Nevada U.S. Rep. Mark Amodei urges voters to fact-check politicians

Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev., told the Carson City Republican Women last week that voters need to become “discerning consumers of political information” as the 2020 elections approach.

Saying he isn’t sure the 2016 political cycle ever ended, he said what happened with the GOP presidential candidates then, “has kind of become the norm.”

“The folks on the other side didn’t learn from our mistake, did they?” he told the crowd at Casino Fandango.

“Accountability, history and the facts have nothing to do with most campaigns these days,” he said. “And fact checks are not something you’re going to see a lot of in the national media.”

He said that means voters have to do their own fact checking.

“People are going to vote the ways they vote, but please try to hold people accountable for what they say and do,” he said. “It’s fair to judge people on what they do. It’s also fair to judge people on what they say and if they change it because of the calendar, it’s fair to hold them accountable.”

Amodei pointed to the repeated calls by Democrats for a single payer health care system and the charges made that Republicans want to take away coverage for pre-existing conditions.

“Let me tell you how I’m going to get your vote: I’m going to take your insurance away because you have a pre-existing condition,” he said sarcastically. “That’s the way to get votes? Nothing could be farther from the truth; nothing could be stupider.”

As for the calls for single payer insurance nationwide, he said that too demands fact checking.

“There are a couple of inconvenient facts,” he said. “About a third of the people in Nevada are already on what you’d call single payer.”

He pointed to Social Security, veterans’ services as well as Medicare, Medicaid and other entitlement programs.

“You can’t change Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare next week because, frankly, that’s unfair,” he said.

He said those already on the system and those within 10 years of being able to draw are entitled to keep their benefits. But he said for those not eligible for 13 or more years, the system should change.

“Things are going to be different but we’re giving you a decade to plan for it,” Amodei said.

“Social Security is not hard to fix because it’s got cash flow if we weren’t taking it for other stuff,” he said referring to Congress’s continual dipping into the trust fund for loans.

Referring to President Trump’s trade war with China, Amodei said China’s manipulation of its currency, stealing trade secrets from the U.S. and other trade violations, “have been going on for quite a while.”

“At some point in time, you’ve got to stand up and draw a line in the sand,” he said.

As for the long charges about Russian meddling in the U.S. election in 2016, he said everyone has been trying to influence U.S. elections including the Russians, Chinese, “probably the Canadians, Mexico and Israel.”

He said, however, this Congress could be good for Nevada in one area: lands bills to give some relief to rural communities unable to grow and develop because they are surrounded by federal land. He made it clear he wants to tie those measures to the applications by the military to expand Nellis Air Force Base and the Fallon Naval Air Station.

Amodei has been touring his western and Northern Nevada district during the congressional recess.