Heller brings message of unity to Carson City

CARSON CITY — U.S. Sen. Dean Heller told state legislators Thursday that both political parties must work together in Nevada and Washington, D.C., to end the recession and make the nation prosperous.

“We are not all members of the same political party, but we are all here to make a difference and make our country better … and get people back to work. … I believe we can work together for the common good.”

Heller, R-Nev., is a former assemblyman and 12-year secretary of state who grew up in Carson City and worked in his father’s garage across the street from the Legislative Building.

His father and mother were in the audience at the joint session of the Legislature. Each of Nevada’s members of Congress makes a speech before the Legislature. All six are former state legislators.

Despite expressing optimism, Heller said the members of Congress are caught up in “partisan bickering” over the Senate and House budget bills without a solution in sight.

“I hope common sense prevails,” he said. “Our nation depends on it.”

Heller said he has joined the No Labels organization, a group of about 60 members of Congress of both parties who are dedicated to working on nonpartisan solutions.

As a senator, Heller said he is appalled that 18 percent of the veterans of the war on terror are unemployed and that soldiers who worked as medics or truck drivers cannot perform the same jobs in private industry without going through training and tests.

He said that it takes a year or more for veterans to get help through the Veterans Administration and that they must receive “excellent medical care” as soon as possible.

Heller received the most applause from legislators when he called himself a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and a backer of the right of people to bear arms. At the same time, he said firearms should be kept out of the hands of the mentally ill and felons, but he offered no ways on accomplishing that objective.

To promote the safer use of firearms, Heller said, “Congress should take on the larger issue, Hollywood.” He noted there is too much violence in movies, TV and video games.

Contact Capital Bureau Chief Ed Vogel at evogel@reviewjournal.com or 775-687-3901.

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