COMMENT: | Las Vegas Review

As Americans from across the country gather in Las Vegas for one of our greatest cultural traditions, the National Finals Rodeo, members of Congress also meet here to discuss important issues facing Nevada and the states of the United States. ‘West are facing.

Members of the Congressional Western Caucus are the voice of rural America in Congress. As a group of over 70 members from across the United States, we work to focus on issues impacting communities in the West and beyond. Our caucus efforts are driven by a unified desire to ensure that the voices of rural communities are not ignored by bureaucrats in Washington, DC.We work tirelessly to bring the priorities of these local communities to the fore in the community. capital of our country.

This weekend, more than a dozen members of Congress from across the country – both in the United States House and Senate – gathered in Las Vegas for field trips and political roundtables with local stakeholders and subject matter experts to discuss the short and long term. solutions to the water challenges of the West, the importance of responsible and critical national mining development and the need to continue the deployment of rural broadband to bridge the digital divide.

All of these issues impact the lives of Nevadans every day.

With severe drought conditions across the West and historically low water levels at Lake Mead, the need for further investment in our water supply systems has never been clearer. With much of the western water infrastructure under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Reclamation, the federal government plays an important role in meeting the water needs of Nevada and other states in the region. We must continue to focus on improving – and using – our water infrastructure, including storage projects and desalination plants, to protect and provide a stable supply of water for our homes, businesses. and the agricultural producers who feed the world. Hearing the perspectives of local Nevada water managers will help inform our policy making in Washington, DC

As the United States and nations around the world seek to embrace a clean energy future, essential minerals continue to be an important cornerstone. Nevada is no stranger to responsible mining. Mining generates more than $ 204 million in tax revenue and contributes $ 9.5 billion to economic activities statewide. Not only does this boost local economies, but it contributes to our national security by providing the minerals we need to develop clean energy infrastructure, build military technology, and manufacture everyday goods here at home. Instead of relying on foreign countries with lax environmental standards – many of which use child and slave labor – we should develop the resources we have at the national level. Without mining, we don’t have a clean energy future, and we’re here in Las Vegas to help leverage those local perspectives to champion this cause.

Finally, if the past year and a half has taught us anything, it’s that broadband connectivity in rural communities is a necessity, not a luxury. As millions of people have switched to working and learning from home, the digital divide between rural and urban America has become even more apparent. While rural broadband development has been a priority for decades, much remains to be done. At our roundtables, we plan to discuss how we can continue to work with states, the federal government and industry partners to close this gap and ensure that every individual, family and business has access to a reliable internet service.

We are proud to represent rural America in Congress and will continue to elevate the traditions, values ​​and principles of the West. The challenges that Nevadans face are the same challenges that face so many rural communities across the United States. We will use what we learned in Las Vegas to continue working to bring the voices of Nevadans – and the voices of all rural America – to Washington, DC.

Dan Newhouse, a Republican, represents Washington’s 4th Congressional District and chairs the Congressional Western Caucus. Mark Amodei, a Republican, represents the 2nd Congressional District of Nevada and is vice-chair of the caucus.

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