House members getting squeezed out

WASHINGTON — Be they ever so humble, there’s no place like the holding areas where outgoing members of the U.S. House of Representatives are working during their lame-duck session this month.

Defeated and retiring lawmakers and their staffs were required to be packed and out of their offices by Dec. 1 so the suites could be repainted and refurbished for their new occupants, who will move in next month.

Problem is, the House is still in session, with members required to at least show up and vote.

So B-339, a banquet room across from the kitchen in the basement of the Rayburn Office Building, has been converted into a bullpen of cubicles, all numbered and assigned to lawmakers who just days earlier enjoyed a much plusher existence. A section of the Rayburn cafeteria also was walled off and subdivided into a similar "Departing Member Support Center."

According to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, "We have 82 members who do not have an office. That’s a terrible situation to have members in."

In B-339, Cubicle No. 42 is assigned to Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., who was defeated on Election Day. Like all the others, it features a desk, two chairs, a computer and telephone. A half-dozen aides take turns using the space, said spokesman Andrew Stoddard.

Titus also has access to a small room on the fourth floor of the Cannon Building, on loan from fellow Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev.

"It is a bit of a challenge, but we are rising to it," Titus said. "We are going to see this to the end, because that is what people voted us in for.

"It’s kind of hard to be out of your office when you have another whole month of work to do."

On Wednesday afternoon, Titus arrived to vote in the House chamber carrying her purse and overcoat, suggesting she had just come in from the cold. She still has her apartment a few blocks away, and can work from home.

"That helps a lot," she said. "I know when to come in, and I won’t come in if it is just going to be for sitting around."

Tuesday morning, the phone that transfers callers from her old office line to the cubicle was not working properly, but Titus said that has been straightened out.

"We haven’t had too many visitors or too many calls," Titus said.

She noted her Las Vegas office won’t close until Dec. 17, "so a lot of stuff can be done back there."

But Titus’ old Room 319 in the Cannon Building, which brimmed with promise when she greeted a stream of well-wishers on her January 2009 swearing-in, has been cleared out.

"It was sad, but you try to be positive," Titus said. "The saddest moment was when I looked up at the building and the office lights were off and the window was closed, because we always worked late and the lights were blazing and I kept the window open for fresh air."

— Steve Tetreault

The 2012 presidential race hasn’t even begun, yet Mitt Romney seems to already have a head start in Nevada, thanks to name recognition and his winning performance here in 2008.

That’s one reason Republican leaders decided last month not to make Nevada’s February 2012 GOP caucuses a winner-take-all contest. They wanted to attract all GOP presidential comers to compete for delegates instead of potentially ceding the state to Romney if he jumps into the race.

"I think everyone has to recognize that Mitt Romney will be the front-runner in the Nevada caucuses," said Jack St. Martin, a GOP consultant based in the state. "The question will be how strongly he finishes and who finishes second, and how strong a second."

St. Martin made a presentation about the caucuses at a state GOP Central Committee meeting in Fallon a couple weeks ago. He argued for Nevada’s delegates to be distributed on a proportional basis as they were in 2008, when Romney won more than 50 percent of the vote.

As a result of his victory, Romney got 18 delegates instead of all 31 at stake. Texas Rep. Ron Paul and U.S. Sen. John McCain of Arizona each won four. McCain skipped Nevada to compete in the South Carolina primary, which was the same day, then went on to win the GOP nomination.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former U.S. Sen. Fred Thompson of Tennessee both won two Nevada delegates. And former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani took away one.

The GOP Central Committee also voted to make the 2012 Nevada caucuses binding, which means delegates must stick with their choices through the presidential nominating conventions.

The combination of a binding and proportional contest puts more pressure on Romney as far as meeting expectations for victory. A Mormon, half of Romney’s 2008 caucus votes came from members of his religion. So, if he doesn’t win Nevada in 2012, his presidential hopes could be dashed early.

"He should have the advantage going in, first with name ID and second because he’s got an organization ready to go in a key state," said GOP consultant Ryan Erwin, who helped Romney before in Nevada. "If he runs, of course he starts with a leg up in Nevada."

The Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary hold the first presidential contests by tradition, followed now by Nevada and South Carolina, all in February 2012 for Republicans and Democrats.

So far, no Republican White House hopefuls have formally announced, although the early handicapping has begun, led mostly with GOP types already well-known.

Based on previous Nevada experience and name recognition, potential comers likely to do well here include Paul, Huckabee, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the vice presidential running mate to McCain in 2008, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, if they get into the race.

Other potential contenders who are less well-known in Nevada and nationwide include Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels; Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour; Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind.; Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty; U.S. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D.; and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

— Laura Myers

Congress passed a major childhood nutrition bill last week, but along the way dropped a provision that had been favored by food banks as a way to address weekend hunger.

