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Congressman Amodei Catches Up With Nevada Voters


Members of Congress are back in their home districts for the August recess. But that doesn’t mean they’re taking time off.

Representative Mark Amodei is meeting with constituents while in Northern Nevada. 

He told KNPR's State of Nevada that the voters are talking to him about immigration, healthcare, trade and jobs on the national level. On the local level, they're concerned about infrastructure and land bills.  

"It's all hands on deck in terms of plenty to do both in a Nevada sense and also trying to move the needle on the dial on some of those national issues that seem to have become more of political talking points creatures than things that lend themselves to problem-solving," he said.

He said one of those "political talking point creatures" is healthcare. He said there are parts of the Affordable Care Act that are working and there are parts that aren't.

"We've been treated since its enactment to one side saying, 'it's all got to go away,' and the other side saying, 'it's perfect, don't touch it,' when both of the sides know the reality is you sure as heck don't want to start over again," he said.

Amodei would like to see a solution that takes care of people who need help with healthcare but allows people who have healthcare plans they like to keep them. 

Another big issue that is likely to get attention in Congress this fall is gun control. After the mass shootings in Gilroy, El Paso and Dayton, there have been renewed calls for everything from a ban on assault-style rifles to improved background checks.

Amodei believes Congress "absolutely should" take up the issue of gun violence. As for him, he said he was "open-minded" about solutions but he wants to really understand how mass shooters are getting firearms.

"Here's the starting point... we need to know what's going on with these people, how they're getting their guns and what were the warning signs," he said.

He said instead of politicizing the issue the country needs to understand what is happening so it can act.

The congressman is concerned that Congress will take up the issue of gun control and the Second Amendment like it has immigration and nothing will get accomplished.

"We've found dozens of ways to basically do nothing for 35 years and I think it's because both sides are addicted to their political talking points and they like them and they think they help them," he said.

Another potential problem on the horizon could be another recession. An important recession indicator last week sent the stock market into a tailspin for a few hours.

President Donald Trump has brushed off those concerns, but not everyone is entirely sure his optimism is warranted.

Amodei said since the Great Recession he has "never taken the economy for granted," no matter how well it is doing.

However, he supports the president's trade war with China, which some people have, in part, blamed for the recession rumblings.

"I think it is one of those things where you've got a cancer and let's try and find a way to eradicate that without killing the patient and that's proven to be a hard thing," he said.

Rep. Mark Amodei, R-NV 2nd District

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Bert is a reporter and producer based in Reno, where he covers the state legislature and stories that resonate across Nevada. He began his career in journalism after studying abroad during the summer of 2011 in Egypt, during the Arab Spring. Before he joined Nevada Public Radio and Capital Public Radio, Bert was a contributor at KQED and the Sacramento News & Review. He was also a photographer, video editor and digital producer at the East Bay Express.