(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) made the following speech on the Senate floor in honor of the late Barbara Vucanovich, former Congresswoman for Nevada’s Second District:
Senator Heller’s Remarks as Prepared:
“Monday was a sad day for my home state of Nevada. This week we learned that Congresswoman Barbara Vucanovich passed away in Reno, just a few weeks before her 92nd birthday.
“As the first woman elected to represent Nevada in Congress, Barbara was a dedicated and effective legislator admired by her colleagues on both sides of the aisle. And as the first person to represent Nevada’s Second Congressional District - a district I was privileged to represent in the House of Representatives - Barbara was a role model to countless Nevadans. She exemplified the highest standards of public service.
“And moreover, Barbara was a dear friend.
“When I came to Washington for the very first time, Barbara invited me to join her for lunch, even though I was a total stranger. It was a kind, and considerate gesture that I will never forget. Even today, when constituents come to Washington to visit, I tell them the story about Barbara and how I aspire to the high standard she set.
“During her seven terms in Congress, she was a vigorous advocate for important issues, including breast cancer research, and was herself a breast cancer survivor. As Chairwoman of the House Subcommittee on Military Construction, at the time one of only two women ever to serve as Chair of an Appropriations Subcommittee, she was a strong and effective voice for America’s men and women in uniform. And she played a pivotal role protecting Nevada’s vast resources while serving on the House Interior Committee, helping to create the Great Basin National Park.
“Barbara served in Congress at a time when members of different parties could come together and find solutions for the American people. She served at a time when compromise and common sense guided decision-making, when results were more important than petty partisanship. And the same was certainly true of Barbara.
“Barbara was a devoted mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, she was an admired and beloved public servant, a patriot, a proud Nevadan, and a dear friend.
“My heart goes out to her family and friends during this difficult time. My wife, Lynne, and I join our fellow Nevadans in remembering the inspirational life and legacy of Barbara Vucanovich.”
Apr 24 2013
Asks what harm exists to Internet tracking and what is the right solution
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) offered opening remarks at the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation hearing titled “A Status Update on the Development of Voluntary Do-Not-Track Standards.” Understanding what harm exists to Internet tracking and the impacts of any possible government solution on the private sector were among Heller’s concerns.
Here are Senator Heller’s full remarks, as prepared:
Thank you Mr. Chairman.
I appreciate this hearing today to understand where the private sector is on voluntary do not track agreements.
This issue crystalizes the transactional nature of using the Internet.
Whether consumers realize it or not there is an exchange taking place when an individual launches their internet on whatever device they are using.
In exchange for services such as free search engines, free email, free content on websites, free travel booking to destinations such as Las Vegas, free car rental booking when they are in Las Vegas and free dinner booking at world class restaurants in Las Vegas, these consumers whether they know it or not are being tracked.
Some people don’t even know they are being tracked. Some people don’t even care.
As we all know, the World Wide Web Consortium or W3C has been working on an international set of standards in an effort to improve user privacy and user control by defining what a user should expect when opting for no tracking during their online session.
We have been hearing for some time that the W3C is spinning its wheels and unable to come to an agreement. The W3C has a major opportunity on May 6-8 in California to come together and decide if they can reach an agreement.
I hope that this will happen. I think that a result on this issue by the private sector is the most appropriate way to go.
I would encourage the W3C to try to the fullest extent possible to uphold a few principles:
- Any solution must be technology neutral.
- It must be business model neutral.
- And it must not pick winners and losers.
I also want to point out how difficult a consensus will be to achieve.
The W3C is made up of privacy groups, web browsers, 1st party advertisers, 3rd party advertising companies and experts in the public sphere. There are many competing agendas here.
It is important that this committee attempts to better understand why coming to an agreement here is fleeting and perhaps encourage that the private sector be able to reach a consensus.
It is also important to understand that any solution that blocks 3rd party advertising companies from placing cookies on the Internet will have economic consequences. This sector provides many jobs and generates multiple billions of dollars in economic activity.
Understanding exactly what 1st and 3rd parties track online and whether the consumer is harmed in some fashion or even cares is incredibly important to understand. Especially if a government solution is being considered.
