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Dina Titus has announced she will run in 2016 for her second term in Washington, representing Las Vegas’ First Congressional District.
She is not running for Sen. Harry Reid's seat, which many people thought was a sure bet.
“I thought about it seriously for a couple of months,” Titus told KNPR’s State of Nevada, “In the end I decided I could do more by staying in my congressional seat than by starting all over as a freshman in the Senate.”
If she wins re-election, it will add two more years to her already 24 years as a public servant, 20 of those as a state senator and four in Congress.
Titus covered more than just her decision not to run for Senate.
She called the situation in California ‘drastic.’ She said there are efforts going on the federal level to improve the drought like funding conservation along the Colorado River.
“There’s really nothing that’s being left unconsidered,” she said.
Bill supported by casino mogul Sheldon Adelson to restrict online gaming:
“Most of the industry feels like instead of having federal regulation like what was the push a couple of years ago, it’s better to just leave it to individual states because that’s how gaming is regulated now.”
She is hosting a symposium about the aviation industry in Las Vegas that she hopes will become a national symposium.
“I think there are all kinds of possibilities.” Titus said.
She pointed to chances for more commercial and general aviation in Nevada, manufacturing for aircraft and the growth of drones
“Well unfortunately there is no silver bullet,” she said. “The VA has had scandal after scandal.”
She said a new bill in Congress that has bi-partisan support will help provide more money for doctors, let veterans go outside the VA for treatment and give more money for more case workers.
Trans-pacific trade agreement:
“I’m going to vote against it,” Titus said of the controversial agreement, “I’m not going to vote for anything I can’t read or my constituents can’t see.”
Titus believes in trade but it needs to open and fair trade.
Harry Reid legacy:
“I think he’s brought so many things to this state,” the congresswoman said, “It’s incredible that a small state like Nevada would have somebody in the position of power that he has been in.”
She said the list of things accomplished by Sen. Reid will be long.
Rep. Cresent Hardy R-NV and talking about Yucca Mtn.:
“I do not think the people of Southern Nevada or anywhere in Nevada want high-level nuclear waste coming through our communities,” Titus said.
She added that Nevada needs to make a strong argument against waste repository now that efforts to revive it are underway.
“The more we can do to provide access to college the better because it used to be a high school diploma was what got you out into the real world, now in order to be competitive in the global economy you’ve got to have a college degree.”
How do you make things work when you’re always in the minority party:
“You have to pick your battles,” the long-time politician said, “You figure out what you can get accomplished.”
She told KNPR’s State of Nevada that she has often worked with Republicans on issues ranging from highway funding to veteran’s affairs.
“I think you have to make friends across the aisle but you can’t give up your own convictions to do it,” she said.
Protection of public lands:
“I’m a strong supporter of protection of our public lands for future generations. I’m hopeful the Garden Valley area of central Nevada will be declared a wilderness,” she said.
She said she would like to see the Gold Butte area protected but noted there are factors that could make it more difficult.
Hillary Clinton for President:
Titus said she supports Secretary Clinton because she knows her personally and has followed her career.
“I think she’s got the depth of conviction, the width of knowledge. I just think she’d be a great president,” Titus said.
Too much money in political campaigns:
“It has gotten to the point that the voters don’t control elections anymore, money controls elections and that’s a shame,” she said.
She blamed the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision and Congress’ lack of effort for the problem. She said she was working on a bill to require at least knowing where campaign money is coming from, but it hasn’t gone anywhere.
“If people are going to give these vast amounts of money, you ought to at least know who they are and where the money is coming from,” Titus said.
Support former Attorney General Catherin Cortez Masto for Senate:
“She’ll be a good candidate,” she said, “I’m putting all my effort right now into electing more Democrats to the house and to helping Hillary Clinton.”
“I respect him and I like him. I think probably the world is his oyster.”
“I’m a strong supporter of medical marijuana,” she said.
She is pushing federal efforts to allow banking for marijuana businesses and to stop businesses that are selling it legally from being prosecuted by the federal government.
“I think it’s a state’s rights issue,” she said “The more we can do at the federal level to get Congress to catch up to what the states are doing the better.”
Recreational marijuana ballot issue:
“I suspect it’s going to pass,” the congresswoman said, “It’s going to open up a lot of issues that we haven’t thought about like drug testing for employees, DUI laws, prosecution.”
Gov. Brian Sandoval’s education funding package in the Legislature:
“I hope they do work something out for the tax structure to put more investment in education. That’s how I see it more as an investment than an expenditure,” she said.
She said if Nevada wants to compete it needs to improve education.
Polarized political scene:
“I’m afraid we’ve got a ways to go,” Titus noted, “Certainly, partisanship is intense in Washington. It’s unfortunate.”
“I don’t how you turn it around but it is definitely a problem.”
Rep. Dina Titus, D-NV
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