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Amodei expects Yucca Mountain bill to pass before Thanksgiving

U.S. Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev., thinks the House will pass a Yucca Mountain revival bill, maybe before Thanksgiving.

“My prediction is that it will pass the House,” Amodei said Friday during a Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce breakfast at SLS Las Vegas.

The bill, being pushed by Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., would revive the efforts to put high-level nuclear waste into the repository, located 90 miles north of Las Vegas.

For years, both Republicans and Democrats from Nevada’s Washington delegation have opposed the proposed nuclear waste site. But the strongest opposing voice, former Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, is no longer in office.

“Reid had success because he was in leadership,” Amodei said. “The question becomes ‘How do things go in the Senate now that Harry’s retired?’ ”

Despite his expectations that the Yucca Mountain bill will pass the House, Amodei said he expects serious friction in the Senate because Republican Sen. Dean Heller is up for re-election.

“If Mitch McConnell wants to help Dean Heller out, he shouldn’t have him launching a campaign with the Senate basically saying, ‘Yeehaw! Crank up the trains,’ ” Amodei said.

Because of that, he added, he predicted that the Senate won’t move on the Yucca Mountain bill until after the 2018 election.

She’s running

Clark County Commission Vice Chair Chris Giunchigliani this week finally announced what many already knew was coming: She’s running for governor.

The announcement pits her against longtime commission colleague and fellow Democrat Steve Sisolak in the race for the chance to replace outgoing Gov. Brian Sandoval, who is term-limited.

While Sisolak has said he intends to run more toward the center, Giunchigliani’s platform likely will be further to the left. But that doesn’t mean being unwilling to work on bipartisan legislation, she said during her official campaign kickoff Thursday, citing her 15 years of experience in the state Legislature.

“I passed more progressive legislation under a Republican governor and a Republican-controlled Senate because I know how to work across the lines with people,” Giunchigliani said Thursday.

Endorsements

Democratic Attorney General Candidate Aaron Ford snagged early backing from the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters, which represents more than 50,000 workers across six states, including Nevada.

Sisolak was endorsed last week by the Southern Nevada Building and Construction Trades Council. The group boasts a member base of more than 25,000 workers in Nevada.

Susie Lee, a Democratic candidate for the 3rd Congressional District, received an endorsement from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 357 on Friday.

Contact Colton Lochhead at clochhead@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4638. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter.

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