Accomplishments

Senator Dean Heller's Nevada Accomplishments

Transportation, Infrastructure, and Tourism
  • Senator Heller’s Interstate 11 (I-11) extension legislation extends the future I-11 connecting Phoenix and Las Vegas through the state to Interstate 80 in Northern Nevada. An in-depth look at the extension, including a map and video, is available HERE. The I-11 extension was signed into law as part of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act - P.L.114-94 - on December 4, 2015.

  • Senators Heller and Booker (D-NJ) offered Amendment #453 to the Senate Budget Resolution prioritizing nationally and regionally important infrastructure projects like the future I-11. Specifically, this amendment prioritizes federal investments in infrastructure projects that improve the safe, secure, and efficient movement of people and goods through the U.S. to create jobs and spur economic development, such as I-11 connecting Phoenix to Las Vegas and ultimately stretching north towards Northern Nevada. This legislation passed the United States Senate on March 27, 2015, and it was included in the Conference Report which passed both the House and the Senate on May 5, 2015.

  • Senator Heller teamed up with Senators Klobuchar (D-MN) and Blunt (R-MO) to advance the Travel Promotion, Enhancement, and Modernization Act of 2015.  The legislation reauthorizes the Brand USA program, a public-private partnership that enhances tourism across the country and promotes international travel to the United States, and it was signed into law – P.L. 113-235 – on December 16, 2015.

  • Senator Heller secured authorization of the Truckee River Flood Management Project in the Reno/Sparks region in the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014. This initiative authorizes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to partner with Reno, Sparks, and Washoe County to construct the Truckee Meadows flood control project, designed to protect homes and businesses from flooding in the Reno-Sparks area, and was signed into law as part of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 - P.L. 113-121 - on June 10, 2014.

  • Senator Heller teamed up with his Nevada and California colleagues to include a Lake Tahoe transportation provision in the recently enacted highway bill. This initiative ensures the populations of all of the California and Nevada communities surrounding the Lake are considered a singular entity, which will greatly benefit local leaders as they seek additional resources to implement the Basin’s innovative 21st century infrastructure plans. The provision was signed into law as part of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act - P.L. 114-94.

  • Senator Heller teamed up with Senators Schumer (D-NY), Klobuchar (D-MN), and Lee (R-UT) to introduce the Jobs Originated through Launching Travel Act of 2015 (JOLT Act). The JOLT Act streamlines and improves the visa application system for foreign tourists seeking to visit the United States, facilitating additional tourism in states like Nevada. The legislation was signed into law as part of P.L. 114-113 on December 18, 2015.

  • Senators Heller and Schatz (D-HI) offered the Pedestrian Safety Amendment #2407, which addresses the continued increase in pedestrian injuries and fatalities across the country. This passed the Senate as part of the DRIVE Act on July 30, 2015. In Nevada, pedestrian fatalities are 24.8 percent of total traffic fatalities. The state is 6th most dangerous for pedestrians over 65 years old.

  • Senators Heller and Manchin (D-MA) introduced the ROV In-Depth Examination Act of 2015, which prohibits the Consumer Product Safety Commission from establishing any standards concerning the performance or configuration of side-by-sides until after the completion of a National Academy of Sciences study on the lateral stability and vehicle handling requirements. This flawed regulation could have had unintended safety consequences and limit these vehicles’ ability to access difficult terrain. The legislation was signed into law as part of P.L. 114-113.

  • Senator Heller's Safety Through Informed Consumers (STICRS) Act of 2015 promotes safer cars by requiring the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to integrate crash-avoidance technology information, such as active braking and lane-tracking technology, into the safety rating information listed on the car sticker. The STICRS Act was signed into law as part of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act - P.L. 114-94 - on December 4, 2015.

  • Senator Heller teamed up with Senators Thune (R-SD) and Nelson (D-FL) in enacting the Motor Vehicle Safety Whistleblower Act. This bill provides important incentives for whistleblowers in the auto industry to bring safety concerns to the attention of federal regulators when harmful safety defects are not reported. The legislation was signed into law as part of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act - P.L. 114-94.

