Lawmakers call for economic stimulus bill

WASHINGTON — With a new year under way and leaders in apparent agreement that something needs to be done to boost the economy, it still remains to be seen whether Congress and President Bush can accomplish a stimulus bill, several Nevada lawmakers said Friday.

“You have to start off as hopeful that the two parties can work together and put Americans first,” said Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev.

Rep. Dean Heller, R-Nev., said a public perception of a “do nothing Congress” adds to the weight of downturns in housing, job growth and consumer spending, and troublesome hikes in gasoline and home heating costs.

“There is a perception that we are not doing anything and will not do anything and if we do it will include a tax increase,” Heller said. “That does not help the psychology of the process.”

“If ever there was a time for bipartisan work to get something done, this is it,” Heller said. “We need to get people confident.”

Bush on Friday suggested about $150 billion in tax relief, including tax breaks for businesses and rebates for individual and families.

Lawmakers are also discussing bills that would boost food stamp payments and jobless benefits.

Proposals to pump federal dollars into job-creating infrastructure projects also have their champions.

Bush and congressional leaders including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada discussed the economy in a conference call Thursday. A knowledgeable congressional official said the parties agreed “not to lay down any political markers,” and to tone down any public disagreement over possible packages at least for now.

“I was encouraged by those discussions and I believe there is enough broad consensus that we can come up with a package that can be approved with bipartisan support,” Bush said Friday.

In a statement, Reid said, “I am encouraged and share the president’s view that we need prompt bipartisan action to strengthen our economy.”

The Washington Post reported Friday that Reid got angry during the conference call when told Bush was going to publicly discuss a stimulus plan. Reid demanded to know why Bush wasn’t waiting for a bipartisan plan. Bush and others “had to calm Reid down,” the newspaper said, citing congressional sources.

Later Thursday, Reid in a statement warned against Bush “unilaterally detailing his own approach without congressional input. The president’s strategy threatens to unnecessarily politicize the inevitable bipartisan negotiations we will need to quickly enact legislation.”

Reid’s office on Friday denied the Nevadan was steamed.

Nevada’s other four federal representatives were unanimous in backing calls for Congress to aid the economy. They joined a forming consensus that tax rebates should be part of the deal, although the size of such rebates had not been determined. Ensign suggested as much as $1,000 per individual filer.

Beyond that, the Nevadans floated various plans of what they believe would work to recharge the economy and help victims of the downturn.

Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., said she backed extending unemployment benefits beyond the 26-week limit “for those who have lost jobs in the slowdown and are still searching for work.”

Berkley also called for relief for families facing foreclosure in the mortgage crisis, as well as “temporary incentives for small business.”

Heller said he would support making permanent family and capital gains tax cuts that Congress passed in 2001 and 2003 at Bush’s urging. The tax breaks otherwise expire at the end of the decade. He said he was open to other ideas as long as they did not raise taxes.

Rep. Jon Porter, R-Nev., said he supports business tax cuts.

“It’s best to keep money in consumers’ pockets, not in the federal treasury,” he said in a statement.

Ensign said Democrats won’t agree to extend the Bush tax cuts, so it probably will not be part of a stimulus plan.

Contact Stephens Washington Bureau Chief Steve Tetreault at stetreault@ stephensmedia.com or (202) 783-1760.

