The U.S. Capitol building as seen on Monday, Feb. 20, 2017. (Geoff Livingston/Courtesy under Creative Commons, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0;

Early Friday morning the House followed the Senate and approved the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 thereby ending the shortest government shutdown ever at under six hours. The expansive bill would fund government agencies and operations until March 1, 2019. It was the second shutdown in two weeks.

In a statement to The Nevada Independent, Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto called the budget “far from perfect” as it failed to grant funding to manage and combat wildfires in the West. But Cortez Masto said she was encouraged by the bipartisan spirit.

I support this agreement as a commitment to investing in priorities important to Nevadans while giving time to reach a bipartisan compromise that puts DREAMers on a pathway to citizenship.”

DREAMer is the termed used to refer to undocumented immigrants who illegally entered the country as minors. The bill passed the Senate 71-28. Republican Sen. Dean Heller also voted to fund the government.

Included in the bill was an authorization for the Department of Energy to withdraw and sell emergency crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The bill includes additional funding for the 2020 Decennial Census Program, the Southeastern Power Administration, and juror fees. An allocation of funding was included to beef up the coffers for the Small Business Administration Disaster Loans Program.

House Republican Mark Amodei and House Democrat Jacky Rosen also voted in favor of the budget bill while Democrats Ruben Kihuen and Dina Titus voted no.

Sen.Dean Heller introduced legislation to curb immigrant gang activity citing MS-13, a gang formed in California in the 1980s.

“In Nevada, gang violence has infiltrated our neighborhoods and threatened our communities, and that’s why I introduced the Criminal Alien Gang Member Removal Act,” Heller said in a statement. “This legislation empowers law enforcement with the tools they need to help protect Nevadans from violent criminals, and it boosts public safety in Nevada and throughout the country by cracking down on gangs. Our entire immigration system is broken and in need of reform, and this commonsense bill to stop individuals who are affiliated with dangerous gangs, such as MS-13, from entering the United States represents a positive step in the right direction.”

For a full rundown of what measures our state’s delegates threw their support behind this week, check out The Nevada Independent’s congressional vote tracker and other information below.


Legislation sponsored:

  • S. 2380 – A bill to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act with respect to aliens associated with criminal gangs, and for other purposes.

Legislation co-sponsored:

  • S. 2372 – A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to provide outer burial receptacles for remains buried in National Parks, and for other purposes.


Legislation co-sponsored:

  • S. 2409 – A bill to amend the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act and the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 to improve nutrition in tribal areas, and for other purposes.
  • S.Res. 400 – A resolution designating the week beginning February 11, 2018, as “National Tribal Colleges and Universities Week.”


Legislation co-sponsored:

  • H.R. 3391 – Medical Marijuana Research Act of 2017


Legislation co-sponsored:

  • H.R. 4516 – Stop Tax Breaks for Sexual Misconduct Act
  • H.Res. 707 – Recognizing the growth and transformation of the Republic of Korea and its significant contributions to the international community.
  • H.R. 4825 – MEDS Act
  • H.R. 2514 – FASTER Act


Legislation co-sponsored:

  • H.R. 1447 – Fair and Equal Housing Act of 2017
  • H.Con.Res. 89 – Expressing the sense of Congress with respect to United States policy toward Tibet and that the treatment of the Tibetan people should be an important factor in the conduct of United States relations with the People’s Republic of China.
  • H.R. 233 – Safe Freight Act of 2017
  • H.R. 1734 – Access Technology Affordability Act of 2017
  • H.R. 1928 – Families of Fallen Servicemembers First Act


Legislation co-sponsored:

  • H.R. 975 – Respect State Marijuana Laws Act of 2017
  • H.R. 754 – Anwar Sadat Centennial Celebration Act
  • H.R. 4932 – To address the disparate impact of climate change on women and support the efforts of women globally to address climate change, and for other purposes.