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Another shutdown? More plutonium? Trump bipartisan? The Titus take

Another shutdown? More plutonium? Trump bipartisan? The Titus take

Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nevada, says she does not think America will see another government shutdown.

The last one ended Jan. 25, and at 35-days long it was the longest in American history, forcing 800,000 federal workers to either stay at home or come to work for free.

In Nevada, 3,100 federal workers were affected.

The prospect for another one?

“Well, the President has threatened it. With him, you never know. But I just don’t believe that the Republicans in the Senate are going to let that happen,” Titus told me from Washington during our regular chat on “Connect to Congress.”

Our conversation comes the day after the President gave his State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress.

Unlike the past two years, this time there was a Democrat sitting over his shoulder, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, leading a House now with a Democratic majority.

Titus issued this review of the President’s speech.

“He gave one sentence to infrastructure, which I care about, and he said nothing about gun violence (the October 1st 2018 mass shooting), which has hit my district. Lots of platitudes. Not much substance,” Titus says.

The President asked lawmakers to put politics aside and act in a bipartisan manner.

“I think we got to wait-and-see. Actions speak louder than words, and if he was trying to be bipartisan, let’s see what he does with it,” says the Las Vegas Democrat.

With Democrats controlling the House, Titus will become a subcommittee chairman who will be investgating what the President is doing.

So when Trump said this: “if there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation,” Titus responds with this: “our job as a member of Congress is to provide oversight, so yes, we will investigate. That's something that the Republicans have not done for the last two years.”

Last night the President said he still wants his southern wall to stop what he calls an illegal immigration crisis at the border.

Trump says walls work, and where they've been built, he says they've been effective stopping people crossing the border.

“I think the investment needs to be in more judges, more agents, more technology. I've never known a wall that somebody couldn't crawl under or climb over, so no, I don't support a wall,” Titus says.

Still, in Washington the clock ticks: another deadline is looming for a border deal President Trump will accept.

Lawmakers are trying to find a compromise, or else funding for parts of the government runs out.

RELATED| Full Text: President Trump's State of the Union Address

Titus says this Las Vegas, which gets 42 million visitors a year, cannot afford transportation trouble another shutdown could bring.

“I worry about the airport folks, the air traffic controllers, and the TSA people and the impact that could have on tourism. So I'm really hoping that doesn't happen," she said.

Titus and our Washington delegation, along with state officials here in Nevada, are outraged the federal government sent weapons-grade plutonium to the Nevada National Security Site outside Las Vegas sometime last year.

Our lawmakers say the Energy Department snuck it in while the state was in negotiation with the agency to keep the material out, but The Energy Department says it notified our Washington delegation last year the material was coming.

Titus has told me she and her colleagues never received any specific warning regarding dates and routes.

Nevada plans to appeal a judge’s ruling denying an injunction preventing more plutonium from arriving.

Titus says if Nevada fails in court, it could prevail in Washington.

“There are six tons left and we have to be sure those six tons don’t come,” Titus told me. “So even if we can’t win in the courts, we’re going to look at perhaps legislative measures or maybe even appropriations measures to keep that from happening.”


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