  • Senator Heller's Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act provides relief from the NHTSA’s decades old “one-size-fits-all” regulations for vehicle manufacturers. Specifically, it establishes a reasonable framework for the production of replica cars – often 1930’s hot rods, 1950’s classics, and 1965 Cobras – so that work is not treated the same as the mass production of cars by global auto manufacturers. Senator Heller teamed up with Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) to advocate for this legislation, which was signed into law as part of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act - P.L. 114-94 - on December 4, 2015.
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Energy, Natural Resources, and Public Lands
  • Senator Heller's Lyon County Economic Development and Conservation Act allows the City of Yerington to work with Nevada Copper to expand its mining operation and create jobs while also providing the City with new infrastructure, job creation, and recreational opportunities. The legislation was signed into law as part of the Carl Levin and Howard P. "Buck" McKeon National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015 – PL:113-291 – on December 19, 2014.

  • Senator Heller's Five Year-Extension of the Renewable Energy Tax Credit for solar energy with “Commence Construction” facilitates the expansion of solar energy development by extending the Investment Tax Credit in Sections 48 and 25D for five years and modifying the Section 48 credit from a “placed in service” to a “commence construction” standard of eligibility.  These provisions, which Senator Heller introduced in the 113th Congress and filed in the Finance Committee this year, would spur the development of both large-scale solar projects – which take multiple years to permit, finance, construct and place in service – and rooftop solar power. The five-year phase-down for solar property was signed into law as part of the FY2016 Omnibus spending package - PL: 114-113 - on December 18, 2015.

  • Senator Heller and Reid's (D-NV) Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument Act designates the Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument, NV’s first monument, and provides for a wide-variety of economic development projects in Clark County. Specifically, the legislation makes more land available for the expansion of campuses within the Nevada System of Higher Education, creates more job opportunities in southern Nevada, improves management of the Spring Mountain National Recreation Area, establishes an off-highway vehicle (OHV) recreation park, and designates a corridor, under the jurisdiction of the BLM, for a transmission line that will be primarily used to carry new renewable energy.The legislation was signed into law as part of the Carl Levin and Howard P. "Buck" McKeon National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015 – PL:113-291 – on December 19, 2014.

  • Senator Heller and Reid's (D-NV) Pine Forest Range Recreation Enhancement Act creates the Pine Forest Range Wilderness Area, while releasing 1,500 acres of the existing Wilderness Study Areas (WSA) lands in the area directing the BLM to exchange federal lands surrounding nearby ranches for private parcels within the existing WSAs to allow for more appropriate management of public lands and ensure the economic viability of privately owned ranchesThe legislation was signed into law as part of the Carl Levin and Howard P. "Buck" McKeon National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015 – PL:113-291 – on December 19, 2014.

  • Senator Heller teamed up with Senator Barrasso (R-WY) in enacting the Grazing Improvement Act, which improves the livestock grazing permitting process on lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service. This legislation was signed into law as part of the Carl Levin and Howard P. "Buck" McKeon National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015 – PL:113-291 – on December 19, 2014.

  • Senator Heller's  Conservation Easement Incentive Act of 2015 provides a permanent, enhanced tax incentive for family farmers, ranchers, and other landowners to voluntarily conserve land important for agriculture, hunting and fishing recreation, and wildlife preservation. By providing tax benefits to landowners who choose conservation, the bill helps preserve our nation’s farm lands and open spaces for posterity. The legislation was signed into law as part of the FY2016 Omnibus spending package - PL: 114-113 - on December 18, 2015.

  • Senator Heller and Reid's (D-NV) Three Kids Mine Remediation and Reclamation Act directs the BLM to convey the federal portions of the Three Kids Mine site to the City of Henderson taking into account the cost of reclamation for the mine site. Once it receives title to the land, the Redevelopment Agency will work with a developer to complete the cleanup to meet stringent federal standards and build a residential community in its place. This legislation was signed into law – PL:113-135 - on July 25, 2014.

  • Senator Heller's Fernley Economic Self-Determination Act of 2014 directs the Secretary of the Interior to convey to the City of Fernley any Federal land within that city that is under the jurisdiction of either the BLM or the Bureau of Reclamation.  The legislation was signed into law as part of the Carl Levin and Howard P. "Buck" McKeon National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015 – PL:113-291 – on December 19, 2014.
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Veterans
  • Senator Heller teamed up with Senator Booker (D-NJ) to pass the Assisted Living Pilot Program for Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury (AL-TBI) Extension Act, which extends and modifies the pilot program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) on assisted living services for veterans with traumatic brain injury. This legislation was included in Veterans’ Access to Care through Choice, Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014 and was signed into law – P.L. 113-146 - on August 7, 2014.

