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Titus Returns To Congress With Deadlines, Thorny Issues Aplenty

When Rep. Dina Titus returns to Washington after the holiday recess, she and the rest of Congress will face deadlines on a number of divisive issues.

She talked to KNPR's State of Nevada about those issues and who she endorsed in Nevada's governor's race.

  • The Children’s Health Insurance Program, known as CHIP, provides coverage to lower-income children whose families earn too much to qualify for Medicaid. Its temporary funding runs out in March and it awaits a long-term fix. Both parties support the program, but some Republicans want cuts elsewhere in return for funding CHIP.

"This is something I care very much about because I'm the one who had the state law when I was in the Senate to create Nevada's CHIP program so I want to see it funded. Their extension of it for just a couple of months was a way to rob Peter to pay Paul. They took money away from other programs to help children like immunization to extend this for just a couple of months. We should not be playing politics with children's health."

  • The young immigrants who were illegally brought into the United States as children — known as Dreamers — could face a loss of work permits or even deportation when current protections expire in March. Their fate could be tied to agreement on tighter border security, but Democrats have ruled out supporting efforts to build a wall at the Mexican border.

Support comes from

"[Republicans] say they want to do something about it but there are a number of bills that are out there right now, I'm a co-sponsor of them, that they could bring to the floor for a vote and pass it if they really wanted to. Even Mark Amodei, my Republican counterpart in Northern Nevada, has signed onto the discharge petition, saying: Do Something! So talking about wanting to do it and really moving forward are two very different things on the Republican side.

  • An interim spending measure expires in mid-January, and the government faces a potential shutdown if a longer-term plan isn’t put in place.

     

"The first thing we have to do is extend the continuing resolution. It runs out on the 19 or else the government shuts down. [Republicans] control the House. They control the Senate and they control the presidency and the courts. If it shuts down, it's on them."

  • Titus also explained why she chose to endorse Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak in the Democratic race for Nevada's governor over Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani.

"This was very hard for me because they are both good friends. They're both strong candidates. They both have a base and they have been there for me in the past. I go back a long way with both of them. I think that Steve's leadership in the recent aftermath of the shooting showed that he is ready to step up and be the governor of the whole state because he can be there in good times and bad."

"But the main thing is that we keep Adam Laxalt from becoming governor because he is so far to the right-wing fringe of even the Republican Party he has joined in every lawsuit that there's been."

 

Guests

Dina Titus, congresswoman

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