Tags: GSA | scandal | Nevada | Senate

Nevada Senate Rivals Join to Oppose Federal Blacklisting of Cities

Thursday, 26 Apr 2012 02:08 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Two rivals for a Nevada U.S. Senate seat have joined forces temporarily to head off a move that might make Las Vegas and Reno off limits to federal conventions in the wake of the spending scandal at the General Services Administration.

According to the Las Vegas Sun, Nevada Congresswoman Shelley Berkley, a Democrat, has introduced legislation that would protect the two gambling centers and other U.S. cities from “blacklisting.” Republican Sen. Dean Heller, whose bid for re-election is being challenged by Berkley, is supporting the move.

“I am pleased to join Congresswoman Berkley in the effort to end the blacklist process by the federal government,” Heller said. “Nevada offers the best hospitality and convention services in the world, and Las Vegas, Henderson, Lake Tahoe, and Reno have long been favorite destinations for millions of visitors.”

The GSA scandal has drawn lots of attention to Las Vegas, where the agency in 2010 spent nearly a million dollars on a conference attended by 300 employees. Now Congress is considering a measure that would limit where and how much is spent on federally-sponsored conferences.

It’s not unusal for members of the same delegation who belong to different parties to work together on issues important to their states. But just to be clear, the Sun reported, Heller qualified his support by noting disagreements with Berkley on just about everything, from government bailouts and stimulus spending, to Obamacare.

Berkley, though, may have sensed a slight weakness in his armor. She challenged Heller to join her as well in voting for the Paycheck Fairness Act, aimed at shrinking the gender gap on salaries.

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