Dean Heller Votes to Kill Jobs Bill … Again

People across this nation are looking to Congress to enact legislation that keeps communities strong and economically viable at a time when our nation needs it the most.  One such bill is S782, the Economic Development Revitalization Act of 2011.  This bill would amend the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965 to reauthorize that Act for a multi-year period through the Dept of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA).

As the only federal agency focused on private sector job creation, EDA is a vital resource for distressed communities striving to improve their local economies. Whether through infrastructure grants, strategic planning assistance, business development capital or technical assistance, EDA programs are uniquely positioned to promote economic development in impoverished areas and to increase the ability of local communities and regions to improve their economic competitiveness. The agency has consistently proven, both in independent evaluations, and in jobs created and private sector dollars leveraged, that its programs work effectively. Now is the time to ensure that its authorization framework reflects its accomplishments.

Today, a cloture vote (Senate Vote 94) was held on S782.  [Cloture votes are used in the Senate to end debate and move to a final up-or-down vote on the matter. The Senate cannot move forward until cloture is agreed to. Voting against cloture is essentially a filibuster. Because it takes 3/5ths of senators to achieve cloture, it is used as a tool by those against the matter to avoid the final simple-majority vote.]

The Economic Development Revitalization Act of 2011 has historically been viewed as bipartisan legislation that has already created or sustained more than 4,000 jobs in Nevada alone.

FY Applicant Name Project Description EDA $ #Jobs
2006 Mineral County Industrial Park Expansion
2008 UNLV Research Foundation Construct Infrastructure
2008 Desert Research Inst. Land Study
2008 Nevada Cntr Entreprnr Develop Entrepreneurship
Nevada Total:

However, unelected junior Senator Dean Heller predictably stayed true to his job-destroying record and voted to kill this jobs initiative that Nevada desperately needs.  He voted “NO” to deny an up/down vote on the bill, espousing the current GOP party line (as declared by Club for Growth) that the bill is nothing more than a redistribution scheme allowing politicians and bureaucrats to fund their pet projects, and that it apparently doesn’t deserve a vote by the Senate.

“Once again Dean Heller threw unemployed Nevadans under the bus and voted to destroy thousands of new Nevada jobs,” said Zach Hudson, spokesperson for the Nevada State Democratic Party.  “Today’s vote highlights the fact that Dean Heller has the wrong priorities for Nevada and would rather maintain taxpayer giveaways to his Big Oil campaign donors than create jobs.”

The program has already created or sustained 4,326 jobs in Nevada.  Reauthorizing the legislation would continue to create new jobs at a time when Nevada is suffering from the highest unemployment rate in the Nation.   Today’s vote comes on top of Heller voting earlier this year to gut the Department of Energy loan guarantee program that will create thousands of Nevada jobs, including a recent announcement of a loan for a clean energy project in Tonopah that will create 600 jobs alone.

  • GOP Budget Would Gut DOE Loan Guarantees For Renewable Energy Projects. In April 2011 the Reno Gazette-Journal wrote, “One of the casualties for H.R 1 is the Department of Energy’s loan guarantee program for renewable energy projects. Created with bipartisan support as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the loan guarantee program helps encourage private financing for clean energy technology by mitigating some of the risks that might discourage investors and lenders.” [Reno Gazette-Journal, 4/3/11]
  • “Flagship” Project “Expected To Power About 75,000 NV Energy Customers And Create 600 Jobs On-Site.” In March 2011 the Las Vegas Sun wrote, “Since it was officially announced in late 2009, the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project in Tonopah has been one of Nevada’s flagship commercial renewable energy projects. The planned 110-megawatt energy storage facility — nearly twice the capacity of the state’s next largest solar plant — is expected to power about 75,000 NV Energy customers and create 600 jobs on-site.” [Las Vegas Sun, 3/3/11]
  • Funding Loss Would Put Over 1,700 Nevada Jobs At Risk, Reduce State Revenue. In April 2011 the Reno Gazette-Journal wrote, “The projects are even more important given Nevada’s struggle with unemployment. The DOE estimates the five projects in Nevada will create 1,749 construction jobs and 314 permanent jobs. The facilities also are expected to generate extra economic activity for other businesses along with additional revenue for the state. Solar Reserve alone projects to pay about $10 million a year in total salaries and generate $40 million in local tax revenue for the first 10 years of the project…” [Reno Gazette-Journal, 4/3/11]