Dina Titus

Yucca Mountain’s Lone Ranger Finally Corrals House Attention
Nuclear waste bill passes easily in House, faces roadblocks in Senate

Rep. John Shimkus says his aggressive questioning of Obama-era energy officials reflected his “righteous anger.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Visiting Nevada’s Yucca Mountain in 2011 was like walking through a ghost town, Rep. John Shimkus recalled in an interview this week.

It was the year after the Obama administration surrendered to fervent local opposition and halted work by the Department of Energy to prepare the site to store the nation’s commercial nuclear waste, even though Congress designated it for that purpose in the 1987 Nuclear Waste Policy Act.

Bipartisan Support for Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Bill — Except in Nevada
State’s congressional delegation prepared a series of amendments, but hardly any reached the floor

Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., says “people are ready to do something” on a bill that would pave the way for storing nuclear waste at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House will take up legislation this week that would help restart the stalled process for making Nevada’s Yucca Mountain a central repository for commercial nuclear waste. After years of false starts and misses, the bill is moving with bipartisan support.

In Nevada, however, there is bipartisan opposition to the Yucca project, and the state’s congressional delegation prepared a series of amendments meant to ensure that the House would consider key safety provisions for the project, which is located about 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas and adjacent to the land where the government tested nuclear weapons.

Titus Asks Justice Department to Preserve Online Gambling
Obama administration ruled in 2011 that online gambling was not illegal in states that allow it

Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., sent a letter to the Department of Justice urging it not to reverse a legal ruling by the Obama Administration allowing for online gambling. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Nevada Rep. Dina Titus is asking the Justice Department to keep online gambling legal.

In a letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Titus asked him not to reverse a 2011 ruling by the Obama administration that online gambling within states did not violate the Wire Act, which outlaws illegal gambling, The Associated Press reported.

Democratic, Republican Responses to Parkland School Shooting Vary Wildly
‘Part of it is a love affair with guns,’ New York Republican Peter King says

Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., criticized his GOP colleagues for their response to the Parkland shooting. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

As Democrats renewed calls this week for broader background checks and an end to military-grade weapons access, at least a handful of GOP congressmen agreed.

They remained cynical, though, that any substantive measures would pass into law.

Bump Stocks Get First Hearing in Senate, Dealt Another Blow in House
ATF has begun process to re-evaluate bump stock classification, lawmakers told

Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, held a hearing Wednesday that addressed bump stocks, making good on a promise after the Las Vegas shooting. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

More than two months after the Las Vegas shooting, the deadliest in U.S. history, the Senate Judiciary committee held a long-awaited hearing addressing the bump stock devices the shooter used to kill more than 50 people and injure hundreds more.

“ATF’s authority to regulate firearms is of course limited by the terms of [the 1934 and 1968 firearms laws], and they do not empower ATF to regulate parts or accessories designed to be used with firearms,” Thomas E. Brandon, the acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), told lawmakers.

Ruben Kihuen: ‘I’m Not Resigning’
Kihuen is facing calls to resign after sexual harassment allegations

Rep. Ruben Kihuen is facing allegations of sexual harassment. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Nevada Democratic Rep. Ruben Kihuentold ABC News Tuesday that he is not resigning amid allegations of sexual harassment. Top Democrats have called on him to step down.

“I’m not resigning,” Kihuen said in an ABC news video. “I plan on continuing the job that I was elected to do by the people of the 4th Congressional District.”

Congress’ Gun Massacre Caucus
Dealing with mass shootings is becoming all too familiar for many members

South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, center left, with Rep. Mark Sanford to his right and then-Gov. Nikki Haley, second from right, attend a memorial service commemorating the anniversary of the 2015 mass shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images file photo)

On Dec. 14, 2012, Elizabeth Esty was attending a social media workshop for new members of Congress at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. She had been elected to represent Connecticut’s 5th District a month earlier.

“I raised my hand and I said, ‘Here’s an example right now — I’m getting texts and alerts that there’s been a shooting and we don’t know what happened,’” she said.

Las Vegas Massacre Survivors Join Nevada Lawmakers to Call for Action
Titus, Cortez Masto, Kihuen and Rosen want Goodlatte to hold hearings on bump stocks, pass restrictions

Las Vegas massacre survivors Robert Gaafar, left, and Tia Christiansen, center, speak with Rep. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., after a news conference at the Capitol on Wednesday to call on House Judiciary chairman Bob Goodlatte to hold a hearing and examine the use and legality of “bump stocks.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Nevada Democratic lawmakers gathered at the House Triangle Wednesday with survivors of the Las Vegas massacre, who shared their stories of terror and the psychological impact.

The news conference took place on the one-month anniversary of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

Bipartisan Group Introduces Last-Ditch Bump Stock Bill
Bill would not ban the device, but subject it to an ATF registry

Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Mich., and three other lawmakers introduced a bipartisan bill Tuesday aimed at regulating bump stocks. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

One month after the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history, a bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced legislation that takes aim at the bump stock loophole in the National Firearms Act.

The so-called Closing the Bump Stock Loophole Act explicitly empowers the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to immediately regulate bump stocks and similar semiautomatic rifle attachments that increase the rate of fire to nearly that of an automatic weapon.

As GOP Passes Buck on Bump Stocks, ATF Pushes Back
Momentum to regulate the devices used in the Las Vegas massacre has stalled

Antoinette Cannon, who worked as a trauma nurse and treated victims of the mass shooting in Las Vegas, leaves a rose at each of the 58 white crosses at a makeshift memorial on the south end of the Las Vegas Strip earlier this month. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Efforts to ban bump stocks have come to a screeching halt, with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives once again indicating it does not have the authority to reclassify and regulate the devices.

The ATF wrote letters in 2010 and 2013 explaining how current laws — the Gun Control Act (1968) and National Firearms Act (1934) — do not provide an avenue for the bureau to regulate the gun attachments, which enable shooters to fire semiautomatic weapons at nearly the rate of automatic ones.