Welcome to the issues section of my website. Here you can learn more about specific issues that directly affect Nevada and the people who live here. As your senator, I work every day to improve the quality of life in our state. Whether it is investing in our children’s education, ensuring the readiness of our homeland security systems and personnel, or working to create more affordable and accessible health care, Nevada will always come first. To find out more about specific issues and to see my positions and legislative actions in each area, please select from the list below.
Click here to view my legislative record.
The well-being of our children and youth should always be a priority, as they represent our most important investment in the future of our state and the nation. Their status also reflects broader issues in the community and in public policy, pointing to successes to build upon and shortcomings to address. Please visit my children’s page to learn more about my efforts on to improve the lives of Nevada’s future leaders on issues such as child welfare, juvenile justice, education, and tax relief for families with children.
Civil Rights and Equality
While our country has made great strides in ensuring equal rights for all, we still have a long way to go to guarantee the civil rights of every American. From fighting to ensure that every eligible voter is able to exercise his or her right to cast a ballot to prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, you can be assured that I will continue to be an advocate for the equal rights of all Americans.
America's Armed Forces are unequaled in strength, unrivaled in professionalism, and unprecedented in success. As our troops continue to serve in Afghanistan we must ensure that our military stays the strongest, most cutting edge fighting force in the world. As Nevada's soldiers and premier military facilities make valuable contributions to America's defense, I remain committed to ensuring that Nevada's military personnel and their families have the support they deserve, including pay, benefits, and lifelong care.
Our state was among those hardest hit by the Great Recession. Families across Nevada continue to face challenges posed by the downturns in both the job and housing markets. I hear from these families every day, which strengthens my resolve to help put Nevadans back to work. The policies enacted by Congress and the Obama Administration over the past few years are beginning to pay off. After bringing our economy back from the brink of collapse, we are finally starting to see signs of growth. But the unemployment rate remains stubbornly high, and we know there is much more work to be done.
Education has always been at the heart of achievement in America. As someone whose life was transformed by education, I understand the importance of providing every child in Nevada and the nation with a quality education. Throughout my time in Congress, I have supported an education agenda that provides more resources for Nevada schools, helps improve student achievement, and helps retain quality teachers and attract skilled professionals to the education field. There is no better investment for our nation's future than creating world-class schools.
Nevada and the nation must aggressively meet the challenge posed by our nation’s dangerous reliance on oil and dirty fossil fuels because they are jeopardizing the future of our economy, environment, and national security. Thankfully, Nevada and the nation can help meet this challenge by building a clean energy future that takes advantage of our vast renewable energy resources.
One of the best legacies we can leave to our children is a clean environment and a history of preservation of our natural beauty and wilderness. We always will need clean water to drink and safe air to breathe. While we have made much progress over the last thirty years, it is critical that we maintain our strong commitment to safeguarding our nation's natural heritage and protecting our environment.
I want to make quality, affordable health care available to every Nevadan by cutting costs, improving quality, and expanding access. As the Affordable Care Act is implemented, I am working to ensure that Nevadans benefit from the law. I am also committed to protecting Nevadans from existing and emerging threats to health by funding biomedical research, investing in prevention, and improving our public health infrastructure.
Police, firefighters, and emergency personnel are our first line in securing our country, and we must provide them with the necessary resources to protect Nevada's residents and visitors. Nevada, in particular, must make sure we can take care of the more than 45 million people who visit Las Vegas and Reno every year. Additionally, McCarran International Airport is the nation's ninth largest airport, and Southern Nevada is home to 11 of the 20 largest hotels in the world. In the event of an emergency such as a terrorist attack, our local emergency responders are essential to ensuring the safety and security of residents and visitors to Nevada.
Nevada remains among the states hardest hit by the housing downturn and has one of the highest foreclosure rates in the nation. I know the difficulties that foreclosures bring not only to individual homeowners, but entire communities and local and state governments. Thousands Nevada families have been impacted - either directly suffering the loss of a home through foreclosure or by the severe depreciation of home values in the area. I assure you I am taking every opportunity, whether through additional federal funding or programs, to help more Nevada families address these challenges.
Our nation is a nation of immigrants, where the values of family, hard work and love of country are what defines us. Our grandparents and great-grandparents came here to pursue the American dream, and we should honor that proud heritage as we try to create an immigration process that works.
When I was raising my family and attending law school, I also worked as a U.S. Capitol Police Officer. Today, I still feel a special bond with those who protect our communities. Throughout my time in Congress, I have been working hard at the federal level to provide more resources for our law enforcement community to help them meet the greater demands of homeland security since September 11th, and to make Nevada a better and safer place to live.
Social Security reflects the best of America's values. It promises all Americans that if they work hard and play by the rules, they can retire and live in dignity. Social Security is not a handout. It is a benefit that senior citizens earn, by working and paying into the system.
Since my first days in Congress, I have been committed to making our tax system fairer. I have focused on protecting the rights of our nation's taxpayers through IRS reform, providing relief to middle-class taxpayers, and cracking down on corporate tax loopholes.
Technology has transformed our economy. I have been working hard to strengthen Nevada's high-technology sector, to close the digital divide, and to provide our students with the skills they need to succeed in high-technology industries. I was proud to have been recognized by a number of high tech advocacy organizations for my work on this issue, and I will continue doing everything I can at the federal level to maintain America's global competitiveness.
After years of extraordinary growth in Nevada, our transportation infrastructure is stretched to the limit. Our state is also one of the most-visited states with millions of tourists traveling to Nevada each year. As a result, we must continue to invest in our transportation infrastructure to meet the needs of our residents, reduce traffic congestion, accidents, and pollution, and create the world class transportation system Nevadans deserve. This is why improving our transportation system is one of my top priorities. Throughout my time in the Senate, I have been working hard to bring millions in federal funds to Nevada to build better roads, public transit, and airports across our state.
I am a strong supporter of our nation's veterans. I believe we all owe a debt to the millions of Americans who have served in our Armed Services.
I share the concerns of many women in Nevada who worry about how they can access quality health care, advance in the workplace, and support their families. We must continue to address the needs of half of Nevada's residents, or the more than one million women who call the Silver State home. Throughout my career in Congress, I have launched several initiatives to expand opportunities and open doors for Nevada women.
For decades, the Department of Energy (DOE) wanted to move America's deadly, high-level nuclear waste to a dump at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Since I was elected to Congress, I have been fighting this project because it threatened our health and safety and would have negatively impacted Nevada's economy. Nevadans are overwhelmingly opposed to dumping nuclear waste in Yucca Mountain, and they can rest safely now that the Obama Administration has put this project to rest.