Press Releases

U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) voted in favor of the FY2018 government funding bill that contains several Nevada priorities he helped secure, including provisions that would: provide additional emergency funding that can help assist Nevada law enforcement with overtime costs related to the October 1st shootingincrease access to mental health care services for veterans struggling with mental illnessfix our background check system, and keep our schools safe. Furthermore, Heller was once again able to stop the bill from including the $150 million requested by the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to support and fund licensing activities at the Yucca Mountain nuclear repository.

In addition to working with the Chairman of the Senate Commerce, Justice, and Science Department Appropriations Subcommittee Richard Shelby (R-AL) to increase funding that Nevada can apply for to help law enforcement cover its nearly $2.8 million shortfall, Heller successfully secured funding to: preserve and protect Lake Tahoe, expand rural broadband, help detect and prevent wildfires, combat veteran homelessnessensure Nevadans continue to have access to community health centers, and reauthorize his Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act, a bipartisan program that provides a fiscally responsible way to protect and manage important public lands in Nevada and throughout the West.

The legislation includes significantly more funding for the construction of State Veterans Homes, which is critical to the completion of the Northern Nevada Veterans HomeHeller is a strong supporter of the new State Veterans Home in Sparks and has repeatedly urged the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to fulfill its commitment to provide resources because the current facility in Boulder City is not only at capacity, it is hundreds of miles away from communities across Northern Nevada. The spending measure also contains a $25 million increase for the Department of Homeland Security’s Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI), a program established to ensure the safety of high-risk urban areas, such as Las Vegas. Heller has worked extensively to see that Las Vegas has adequate resources to protect against terror attacks, and he recently secured a commitment from DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen that she will work with him on this issue.

“Not only does this government funding bill provide certainty to our military and support our troops, it also boosts funding to help keep Las Vegas safe from terrorist attacks, ensures patients in Nevada can continue to access community health centers, and doubles down on efforts to combat the opioid crisis. It’s important for Nevada because it will help expand access to rural broadband, protect Lake Tahoe, and support the Northern Nevada State Veterans Home,” said Heller. “Whether it’s securing additional emergency law enforcement funding that Nevada can apply for, or stopping Congress from funding efforts to revive Yucca Mountain, I’m proud that I was able to use my position in the U.S. Senate to make sure that Nevada wins in this piece of legislation.”

Heller has repeatedly expressed Nevada’s strong opposition to the failed Yucca Mountain project to Administration officials as well as chairmen of the U.S. Senate committees of jurisdiction. Even though the House of Representatives advanced funding aimed at jumpstarting Yucca Mountain, Heller was able to successfully ensure - through his hard work with Senate Leadership and the Chairman - that the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee’s Energy and Water Appropriations bill did not include any funding for the project.

“Despite the Administration’s request to help revive the Yucca Mountain project and the House of Representatives’ advance of funding to do just that, I was able to ensure that Yucca Mountain was excluded from the spending bill,” said Heller. “Just as the House of Representatives has relentlessly pursued legislation that would breathe life into the failed Yucca Mountain project, I’ve relentlessly pursued every avenue to stop them. I’ve doubled down on my efforts to kill Yucca Mountain in the Senate through multiple discussions over the past year with leadership and chairmen of the relevant committees, including Chairman Lamar Alexander, Chairman Lisa Murkowski, Majority Whip John Cornyn, and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.Whether it’s the threat that Yucca Mountain poses to the people of southern Nevada or its potentially catastrophic effect on our tourism economy, I’ve made it clear why Nevada does not want to turn into the nation’s nuclear waste dump. Under my leadership, Congress has not appropriated funding for licensing activities at Yucca Mountain, and I’m going to continue to fight to make sure of it.”   

Background: A snapshot of Heller’s work on the FY2018 Omnibus