Over the summer, Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., had placed an amendment onto the House version of the bill to expand programs that provide low-income schoolkids with food to take home during weekends and holidays.

In Clark County, the so-called Weekends Without Hunger Act would have aided the Three Square Food Bank, which distributes about 6,000 backpacks each Friday containing five pounds of nonperishables such as canned meat and fruit.

But in order to ease passage during the post-election lame-duck session, congressional leaders chose to advance the Senate version of the nutrition bill, which Titus said did not contain a corresponding amendment.

"That is a real disappointment not to have that in there," Titus said of the provision that would authorize $10 million a year for five years to promote weekend feeding.

Titus said she was trying to find a way to get it passed as a stand-alone bill in the final days of the session.

"We are not giving up on that yet," she said.

— Steve Tetreault

Contact Stephens Washington Bureau Chief Steve Tetreault at or 202-783-1760. Contact Laura Myers at or 702-387-2919.

Nevada Task Force One Cheers Golden Knights
Nevada Task Force One Cheers Golden Knights
1 dead, 1 wounded in North Las Vegas standoff
A woman was hospitalized with serious injuries on Thursday morning after being shot inside a North Las Vegas house. Police responded about 11 p.m. to a shooting at a home on the 5600 block of Tropic Breeze Street, near Ann Road and Bruce Street. The wounded woman, police believe, was shot by a man, who later barricaded himself inside the house. SWAT was called to assist, and when officers entered the house, they discovered the man dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Local man goes under cover searching for answers to homelessness
Licensed mental health therapist Sheldon Jacobs spent 48 hours under cover posing as a homeless man in an attempt to gain perspective on the complex issue.
Social Work UNLV Lecturer's Calling
Ivet Aldaba-Valera was the first person in her family to graduate from both high school and college. The 33-year-old UNLV lecturer is now pursuing her Ph. D in public policy at the school and has used her degree in social work to engage with the young Latino and Latina community of Las Vegas. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @MadelynGReese
The world's longest racetrack could be coming to Pahrump
Spring Mountain Motor Resort and Country Club in Pahrump might be the first racetrack in the world longer than 16 miles long once the expansion is complete. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Gold Point townsperson talks about why he choose to live in a ghost town
Gold Point townsperson Walt Kremin talks about the ghost town in Nevada he calls home. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Search for missing 3-year-old boy at Sunset Park
Las Vegas police and Red Rock Search and Rescue team search for a missing child at Sunset Park in southeast Las Vegas on Sunday, Sept.2, 2018. (Chitose Suzuki/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai speaks at Las Vegas tech conference
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by the Taliban on her way home from school in Pakistan after advocating for girls' education, spoke at VMworld 2018 at Mandalay Bay. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren addresses Oct. 1 lawsuits
MGM Resorts International Chairman and CEO Jim Murren addresses criticism his company has received for filing a lawsuit against the survivors of the Oct. 1 shooting. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Father recalls the night his 14-year-old son died jumping into moving traffic
From the Clark County Detention Center, Ezequiel Anorve Serrano talks about the night his 14-year-old son, Silas Anorve, died jumping into moving traffic on U.S. 95. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Palace Station unveils new sports book
Palace Station talks about the new sports book Thursday, August 23, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
One of world's longest racetracks planned in Pahrump by 2020
The racetrack will be 16 miles long by the year 2020 according to Spring Mountain Motor Resort and Country Club owner John Morris. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Henderson police bodycam footage of officer-involved shooting
Henderson police released body-worn camera footage of an officer-involved shooting in a grocery store parking lot at 2667 Windmill Parkway on Aug. 12, 2018. (Henderson Police Department)
Robotics takes off at Las Vegas Academy
Las Vegas Academy’s robotics team made it all the way to the world competition last year, the first year the team competed. Zackary Perry describes how they programmed their robot to compete. The team is an example of what Tesla wants to have in every school in the state. (Meghin Delaney/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bicyclist suffers major head trauma in hit-and-run
A bicyclist was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries after a Thursday morning hit-and-run crash near the school formerly known as Agassi Prep. Police said the bicyclist was hit by a white SUV, which fled the scene. The injured man suffered multiple injuries including major head trauma. As of 9 a.m., Lake Mead remained closed between Martin Luther King and Revere Street while police investigate.
Las Vegas artist Dave Dave dies at 42
Dave Dave talks about his art and his life in 2016. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dave Dave, whose dad set him on fire in 1983, dies
