Hello and welcome to the Indy DC Download newsletter, a weekly overview of what’s happening in the nation’s capital as it relates to Nevada.
If a colleague or associate has emailed you this newsletter, please Click here to sign up and receive your own copy of Indy DC Download in your inbox
Nevada congressional Democrats and White House officials have spent the week touring the state touting legislative achievements, including the benefits of the new Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and recently secured funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Employment Act enacted last year.
Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra was in Reno on Friday with Gov. Steve Sisolak to talk about IRA health care benefits, including a provision allowing Medicare to negotiate with drug manufacturers. drugs on the cost of some prescription drugs.
President Joe Biden signed the IRA into law on Tuesday. The three state House Democrats — Rep. Dina Titus, Rep. Susie Lee, and Rep. Steven Horsford — then held a call with reporters to highlight provisions of the new law, such as the three-year extension. pandemic-era subsidies to avoid a hike in health insurance premiums that would have hit early next year.
The victory lap comes as Democrats seek to tout their legislative achievements ahead of the midterm elections in November. In addition to inflation and infrastructure laws, these include legislation to encourage domestic manufacturing of semiconductors, legislation to address gun violence, and a measure making it easier for veterans to access health care. health for diseases associated with combustion chambers.
The question remains whether this will be enough to overcome obstacles such as the historical trend that since 1994 the party that holds the White House almost always loses seats in midterm elections.
But Nevada’s congressional Democrats and the White House are looking to hedge their bets.
For example, Environmental Protection Agency Director Michael Reagan held a call with regional reporters on Wednesday to tout state-specific fact sheets the White House published on the environmental provisions of the IRA.
The White House estimates that more than 75,000 additional Nevada households will install rooftop panels because the tax credit in the bill will cover up to 30% of installation costs.
Titus also hosted a call with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to announce a $6.7 million grant to the Southern Nevada Regional Transportation Commission (RTC).
The funds will allow the RTC to purchase hydrogen fuel cell electric buses, solar lighting for bus stops, and pedestrian detection and collision avoidance software for their fleet. Last year, the RTC handled more than 35 million passenger trips on nearly 40 bus routes, RTC 2021 Annual Report.
The White House released a state-specific information sheet The focus on Thursday was on the healthcare provisions of the IRA.
Among the benefits highlighted, the White House touted prescription drug reforms, including language allowing Medicare, the federal health care program for people over 65, to negotiate with drugmakers. on the price of certain drugs starting with 10 drugs by 2026 and increasing to 80 drugs by 2030.
Becerra, in a call with reporters on Thursday, said the process for the first 10 drugs would begin soon and the Department of Health and Human Services would determine which drugs “are the most important to try to keep costs down.” .
The White House uses the asthma drug Spiriva as a hypothetical example in the fact sheet. According to a Office of Government Accountability Studyaround 700,000 Medicare beneficiaries used the asthma drug in 2020. The drug had an estimated net price of $250 in 2020 in the United States but cost between $30 and $52 in France, Australia and Canada.
Negotiating a lower price for Spiriva could help the more than 28,000 Nevada Medicare enrollees treated for asthma in 2021, according to the data website Nevada Tomorrow.
Becerra also discussed language in the bill to cap insulin co-payments for Medicare beneficiaries at $35 per month, which he said would help 3.3 million people nationwide. In Nevada it would help pretty much 141,000 Nevada Medicare members with diabetes in 2021.
Other climate provisions in the law include grants for state and local governments.
The White House predicts that the grants – aimed at helping state and local governments adopt the latest building energy codes – would save the average new homeowner in Nevada 9.7% on their utility bills or 181 $ per year.
The law provides subsidies for the purchase of electric cars – up to $7,500 for new vehicles and $4,000 for used vehicles.
The White House said Nevada has submitted a plan to use bipartisan Infrastructure Act funds to build a network of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations along highways. No details of Nevada’s plan were provided.
All 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico submitted plans to receive first-round funding of $5 billion available over five years. The money will help states accelerate the construction of the national electric vehicle charging network.
Cortez Masto and Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV) wrote a letter tuesday to Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and other water officials urging the agency to implement the recommendations of Southern Nevada Water Authority CEO John Entsminger.
“While these first steps are essential, implementing lasting solutions will require continued and strong federal leadership, collective action and coordination at all levels of government,” the senators said in the letter.
Entsminger set out his recommendations in a letter monday. They included creating a Colorado River Basin-wide turf removal program, purchasing land along the lower basin for habitat restoration, and encouraging farmers to convert to crops with low water consumption.
The senators’ letter came after the Interior Department’s Bureau of Reclamation announced Tuesday that Nevada, Arizona and Mexico will have less Colorado River water for use in 2023.
The seven states along the river had been tasked by federal water authorities with coming up with a plan to avoid the cuts. But a split emerged when the four upper basin states – Wyoming, Colorado, Utah and New Mexico – said the cuts should be borne by the lower basin states of Nevada, Arizona and California.
Entsminger testified before a Senate panel in June when he highlighted Nevada’s efforts to reduce use and called for more conservation, including from the agricultural industry.
For a full look at the measures delegates supported or opposed this week, see The Nevada IndependentCongressional vote tracking and other information below.
REPRESENTING. DINA TITUS
HR 8727 – Establish a program of alternative fuels and low-emission aviation technologies, and for other purposes.
REPRESENTING. SUSIE LEE
HR 8722 – To re-authorize the Mental Health Awareness Training Grant Program and for other purposes.