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D.C. Download: Defense act delivers millions for Nevada military installations

The annual spending bill is one of the few to pass through Congress and become a law this year.
Gabby Birenbaum
Gabby Birenbaum
CongressGovernment
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Members of the Nevada National Guard march in the Nevada Day Parade in Carson City on Oct. 28, 2023. (David Calvert/The Nevada Independent)

Greetings from D.C., where typically the end of the year would mean an opportunity to parse appropriations bills for the “pork barrel” project funding the delegation was able to bring home to Nevada. But because the government is only temporarily funded, I’ve turned to one of the only bills that has passed recently: the annual defense authorization.

NDAA’s Nevada money

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passed the Senate on Wednesday and the House on Thursday by bipartisan margins, authorizing the Pentagon to spend $886 billion once signed by the president. All six members of the Nevada delegation voted for the bill.

Broadly, the NDAA includes a 5.2 percent pay raise for military service members, supports a number of national security priorities and is mostly — though not entirely — devoid of culture war provisions that the House GOP-passed version was full of.

Here’s how Nevada’s military installations will be affected:

Nevada Test and Training Range (NTTR)

One area in which the House and Senate versions of the NDAA differed was funding for new threat emitters in Southern Nevada’s NTTR, a military training area in the desert that overlaps with the Desert National Wildlife Refuge (DNWR).

The House version included authorization for the Air Force to install 15 threat emitters, a system that provides air combat training designed to mimic adversaries’ forces; the Senate version did not. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) proposed a compromise in October to pair the Air Force’s request with new conservation protections for over 700,000 acres of the wildlife refuge.

The final version of the bill only included the threat emitter piece. Both Cortez Masto and Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV) voted for the bill anyways.

Nellis Air Force Base

Nevada’s most-populated military installation, where nearly 15,000 people work just northeast of Las Vegas, is receiving $13.7 million for facility upgrades.

The NDAA authorizes the building of a new dormitory, a new F-35 aircraft hangar and a data lab on the base.

Other facilities funding

Nevada’s other military bases are getting their share of funding, too. The NDAA includes $32 million for Creech Air Force Base and $29 million for Fallon Naval Air Station for ongoing training and construction activities.

The NDAA also commissions a study on potentially increasing incentive pay at Creech. 

Meanwhile, $80 million is going to the Nevada National Security Site for facilities — construction and maintenance — and an additional nearly $62 million is designated for the Nevada Test Site.

The Nevada National Guard will see slightly less than $8.8 million for facility upgrades for the ready building at Stead’s Harry Reid Training Center and a new maintenance and general instruction facility at North Las Vegas’ Floyd Edsall Training Center.

Incorporation of Rosen bills

Rosen, who sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee, had four of her bills included as part of the NDAA package.

A former computer programmer, Rosen’s fingerprints are all over the cybersecurity sections of the NDAA, which includes her bills to create a pilot program for a civilian cybersecurity reserve force, expanded cyber cooperation between the U.S. and Taiwan and shoring up the physical and digital defense of federal data centers. The fourth one involves spurring maritime collaboration between American allies against Iran.

Around the Capitol

🛣️Streets are calling — The city of Las Vegas will receive $8.3 million from the federal Safe Streets and Roads for All program to improve pedestrian safety and access on roads in East Las Vegas. It’s the latest of several grants from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to the city. Look for the Las Vegas-based members of Congress to campaign heavily on it during the next cycle.

🌍Rosen slams UN — Rosen co-led a letter with 27 other senators calling on the United Nations to hold its UN Women organization accountable for its lack of immediate condemnation for the sexual crimes committed by Hamas in its Oct. 7 attack on Israel. 

✍️Lee’s bills pass House — Two of Rep. Susie Lee’s (D-NV) bills passed the House this week as part of broader health care bills. The first, the TREAT Youth Act, reauthorizes an expired grant program to improve awareness of fentanyl and opioid risk among young people. The second, the Health Insurance Price Transparency Act, aims to improve health care cost transparency by requiring rate and price information to be publicly available for patients.

💎Not so rare (to Nevada) earth minerals — Cortez Masto partnered with Sen. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) on a bill aimed to strengthen the rare-earth magnet supply chain — a potential boon to Nevada, where rare-earth minerals are mined outside of Primm.

Cortez Masto’s bill would create a tax credit at $20 per kilogram of rare-earth magnet manufactured in the U.S., and increase to $30 if the components are produced domestically.

🗣️The abortion bully pulpit — Both senators have spoken out — Rosen in a floor speech, and Cortez Masto in a video on X — about the Kate Cox case in Texas, ramping up Democrats’ arguments on abortion as the 2024 election approaches. Cox, a mom of two, had to flee Texas in order to get an abortion after learning that her 20-week-old fetus had a genetic condition and little chance of survival and experiencing adverse health symptoms herself. She had initially been granted the right to receive an abortion by a district court, but the decision was appealed by Texas attorney general Ken Paxton and overturned by the Texas Supreme Court.

“As long as I’m here, I will oppose any efforts to enact a nationwide abortion ban — a ban that would punish women for making their own health care decisions,” Rosen said on the Senate floor. 