  • Senator Heller teamed up with Senator Merkley (D-OR) to pass the Spouses of Heroes Education Act to provide education benefits to spouses of service members who died in the line of duty. This legislation was included in Veterans’ Access to Care through Choice, Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014 and was signed into law – P.L. 113-146 - on August 7, 2014.

  • Senator Heller's 21st Century Veterans Benefits Delivery Act creates reforms at the VA to eliminate the disability claims backlog and improve the claims process. This legislation passed the Senate on November 10, 2015.

  • Senator Heller's Filipino Veterans Promise Act establishes a process for all eligible Filipino veterans to receive the compensation they are entitled to for their service to the United States during World War II. This legislation passed the Senate on November 10, 2015.

  • Senator Heller's Veterans Small Business Opportunity and Protection Act of 2015 expands certain eligibility as a veteran-owned business for surviving spouses and dependents. This legislation passed the Senate on November 10, 2015.

  • Senator Heller's Veterans Affairs Research Transparency Act of 2015 requires the VA to make taxpayer-funded research for the VA publicly available. This legislation passed the Senate on November 10, 2015.

  • Senator Heller's Creating A Reliable Environment (CARE) for Veterans’ Dependents Act creates a deficit-neutral reserve fund to ensure that children of homeless veterans are eligible to receive services provided to homeless veterans at shelters and facilities funded by the VA. This legislation passed the Senate on October 29, 2015.

  • Senator Heller joined Senator Tester (D-MT) in offering Amendment #537 to adjust current eligibility requirements for children who receive health care under the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA). This amendment was included in the FY14 Budget and passed the Senate on March 22, 2013.

  • Senator Heller's Amendment #456 ensures the VA medical facilities properly meet the needs of women veterans by taking into account their safety, privacy, and dignity. The amendment was included in Senate Concurrent Resolution 11 and passed the Senate on March 27, 2015.
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Job Creation and the Economy
  • Senator Heller's State and Local Sales Tax Deduction legislation allows for a permanent deduction of state and local sales taxes. Nevada is one of several states electing to use sales taxes rather than income taxes to finance government services. The legislation helps level an uneven playing field by ensuring Nevada is afforded the same treatment in the federal tax code as states with an income tax and was signed into law as part of the FY2016 Omnibus spending package - PL: 114-113.

  • Senator Heller's Mortgage Debt Relief Act extends a critical law protecting distressed homeowners from burdensome taxes. Without this legislation, homeowners would have been required to pay additional taxes when they receive financial relief on their home mortgage or sell their homes for less than what they owe in what are commonly called “short sales.” On December 18, 2015, the President signed into law the FY2016 Omnibus spending package - P.L. 114-113 - this included Heller's Mortgage Debt Relief Act.

  • Senator Heller teamed up with his colleagues in enacting the Helping Expand Lending Practices (HELP) in Rural Communities Act, which aids rural communities harmed by Obama Administration policies that restricted access to rural home lending opportunities. The bill provides rural communities with better access to credit opportunities that can help grow their local economies. This legislation - P.L. 114-94 - was signed into law on December 4, 2015. 

  • Senator Heller teamed up with his colleagues in securing passage of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (TRIA), which extends the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act for seven years. The legislation helps to protect jobs and economic development in the Silver State. The TRIA program is a critical priority for high-risk cities, like Las Vegas and Reno, post-9/11. The program provides a federal backstop for insurance coverage against losses from devastating terrorist attacks. This insurance is crucial to spurring new development and protecting existing real estate in high-risk urban areas. This legislation became law - P.L. 114-1 - on January 12, 2015.
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Health Care
  • Senator Heller's Middle Class Health Benefits Tax Repeal Act of 2015 fully repeals the 40 percent excise tax on employer sponsored health coverage included in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) known as the “Cadillac tax. ” This tax was originally supposed to go into effect in 2018. On December 18, 2015, the President signed into law the FY2016 Omnibus spending package - P.L.114-113 - to include Heller's two year delay of the Cadillac tax.
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Defense
  • Senator Heller's Stolen Valor Act categorizes lying about receiving a military decoration or medal in order to profit or benefit financially as a federal crime. In February 2013, Senator Heller and Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) introduced the Stolen Valor Act in the Senate, and on June 3, 2013, the legislation was signed into law - PL: 113-12.

