Americans' discontent with the direction of the nation may turn the U.S. House of Representatives upside down on Election Day.
Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi, with President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, abandoned promises to lead from the center and embrace openness. Instead, she relentlessly pushed a Big Labor, collectivist agenda and worked feverishly to keep it from the public, infamously saying of her party's health-care takeover, "We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy."
On Nov. 3, Rep. Pelosi may be relegated to the minority -- and Nevada voters can do their part to help.
Nevada's 3rd Congressional District, which spreads across suburban and rural Clark County, is one of the most closely watched races in the nation. Democratic Rep. Dina Titus, the former state senate minority leader who has voted in lock-step with the speaker throughout her first term, faces a challenge from Republican Joe Heck, a physician and former state senator.
Staying true to her years in the Nevada Legislature, Rep. Titus believes government simply isn't spending enough to ensure our prosperity. A Keynesian to the core, Rep. Titus backed the president's "stimulus" giveaway, saying "you can't say it's a failure," and advocates expensive additional government spending on green energy, infrastructure, and tax-funded schools. "You have to grow the economy to fix the deficit. ... You have to spend to get out of the hole," she says.
Dr. Heck takes the opposite perspective. "We can't continue to spend money to create a demand where none exists," he says. Dr. Heck advocates growing the economy and creating jobs by embracing policies that encourage private investment and end the climate of fear and uncertainty created by the Democratic leadership. He wants to "reward success, not punish it" by abolishing the estate tax and keeping levies low on capital gains.
Dr. Heck understands the kinds of reforms necessary to strengthen our health care system. Increasing portability, eliminating mandates and allowing Americans to buy health insurance from any state, measures favored by Dr. Heck, would reduce costs and increase the number of insured by making policies more affordable. ObamaCare, supported by Rep. Titus, took the opposite approach, which will lead to higher costs and less access to care.
Joe Heck would bring to the office the kind of perspective the House badly needs. He's a doctor, not a liberal academic or trial lawyer. He's a colonel in the Army reserve with first-hand knowledge of our wars overseas. He'll oppose paycheck-shrinking cap-and-trade schemes and back the enforcement of our immigration laws. And he'll be part of a new class of conservative representatives who "will not repeat the mistakes of Republicans who lost their way. We're not going to fail the American people again."
The Review-Journal endorses Joe Heck in the 3rd Congressional District.
In the 1st Congressional District, covering much of urban Las Vegas, Democratic incumbent Shelley Berkley faces token opposition in Republican Ken Wegner. Regrettably, Rep. Berkley is a reliable liberal vote, although she has embraced GOP initiatives on the estate tax and other matters designed to help small businesses. She is also a strong voice of support for Israel and democracy in the Middle East.
Rep. Berkley was first elected to the House in 1998 and since then has earned a reputation as a tireless worker who is available to her constituents. While it would be refreshing to see her break with Nancy Pelosi from time to time, Shelley Berkley is clearly the most qualified candidate in this race.
In the remaining of Nevada's three House districts, incumbent Rep. Dean Heller says, "I have some very core principles. I'm a lower tax, smaller government, reasonable regulation, free market capitalist. My staff knows that. If it doesn't do those things ... I'm against it."
The two-term Republican says the economy is the biggest issue today and the way to fix it is to slash taxes.
On the other hand, Democratic challenger Nancy Price, a six-year former university regent, cites glowingly the opinions of Bernie Sanders, the only openly Socialist member of Congress. She would tax "the rich" at 50 percent to make them "pay their fair share." Asked whether a government that can require us to buy health insurance could also require us to eat our broccoli, Ms. Price boldly replies, "Yes. ... If you're a 30-year-old and you don't have health care you're not contributing to a healthy society. ... We have to encourage healthiness."
Voters in the 2nd Congressional District have a clear choice in this race. Support Dean Heller.