The Metro Chamber spent the day on Capitol Hill engaging in discussions and dialogues with many key members of Congress to advance several Southern Nevada priorities.
We started off the day by meeting with U.S. Congresswoman Dina Titus (NV-1) on several issues important to our members and vital to the future growth of Southern Nevada, including water infrastructure, the designation of Tule Springs Fossil Beds as Nevada’s first national monument and transportation projects such as Interstate 11.
We also met with U.S. Congressman Tom Petri from Wisconsin’s 6th District and chairman of the U.S. House Highways and Transit Subcommittee. During the conversation, Congressman Petri confirmed that he would like to have a hearing on I-11, and we look forward to continuing the dialogue with him in the future on this important economic lifeline for Southern Nevada.
During lunch, political pollster Frank Luntz addressed our group on politics and his thoughts on the state of business in Nevada. In addition to being a new resident of Las Vegas (and a member of the Metro Chamber), he is someone who is passionate about Southern Nevada. After a few quips and insights, we headed back for the afternoon’s slate of meetings.
U.S. Congressman Joe Heck (NV-3) spoke about tourism initiatives, including the JOLT Act, workforce development issues including the Workforce Investment Act, the SKILLS Act, and the importance of ensuring that our region’s employees have the right training to fill the jobs that we have – and those that will come about in emerging industries and technologies.
U.S. Congressman Labrador (ID-1) also stopped by to say hello. Representing Idaho, Congressman Labrador is a proud graduate of Las Vegas High School and is a Las Vegas native. U.S. Congressman Price of Wisconsin also spent a few minutes with us discussing health care.
After that, we facilitated a briefing on Interstate 11 with U.S. Congressman Steven Horsford (NV-4) and U.S. Congressman Paul Gosar (AZ-4), co-chairs of the Interstate 11 Caucus. The discussion also included representatives from the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Arizona Department of Transportation, Nevada Department of Transportation and the Regional Transportation District. This was a monumental meeting of the minds on one of the most important economic development initiatives for our region, as well as Phoenix’s metropolitan area. Connecting our two regions will reap myriad economic benefits, create jobs and open up new opportunities for our economies to grow and thrive.
Nevada U.S. Senator Dean Heller joined us for an update on workforce development, the recent extension of the unemployment insurance, and the movement on Tule Springs Fossil Beds as Nevada’s first national monument on the Hill.
U.S. Congressman Mark Amodei (NV-2) dove right into public lands issues and the designation of Tule Springs, also touching on other topics relating to economic development and job creation.
Our final meeting of the day was with U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, also representing the state of Nevada. Several members of our delegation engaged the Senate Majority Leader and key members of his staff on topics relating to transportation infrastructure, public lands, Tule Springs, health care, travel and tourism, veterans issues, patent law, immigration and other topics relevant to Southern Nevada.
The day ended with a reception for the Interstate 11 Caucus. Members of several Congressional delegations were represented at this spirited get-together that truly rounded out a day of partnership and advocacy on behalf of the Southern Nevada business community.
Tomorrow, we’ll be taking in important discussions with the Tax Foundation and the Brookings Institution. Be sure to stay up-to-date on the conversations on Twitter (@LVChamber), Facebook and Instagram (@LasVegasMetroChamber).