Thanks for visiting Las Vegas, Speaker Boehner!
As a native Nevadan, I know that tourism is key to our struggling economy, so I appreciate Friday’s visit by you and your staff.
But it’s because of your lack of leadership that nearly 17,000 jobless Nevadans have been cut off from their emergency unemployment insurance; some 200,000 undocumented Nevada residents are still left hiding in the shadows of a broken immigration system, unable to contribute as much as they could; and thousands of workers and businesses were hurt by the recent government shutdown.
You and your House Republican majority have provided the American people with the least productive Congress since such records have been kept. Just how bad is it? Under your watch, only 58 bills became law last year. That’s 30 less than the previously least productive Congress. President Harry Truman dubbed the Congress of 1947-49 the “Do-Nothing Congress,” which at this point had passed 395 bills! President Truman would be stunned by this Congress.
Speaker Boehner, you will no doubt reply that passing laws isn’t always a good thing — and I agree. But we in Nevada have real needs, and you are ignoring them. Nationally, there are three job seekers for every job opening. Nevadans are still dealing with the nation’s highest unemployment rate and an economy that is stuck in first gear. Because of your “leadership,” they must now face it without emergency unemployment insurance.
Undocumented immigrants who want nothing more than to come out of the shadows, gain a reasonable path to citizenship and pay their taxes while working hard like the rest of us are instead having their families torn apart by our broken immigration system. Even though the Senate passed comprehensive immigration reform months ago, you and House Republicans have refused to hold a vote on bipartisan legislation.
Businesses and workers are still trying to recover from the unnecessary government shutdown you caused late last year. Many of those affected locally are in Congressional District 3, including Lake Mead tour operators and businesses in Boulder City.
Your good friend Rep. Joe Heck should be outraged by what you, as speaker, have done and not done. But Joe Heck is a follower, and you’re the leader. So Joe Heck invited you to Las Vegas for a swanky $2,500-a-plate fundraiser at the Las Vegas Country Club on Friday so he could boast to his friends about how close he is to his leader.
Sadly for Nevadans, Joe Heck is following a misguided leadership that makes life more difficult for Nevadans. When all is said and done, Heck is on your side and will do what you want. He has proved that over and over again, voting with leadership nine times out of 10. Therefore, middle-class Nevadans either need you to change and begin allowing votes on bills that benefit our economy, or we need to send someone new to Congress who will take you on.
Here in Nevada, we know a little something about odds. And the odds of you or Joe Heck changing are not in our favor. That’s why I’m running for Congress.
Thanks for visiting my hometown, Speaker Boehner. Hopefully you took a look around and noticed the real human toll of your do-nothing Congress. If you stopped to support our local economy somewhere between the airport and your lunch with Joe Heck, hopefully you made sure to tip your server well.
Erin Bilbray is a Democratic candidate for Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District.