Notable and Quotable:

“Students, faculty, university staff were hiding for their lives, cowering in fear, while Washington politicians were cowering behind the gun lobby that refuses to support policies demanded by an overwhelming majority of Americans. That should not be normal!”

— Rep. Susie Lee (D-NV), in an impassioned floor speech on the UNLV shooting

Legislative Tracker

CATHERINE CORTEZ MASTO

Legislation sponsored:

S.3459 — A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow an above-the-line deduction for attorney fees and costs in connection with consumer claim awards.

S.3498 — A bill to amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide for coverage of peer support services under the Medicare program.

S.3521 — A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to establish a credit for the domestic production of rare-earth magnets, and for other purposes.

Legislation co-sponsored:

S.Res.499 — A resolution acknowledging the lifetime of service of Sandra Day O'Connor to the United States as a successful Arizona state Senator, trailblazer, expert collaborator, educational advocate, and one of the great justices of the Supreme Court of the United States.

S.Res.500 — A resolution designating Nov. 8, 2023, as National First-Generation College Celebration Day.

S.3487 — A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide an exclusion from gross income for AmeriCorps educational awards.

S.3509 — A bill to amend title XXVII of the Public Health Service Act to provide for a special enrollment period for pregnant persons, and for other purposes.

S.Res.505 — A resolution condemning the use of sexual violence and rape as a weapon of war by the terrorist group Hamas against the people of Israel.

S.Res.510 — A resolution expressing the sense of the Senate that the scientific judgment of the Food and Drug Administration that mifepristone is safe and effective should be respected, and law and policy governing access to lifesaving, time-sensitive medication abortion care in the United States should be equitable and based on science.

S.3553 — A bill to provide a retroactive effective date for the promotions of senior officers of the Armed Forces whose military promotions were delayed as a result of the suspension of Senate confirmation of such promotions.

JACKY ROSEN

Legislation sponsored: 

S.3526 — A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to require a lactation space in each medical center of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Legislation co-sponsored:

S.3466 — A bill to require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs and the comptroller general of the United States to submit to Congress reports regarding security and safety at facilities of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes.

S.Res.500 — A resolution designating Nov.8, 2023, as National First-Generation College Celebration Day.

S.Res.505 — A resolution condemning the use of sexual violence and rape as a weapon of war by the terrorist group Hamas against the people of Israel.

S.Res.510 — A resolution expressing the sense of the Senate that the scientific judgment of the Food and Drug Administration that mifepristone is safe and effective should be respected, and law and policy governing access to lifesaving, time-sensitive medication abortion care in the United States should be equitable and based on science.

S.3530 — A bill to retain federal employees who are spouses of a member of the Armed Forces or the Foreign Service when relocating due to an involuntary transfer, and for other purposes.

S.3553 — A bill to provide a retroactive effective date for the promotions of senior officers of the Armed Forces whose military promotions were delayed as a result of the suspension of Senate confirmation of such promotions.

DINA TITUS

Legislation sponsored: 

H.Res.928 — Honoring the victims of the mass shooting at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas on Dec. 6, 2023.

Legislation co-sponsored:

H.R.6720 — To direct the secretary of Agriculture to establish a grocery, farm and food worker stabilization grant program.

H.R.6754 — To authorize the establishment of a comprehensive school-based violence prevention program to assist youth at highest risk for involvement in gun violence in local communities and schools, and for other purposes.

H.R.6787 — To amend the Water Resources Development Act of 2000 to modify the authorization of appropriations for the Las Vegas Wash program, and for other purposes.

MARK AMODEI

Legislation co-sponsored:

H.R.6734 — To prohibit the use of federal funds to finalize, implement or enforce proposed ATF Rule 2022R-17, entitled "Definition of 'Engaged in the Business' as a Dealer in Firearms."

SUSIE LEE

Legislation sponsored:

H.R.6787 — To amend the Water Resources Development Act of 2000 to modify the authorization of appropriations for the Las Vegas Wash program, and for other purposes.

Legislation co-sponsored:

H.Res.928 — Honoring the victims of the mass shooting at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas on Dec. 6, 2023.

H.R.6747 — To speed up the deployment of electricity transmission and clean energy, with proper input from affected communities, and for other purposes.

STEVEN HORSFORD

Legislation sponsored:

H.R.6699 — To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow an above-the-line deduction for attorney fees and costs in connection with consumer claim awards.

Legislation co-sponsored:

H.Res.928 — Honoring the victims of the mass shooting at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas on Dec. 6, 2023.

H.R.6787 — To amend the Water Resources Development Act of 2000 to modify the authorization of appropriations for the Las Vegas Wash program, and for other purposes.

H.R.6828 — To establish within the Department of Justice an Office for Missing and Murdered Black Women and Girls.

H.R.6830 — To require certain libraries to maintain a diverse collection of books, and for other purposes.

H.R.6833 — To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to improve and enhance the work opportunity tax credit, to encourage longer-service employment and to modernize the credit to make it more effective as a hiring incentive for targeted workers, and for other purposes.

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