  • Senator Heller filed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2016 to give military base commanders the authority to allow service members to carry personal firearms on base for their protection and force protection. The NDAA, including Heller's amendment, was signed into law - PL: 114-92 - on November 25, 2015.
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Israel
  • Senator Heller's Amendment #113 to enhance trade between the United States and Israel was incorporated in Customs Legislation. The Customs Legislation, Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015, which included the Heller amendment, was enacted into law - PL: 114-125 - on February 24, 2016.

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Privacy
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Labor
  • Senator Heller's Amendment #2012 to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2013 upholds our nation’s commitment to fairness and equal opportunity in the workplace consistent with the fundamental right of religious freedom, and provides certain exemptions for religious organizations and prevents government retaliation against such entities. The legisltion passed the Senate on November 7, 2013.
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Indian Affairs
  • Senator Heller's Elko Motocross and Tribal Conveyance Act conveys approximately 275 acres of BLM-managed lands to Elko County, Nevada, for a public motocross park. The bill also provides that approximately 373 acres of BLM-managed lands be held in trust for the benefit of the Te-Moak Tribe (Elko Band) for housing and community development. The legislation was signed into law as part of the Carl Levin and Howard P. "Buck" McKeon National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015 – PL:113-291 – on December 19, 2014.

  • Senator Heller and Reid's (D-NV) Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe - Fish Springs Ranch Settlement Act finalizes a long standing water settlement, agreed to in 2007 between the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe and Fish Springs Ranch in east Washoe County. The legislation was signed into law – PL:113-169 - on September 26, 2014.
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Tax
  • Senator Heller teamed up with his colleagues in enacting the Philippines Charitable Giving Assistance Act, which spurred cash donations to charitable organizations providing assistance to help the Philippines recover from Typhoon Haiyan by allowing taxpayers who donate money to the relief efforts to receive tax benefits nearly a year faster than usual. The legislation passed the Senate on March 6, 2014, and the companion legislation was signed into law – PL:113-92- on March 25, 2014.

  • Senator Heller teamed up with Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) in introducing the Short Line Railroad Rehabilitation and Investment Act of 2015, which amends the Internal Revenue Code, with respect to the tax credit for railroad track maintenance, to expand the types of maintenance expenditures eligible for such credit and extend such credit through 2016. The legislation was signed into law as part of the FY2016 Omnibus Spending Package - P.L. 114-113 - on December 18, 2015.
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Immigration
  • Senator Heller's Amendment #1227 to the Comprehensive Immigration Reform includes a representative from the Southwestern State of Nevada on the Southern Border Security Commission passed the Senate on June 27, 2013.

  • Senator Heller's Amendment #1234 to the Comprehensive Immigration Reform requires the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to submit a report on how DHS intends to implement a biometric entry/exit system for ten highest-volume airports was included in Senate Amendment #1183, which passed the Senate on June 27, 2013.

  • Senator Heller's Amendment #1235 to the Comprehensive Immigration Reform requires DHS to develop a plan to reduce wait times at airports with the highest volume of international travelers was included in Senate Amendment #1183, which passed the Senate on June 27, 2013.
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Education
  • Senator Heller's Amendment #2121 requires governors of states to be consulted during the development of a state education plan to improve education and workforce readiness. Heller’s amendment was signed into law as part of the Every Student Succeeds Act - P.L. 114-231 – on December 17, 2016.

  • Senator Heller teamed up with Senator Gillibrand (D-NY) in introducing the Child Sexual Abuse Awareness and Prevention Act, which combats child sexual abuse by equipping local school districts with the resources they need to develop or enhance child sexual abuse awareness and prevention efforts. This legislation was incorporated in the Every Student Succeeds Act, which was signed into law - P.L.114-231 – on December 17, 2016.
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Judiciary
  • Senator Heller's Amendment #1122 ensures Transportation Security Administration (TSA), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and other Department of Homeland Security (DHS) personnel are trained and equipped to better identify victims and perpetrators of human trafficking. This amendment also allows funds to be used to strengthen Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Forces across the country, which investigate heinous crimes, such as the production of child pornography and human trafficking. Heller’s amendment was signed into law as part of the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act - P.L. 114-22 - on May 29, 2015.

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Telecommunications
  • Senator Heller's Federal Communications Commission Consolidated Reporting Act of 2015, which eliminates outdated reports at the FCC and create one Communications Marketplace Report to ensure Congress and the American public understand the state of competition in voice, video, and data delivery, passed the Senate on June 10, 2015.
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