February 4, 2010
Washington, DC – While some people may have been distracted by President Obama’s comments, Nevada Senator Harry Reid said this first week of February proved to be a very good one for the state of Nevada.
“Yucca Mountain is dead, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has sent a Foreclosure SWAT Team to Las Vegas and bulked up its staff, and we’ve taken steps to help the state as it struggles with a major budget deficit. This has been a very important week for the state of Nevada. Nevadans from every corner of the state will benefit from the announcements made and the actions taken this week,” Reid said.
Yucca Mountain is dead:
- Last Friday: Secretary of Energy Steven Chu announced the members of his Blue Ribbon Commission to find alternatives to Yucca Mountain for the safe management of nuclear waste.
- Monday: In President Obama’s 2011 budget, he calls for the elimination of all funding for Yucca Mountain and the withdrawal of the license application submitted by the Bush Administration to build the dump.
- Monday: The Department of Energy took the first step toward withdrawing the license application.
- Tuesday: Reid sent a letter to the Government Accountability Office asking them to consider the Yucca site for uses other than storing nuclear waste that will hopefully create jobs for Nevadans.
HUD sends eight new staffers to its Las Vegas office:
- Monday: HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan sends letter informing Reid of his decision to send eight additional staffers to HUD’s Las Vegas office in response to their meeting about HUD needing to do more to help struggling Nevada homeowners.
- Monday: The new three-person foreclosure rapid response team arrived in Nevada, beginning their work to help Nevadans keep their homes.
President Obama’s budget benefits Nevada:
- Monday: President Obama submitted the outline for his 2011 budget. In addition to the good news regarding Yucca Mountain, there are good things for Nevada. Here are a few examples:
- Tax cuts for 1 million Nevada families.
- Two-year extension of the deduction for state and local sales taxes.
- $313.6 million for schools, students, and teachers.
- $506.4 million to fix and expand the state’s network of roads and highways, modernize airports, and expand water and sewer infrastructure.
- $98.7 million in new funding for Pell Grants to help families pay for college.
- $167.2 million for housing assistance.
- $19.8 million for the BLM to support environmentally sound development of renewable energy on public lands in the west.
- $45 million increase for the Nevada Test Site to work on nuclear nonproliferation and verification of weapons activities
Medicaid funding extension:
- Wednesday: Reid announced that he is working with Senator Jay Rockefeller on legislation to extend by six months the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) funding provided through ARRA.
- This bill would ensure coverage for the more than 160,000 children, parents, seniors and people with disabilities who rely on Medicaid for access to affordable, quality medical care, while helping cash-strapped states like Nevada that are struggling with their budgets.
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