Dave Dave, a respected Las Vegas artist who was badly scarred as a boy when his father tried to burn him to death in Southern California, died at Sunrise Hospital on July 15. He was 42. When he was 6, Dave's father tried to kill him by setting him on fire. He was given a sleeping pill and his bed at a Buena Park, California, motel was doused with kerosene. “I remembered being in a lot of pain,” Dave told the Review-Journal in 2016. “When stuff happens to you at that young of an age, you tend to block it out, but I remember the pain was excruciating.” Dave, who was born David Rothenberg, became close friends with Michael Jackson, who met him after the attack, which burned more than 90 percent of his body. “I wanted to meet him, and he wanted to meet me, and that just turned into a lifelong relationship that never ended,” Dave said. “It was amazing being friends with Michael Jackson. He was an amazing person.” Dave attended ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California, and collaborated with various artists around Las Vegas, eventually selling his art to private collectors. Despite his challenges, he continued to live, thrive and create. Dave Dave
Homicide detectives investigate woman's death
Las Vegas police were called to Tahiti Village Resort early Wednesday after calls that someone had been shot. Police found a woman’s body between a parking garage and boiler room on the resort's property. A guest first reported hearing gunfire. There are no witnesses, but police will examine surveillance videos and look for clues. The woman was not identified, but a purse was found near the body. She did not appear to be a guest at the resort.
LVMPD Discusses Ross Dress for Less Shooting
LVMPD Assistant Sheriff Charles Hank discussed the 15th officer-involved shooting of the year at a press conference at Metro headquarters on Tuesday, Aug. 14. The active-shooter incident took place at the Ross Dress for Less store at the 4000 block Blue Diamond Road in the south Las Vegas Valley. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Metro Asst. Sheriff Brett Zimmerman on Aug. 8 officer-involved shooting
Metropolitan Police Department Assistant Sheriff Brett Zimmerman met with media Monday to discuss the details of the 14th officer-involved shooting of the year. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Clark County School Board president Deanna Wright on travel expenses
Clark County School Board President Deanna Wright says she followed proper expense protocol in trip to Florida last year.
Matt Kelly Elementary School hosted its third annual Back-to-School Red Carpet Program
Matt Kelly Elementary School hosted its third annual Back-to-School Red Carpet Program where community and business leaders joined to welcome students back with an inspirational welcome. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Shooting leaves 1 dead in southeast valley
A man was found fatally shot in the doorway of a squatter apartment after an argument ended in gunfire on Sunday night. Officers responded about 10:30 p.m. to the Silver Pines apartments and discovered the man in a breezeway in one of the buildings. The wounded man died at the scene, despite the efforts of another person, who tried to administer medical aid. Witnesses saw a man and a woman flee the scene, but were unable to give police a clear description.
North Las Vegas unveils new school crosswalk
North Las Vegas councilman Isaac Barron talks about the new school crosswalk in front of CP Squires Elementary School Monday, August 6, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
LVMPD Briefing on OIS #13
Assistant Sheriff Tim Kelly held a press conference to discuss details of the 13th officer-involved-shoot for the department in 2018. Video shows the moments before the suspect was shot. The shooting, which has been edited out, occurred as the suspect lunged at an officer outside the apartment. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sedan and semitrailer collide in south Las Vegas
An early Wednesday morning crash has left one person in critical condition. A sedan and semitrailer collided around 4 a.m. at the corner of Spencer Street and Serene Avenue. Police do not believe impairment is a factor in the crash. Spencer has been blocked off north of Serene while police continue their investigation.
Cybersecurity Professionals Flock to Las Vegas for Black Hat
Black Hat USA, the largest annual cybersecurity conference, is expecting a record 17,000 attendees during its six-day run at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center this week. One thing attendees have in mind is making sure they don't get hacked while they're there. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Police chase ends with suspects captured in east Las Vegas
An early Tuesday morning chase ended with a car crash in an east Las Vegas neighborhood. Police were pursuing the vehicle, which they say was involved in robberies in Las Vegas and North Las Vegas, when the driver crashed at Owens and Statz Street. A man was taken into custody. A woman was ejected from a vehicle and taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The intersection at Mojave Road and Owens Avenue was shut down while police officers searched for the suspect and investigated. The intersection will remain closed for most of the morning.
Record number participate in Touro University Nevada White Coat Ceremony
Three hundred sixty-five medical students received their white coats during the Touro University Nevada White Coat Ceremony at the M Resort in Henderson Monday. The ceremony was developed to honor students in osteopathic medicine, physician assistant studies, nursing, occupational therapy and physical therapy as they accept the professional responsibilities inherent in their relationship with patients. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Stop for school buses, urges CCSD
Clark County School District Police Department hold a mock traffic stop at Centennial High School in Las Vegas, Monday, Aug. 6, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like