September 15, 2016 – by Ray Hagar, Nevada Newsmakers
Nevada’s 4th U.S. House District Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Carson City, predicted Thursday that the GOP will lose “10 to 15” seats in the U.S. House in the November election, which would not be enough for the Republicans to lose the majority.
“Republican seats in the House (247) are at an all-time high and it is not unusual to think that is a high water mark that will be difficult to duplicate,” Amodei said on the Nevada Newsmakers television show. “I can tell you, personally, I expect us to lose seats. Hopefully, not mine. I expect to lose seats and I think it will be somewhere in the range of 10 to 15. That is realistic, barring surprises.”
Currently, Republicans own a 59-seat advantage over the Democrats, so losing 15 seats would do little harm to the Republican majority in the U.S. House.
Amodei also said Donald Trump’s potential negative impact on Republicans in down-ticket races “is going to be pretty minimal.”
“And, heck, if he (Trump) actually wins, then that discussion goes away,” Amodei said.
Amodei, however, did not endorse Trump on the show. He had earlier endorsed Jeb Bush for president but Bush was soundly defeated by Trump in the primary and state caucus process.
Amodei also predicted that the “lame duck” Congress that will meet in December after the 2016 election won’t get much accomplished no matter if Trump or Democrat Hillary Clinton wins the presidential election.
“Everybody has got their theories,” Amodei said. “I say, well, if it is a (Hillary) Clinton administration, why would the Democrats be in a hurry in the lame duck? They can just wait for the continuation of their administration. If Trump wins, why would the Republicans be in a hurry to accommodate this (Obama) administration until Jan 20? So in my view of the world — since you made the mistake of asking for it — is: My prediction for the lame duck is not much and especially no heavy lifting.”
Amodei predicts that President Obama will designate Nevada’s Gold Butte area — the Silver State’s part of the Grand Canyon in Southern Nevada — as a national monument.
Last year, Obama designed the Basin and Range area of south-central Nevada as a national monument, at the urging of Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nv. Local officials in Nye County were upset that there was little public process and input before the decree by the President.
Amodei hinted that Obama, with the urging of Reid, may even designate more land as national monuments before he leaves office.
“I think there is more to come,” Amodei said. “My speculation is that when Harry (Reid) and the President got together at Basin and Range, that was not the crescendo. It was a sign there is more to come.”
Amodei is not pleased the the lack of public process that precedes Obama’s national-monument designations.
“Listen, nobody is opposed to monuments,” Amodei said. “What people are opposed to is surprise monuments, no-transparency monuments, no public process monuments.”
Obama is granted the right to use executive power to designate national monuments under the
Antiquities Act of 1906. Under that law, Obama has designated or expanded 19 new national monuments during his administration, according to the New York Times.
Yet Amodei, a lawyer by trade, questioned if Obama is correctly applying that law.
“If you do something nobody does anymore — read the law — listen, this was supposed to be for stuff that was in danger of being destroyed.”