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Amodei Makes a Pass-Through Fallon

November 15, 2021

Congressman Mark Amodei made a stop in Fallon last week, speaking to local Rotarians in a brief update on several issues. He mentioned first off, that through the three various COVID-relief measures that have been passed so far, nearly 8 million dollars has come to Churchill County for K-12 grade school children, and “Nevada is right around the half-a-million dollars mark, statewide.”

He said that last March, the first COVID relief bill was passed fairly quickly and with much bi-partisan effort. However, the next two COVID bills became political with very little examination of how the first relief funding was working or any lessons learned. “Cities and counties throughout the state have been very honest, it looks like everybody overachieved. Nobody is going to say, ‘we want the money back now,’ but that was the reason for being a little more circumspect when we did two and three, (funding relief bills) what’s working, where are the needs.”

Amodei said one of the relief bills had an infrastructure component that included the federal government building 300 electric charging stations. “Nobody is against clean water or clean air, but quite frankly, can you think of a single gas station that’s been built in Fallon, for instance, that the Federal Government paid for?” According to Amodei, as that market continues to evolve and more companies are selling electric cars, that need will be met by private business.

He also addressed the NAS Fallon Range Expansion bill, saying the Senate will address the National Defense Authorization Act this week but he does not expect the Fallon expansion to be in that bill. “If it does end up in there Catherine Cortez-Masto is a hero,” he said. “Quite frankly, I think the challenge is everyone was pretty much on board except your local Paiute-Shoshone Tribe.”

Amodei explained that the proposals in the bill that had support of all stakeholders, except the Fallon Tribe, “did not say no to a single cultural resource request.”

There have been several lands provisions as part of the proposed legislation, that he said are important components that would provide economic development benefits across Northern Nevada. “As the representative of this area, it’s my job to make sure that the ag folks get heard, make sure the native folks get heard, make sure the municipal folks get heard, make sure the state folks… so that our warfighters can train.”

He said his office will continue to work with this community, the stakeholders, the command out at the base, as well as tribes to get the legislation done out in the open, “transparent, for all the right reasons.”

Additional issues Amodei talked about included the Fernley lawsuit against Truckee-Carson Irrigation District over proposals to line the Truckee Canal through the Fernley community as well as vaccine mandates.

Captain Morrison asked if Amodei expects to see any shift in the vaccine mandate that has affected the workforce at NAS Fallon.

“The question is how do you shift without losing face,” said Amodei. “Everyone’s workforce is being affected.” He said there will have to be a shift, the closer the decisions are to the local policies the better and that seems to be happening. “If you call around to the state agencies, law enforcement, they are being allowed to manage which is not evil.”