo Bay was closed.
- Trillions of dollars in more stimulus spending.
- Scandals swept under a rug like the IRS.
- Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
House Republicans accomplished:
- Cut total federal spending for two years in a row — first time since the Korean War.
- The most significant spending reductions in modern history — more so than under Ronald Reagan/Tip O’Neill, and more so than under Bill Clinton/Newt Gingrich.
- Largest spending reduction laws of the last 25 years and started to target the real driver of the nation’s debt: mandatory spending programs.
- Enacted the largest deficit control bills since 1981 with no tax increases.
- Protected 99 percent of Americans from a tax increase on a permanent basis, and ensured that almost all of the Bush tax policy was made permanent, including the death tax and lower rates on capital gains and dividends.
- Passed dozens of pro-growth jobs bills on energy, job training, education, regulatory reform, health care, and innovation, among others.
- Conducted aggressive oversight — from the President’s health care law to the IRS to Benghazi — to hold the Obama administration accountable.
- Highlighted flaws of the Affordable Care Act with attention on the disastrous law and its rollout, along with cancellation notices and higher costs for Americans.
- Passed a budget agreement that prevents shutdowns by replacing the sequester with mandatory savings, not tax hikes.
All Republican candidates with a viable opponent and contact information were asked to participate in an online interview – Congressional, Statewide & Legislative General Election races.
The interview responses will be posted in full, unedited as submitted on NewsDesk by Nancy Dallas (www.ndbynd.com), the NvFRW website (www.nvfrw.org) and the State Republican Party (www.nevadagop.org); and, when relevant, the Carson City Central Committee website (www.ccrccgop.com), the CCRW website (www.ccrwclub.org) and all other GOP associated websites that wish to do so. Hopefully, the responses will be emailed to the membership of each organization, with reposting of any interview by interested parties strongly encouraged.
The purpose of these interviews is to allow our Republican candidates the opportunity to state their positions in their own words, describe how they differ from their opponent’s positions and why they would better serve Nevada than their opponent. The Primaries are over. Our ultimate goal must now be to elect or re-elect Republicans.
Not all candidates chose to respond. Following the General election a participation summary will be posted.