Las Vegas Sun

October 21, 2014

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Even in off season, health care debate continues

WASHINGTON -- Greetings, Early Liners. It’s almost the official dog days of summer here, with the House in recess and the Senate leaving later this week, but the debate over health care and the economy continues at a blistering pace during the off season.

Nevada’s lawmakers arrive home armed with talking points on both fronts, trying to win the message wars as the 2010 election season is just around the corner.

The main action before the Senate adjourns is the scheduled vote this week on Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor.

The Senate is also considering a do-over of the Travel Promotion Act, a bill co-authored by Republican Sen. John Ensign that is important for the sagging industry in Nevada, but was shot down in June.

The bill would create a public-private agency to promote tourism in the U.S. to other countries. Supporters say it would generate revenue for communities and the government. The bill had been long sought by former Republican Rep. Jon Porter, but is getting traction this Congress.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has suggested bringing the bill back to the floor for another vote, saying he now has enough yeas for passage.

The Senate is also still waiting on the nomination of Nevadan Bob Abbey as director of the Bureau of Land Management. The nomination had been blocked by Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona.

Many good reads as always in the weekend papers. Be sure to check out:

The Sun’s J. Patrick Coolican's assessment the economic downturn in Las Vegas. Short answer: It isn’t over yet.

Many outlets also picked up on President Barack Obama’s decision to nominate former U.S. Attorney Daniel Bogden for the job he lost under the Bush administration’s unusual firing of nine attorneys three years ago.

Reid had suggested rehiring Bogden to right the wrong, as he put it. The dismissals triggered investigations of politicization within the Justice Department that continue.

The Sun’s Jeff German takes a look at Bogden’s nomination here, as does the Washington Post, New York Times and others.

Also writing in the Sun, Michael Mishak says the Culinary Union sees an opening in its organizing efforts now that Station Casinos, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

And up north, Anjeanette Damon in the Reno Gazette-Journal takes a look at the stakes for Reid as he tries to navigate health care reform and his own re-election. (We took a look at that issue last week, you can read it here.)

That’s all for now. Check back later for all the political news in Nevada.

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