City Cast

Sen. Jacky Rosen on Bipartisanship

Scott Dickensheets
Scott Dickensheets
Posted on August 1
Photo of Sen. Jacky Rosen

U.S. Sen. Jacky Rosen works across the aisle more than most. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty)

In addition to recalling her life before politics — including a college-era stint as a cocktail server at Caesars — Nevada’s first-term senator Jacky Rosen (🎧) spoke recently to City Cast Las Vegas podcast co-host Dayvid Figler about the ups and downs of bipartisanship:

“Bipartisan” is a word we see a lot coming out of your office.

“Nevada sent me to the Senate to get things done. My motto is, agree where you can, and fight where you must. We can talk about tourism, healthcare, broadband — those things aren't inherently partisan. So you try to find all the places you can to get together. I have to tell you about two lists I'm on. I'm one of the 10 most bipartisan senators overall. And I'm in the top 10 most effective Democratic senators overall.”

What would be an example of bipartisanship that directly benefited us here in Las Vegas?

“We had a lot of roundtables at Nellis and Creech (Air Force bases), and those young men and women get what's called a base housing allowance. When they transfer into the community, it is oftentimes really expensive, and they have to put out the money first and get (it) back later. It was causing them to take out loans, use credit cards, go into debt.

“We ended up writing to the secretary of defense, bringing it up in committee, and they agreed with us. They sent us a letter back, Well of course this makes sense, we will get their money to them right away. So that really impacted the servicemen and women.”

I want to talk about the downside of bipartisanship, which is that sometimes you do stuff that's maybe too incremental. With DACA and the Dreamers, it just doesn't seem like permanent residency can ever happen through these smaller measures.

“We have the slimmest of majorities, with 51 (Democrats in the Senate). We need comprehensive, bipartisan immigration reform. We have to protect our borders. Nobody wants criminals. But we have Dreamers here. We have TPS recipients. But … when you don't have 60 votes, you have to figure out what you can do. Instead of doing nothing, we try to do something, help every way that we can going forward, until we get the votes or get public opinion to force the other side.”

(Edited for length and clarity.)

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