News Videos
Syphilis Awareness Day
Dr. Joe Iser, District Health Officer of the Southern Nevada Health District, discusses the effects and issues with syphilis in the Las Vegas community on April 16, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas diocese IDs 33 ‘credibly accused’ of sexual abuse
The Catholic Diocese of Las Vegas released a list on Friday of 33 “credibly accused” of sexual abuse who at some point served in the Las Vegas Valley. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CCSD Arbor View meeting
The Clark County School Board hears from the public about racial tensions at Arbor View High School on Thursday, April 11, 2019. (Amelia Park-Harvey/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Parents of autistic student battle Clark County School District
Joshua and Britten Wahrer, parents of a special education student, are battling the Clark County School District for the right to equip their son with a monitoring device. (Amelia Pak-Harvey/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New Metro homeless outreach a shift in strategy
Lt. Joe Sobrio discusses the new homeless outreach team for Metro. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Prayer for Opportunity Scholarships
Las Vegas students and adults hold a prayer meeting about the Opportunity Scholarship program on Thursday, April 4, 2019. (Amelia Pak-Harvey/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Solar scams on the rise in Nevada
As Nevada’s solar industry has made a resurgence, solar scammers have followed suit.
Clark County schools and the late bus issue
Year after year, late or no-show buses in the Clark County School District draw the ire of parents and students alike. One year the problem even prompted a parent to crack a school bus window in frustration over a late drop-off. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
I-15 southbound congested near Primm Sunday afternoon
Drivers heading toward California on Interstate 15 should expect heavy traffic and a 13-mile backup Sunday afternoon.
Learning lifesaving skills in advance of fire season
Students and firefighters attend a training session at Fire Station 80 in Blue Diamond, Saturday, March 30, 2019. The training session helps volunteer firefighters obtain necessary annual certification to work wild fires.
Car restoration behind prison walls
Inmates share their experiences working for the Southern Desert Correctional Center auto body shop in Indian Springs while learning valuable skills.
Parent remembers Las Vegas boy killed by car
People visit a memorial at the intersection of South Fort Apache Road and West Arby Avenue at at Faiss Park Wednesday, March 27, 2019, where Jonathan Smith, 12, of Las Vegas, died after he was struck while crossing Fort Apache Monday. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Couple left with surprise medical bills after visit to the hospital
Michael Pistiner took his wife, Marta Menendez-Pistiner, to the ER in January after she fainted twice and appeared to be having a seizure. Despite paying $856 monthly for health insurance, the two, self-employed musicians, were stuck with more than $5,700 in hospital and doctor bills after than hour-and-a-half visit. Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Las Vegas police brief the media on fatal crash
Metropolitan Police Department Capt. Nick Farese addresses the media about a car accident at South Fort Apache Road and West Arby Avenue that left one minor dead and one hospitalized on Monday, March 25, 2019. (Mike Shoro/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Arbor View parent talks about racial issues at the school
Lawanna Calhoun, a former Arbor View parent, talks about the state of the school. (Amelia Pak-Harvey/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jim Foley talks about 30 years of living HIV-positive
Jim Foley, who was diagnosed as HIV positive 30 years ago, talks at his home in Las Vegas on Wednesday, March 13, 2019. (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Traffic Slows to a Crawl on I-15S Near Primm
Traffic slowed to a crawl around 2:30p Sunday, on I-15S near Primm, Nevada.
Homeless residents speak about safety
The homeless residents living at the corner of Owens Ave. and Main St. reflect on how they feel about their safety after two homeless men died, one was hit crossing the street and another was beat to death by another homeless man. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
CCSD Superintendent address alleged racially motivated threats at Arbor View
CCSD Superintendent Dr. Jesus F. Jara gives update on alleged racially motivated threats against Arbor View High School, and says such threats will not be tolerated. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Super Bloom Near Lake Elsinore, California
Crowds packed the hills near Lake Elsinore on Saturday to capture a rare selfie amidst the super bloom of poppies turning the landscape purple. The super bloom was caused by the larger rainfall this year. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Fiery accident in Las Vegas
A three-car accident on Spring Mountain Road around 6:30 pm on Monday night
A bipartisan coalition holds simultaneous rallies to promote criminal justice
A bipartisan coalition holds simultaneous rallies to promote criminal justice. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Stardust implosion anniversary
Twelve years ago today, the Stardust Resort and Casino was imploded. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Lawsuits filed against security contractors at Nevada National Security Site
Two lawsuits were filed today against the current and former government security contractors for the Nevada National Security Site, one on behalf of Jennifer Glover who alleges sexual discrimination and assault and the other on behalf of Gus Redding who alleges retaliation after he gave statements supporting Glover’s claims. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New housing option helps Las Vegas moms keep kids while kicking drugs
WestCare Nevada Women and Children’s Campus in Las Vegas has added a new transitional housing wing for women who have completed the inpatient treatment at the behavioral health nonprofit to help them as they go through outpatient treatment, shore up their finances and prepare to secure long-term housing. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Teenager in critical condition after being struck by an SUV in Henderson
Authorities were called about 2:45 p.m. to the scene in the 2100 block of Olympic Avenue, near Green Valley Parkway and Sunset Road. The teenager was taken to University Medical Center in critical condition. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Water Question Part 3: Conservation loves a crisis
Future growth in the Las Vegas Valley will rest almost entirely on the community’s ability to conserve its finite share of the Colorado River.
The Water Question Part 7: How much can we grow?
Many experts agree that Southern Nevada can continue to grow, so long as residents are willing to do what needs to be done to stretch our crucial resource as far as it will go.
The Water Question Part 6: How many people can Southern Nevada’s water sustain?
The number can swing wildly depending on a host of variables, including the community’s rates of growth, conservation efforts and the severity of drought on the Colorado River.
Mylar Balloon Demo
NV Energy presented a demonstration Wednesday to depict the damage that can be caused by the release of Mylar balloons.
TOP NEWS
Home Front Page Footer Listing