I think the last thing any member wants to do is propose a solution that chills investment and innovation.
The question really being discussed here is not whether tracking is happening, it is. The question is whether harm actually exists, what is that harm, and what is the appropriate solution to that?
I believe the goal here is consumer education and choice, but it should be from the private sector.
Thank you Mr. Chairman.
Mar 23 2013
(Washington DC) – During a hearing of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources today, U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) voted in support of Sally Jewell’s nomination to be Secretary of the Department of the Interior. The Committee voted to send her nomination to the full Senate for a confirmation vote.
“Nevada is owned by 87 percent of the federal government and it does cause for some unique challenges. Wildfires of course are one of the most potent issues that we face every summer as you can imagine come July and August. Habitat restoration is also a critical issue.
“We are also dealing constantly with the Interior with permitting issues on all types of activities on these public lands, whether they include renewable energy, recreation, mining, or grazing.
“The one issue that Senator Risch brings up that eclipses all others is the issue that we have with the sage grouse. I think that a listing could hurt every county in Nevada and literally stifle economic recovery in the state if something isn’t done to make sure that we work together and make sure that we solve this problem before a bird like that gets listed.
“I have talked specifically with Ms. Jewell about this issue and she has assured me that she is willing to work together so that we can work through some of these problems. I feel comfortable with that and it is my intention to support her out of committee.”
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) questioned the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Under Secretary for Benefits about the backlog of VA claims facing Nevada veterans.
Heller has been at the forefront in seeking answers for Nevada veterans. Currently, the VA Regional Office for the State of Nevada is facing a backlog of more than 10,000 claims. In August, Senator Heller toured the Office with Congressman Mark Amodei. In February, he met with VA Secretary Eric Shinseki to discuss the issue and just last week he questioned panelists at a Veterans’ Affairs Committee Hearing.
Mar 12 2013
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) questioned commissioners at the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation hearing, titled “Oversight of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
In his questioning, Senator Heller joined with other Republican members of the Committee, and called for further discussion regarding the 1992 Cable Act and the 1996 Telecommunications Act. Specifically, Heller urged the Committee and the FCC Commissioners to examine further whether those laws are promoting or hindering innovation, investment in infrastructure and broadband adoption.
Heller also focused on his legislation to reform the FCC by making it more transparent and more responsive to industry businesses.
Heller introduced the Federal Communications Commission Consolidated Reporting Act last Congress in an effort to remove the weight of big government from our nation’s innovators and entrepreneurs. Heller plans to reintroduce the same legislation this Congress.
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) questioned Sally Jewell at the Energy and Natural Resources Committee Hearing on her nomination to be the Secretary of the Interior. Protecting the mining industry in the Silver State and preventing an Endangered Species Act listing for the sage grouse were among Heller’s concerns.
Partial transcript of Senator Heller’s Questions Below:
- Mining is important in Nevada, as it is in the entire West… My question is, do you believe that mining is a threat to public lands?
- Eighty seven percent of Nevada is owned by the federal government, so when the Interior sneezes, we feel an earthquake. I would hope that you (Sally Jewell) and I can have the discussion to see if there are any changes that can be done to assure that not only are we avoiding these wildfires but at the same time, saving the precious habitat for these sage grouse.
Mar 05 2013
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) questioned panelists at the Veterans’ Affairs Committee Joint Hearing on the legislative presentation of Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) about the backlog of Veterans Affairs (VA) claims in the Silver State, the changes to TRICARE Prime in Northern Nevada, and the high rate of veteran unemployment.
Currently, the VA Regional Office for the State of Nevada is facing a backlog of more than 10,000 claims. In August, Senator Heller toured the Office with Congressman Mark Amodei. Just last month, he met with VA Secretary Eric Shinseki to discuss the issue.
The Department of Defense has confirmed media reports regarding changes to the availability of TRICARE Prime that could affect veterans living in Northern Nevada. The changes were reported following passage of legislation introduced by U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) that requires a full report on the termination of TRICARE Prime health coverage in certain areas.
Nationwide, veterans are facing an unemployment rate of 7.6 percent. The economic downturn in the State of Nevada has left nearly 1,500 veterans homeless.