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View Full Version : Economics Has Harry Reid lost his mind? Please Mr. President spare our conference rooms.


alanm
03-20-2009, 10:28 PM
LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Nevada Sen. Harry Reid has sent a letter to President Barack Obama asking for clarification to a provision that restricts casinos from using federal stimulus funds.
The Democratic majority leader says in a letter sent Friday that the provision is "overly broad" and is discouraging nonprofit groups from applying for stimulus money.
Reid argues that casinos are often the only suitable space for conferences and workshops held by community organizations. He also cites a women's group that often uses casino hotel rooms as transitional housing for victims of violence.
The Senate approved the provision, introduced by Republican Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, last month in a 73-24 vote. Reid voted against the measure, while Nevada Republican Sen. John Ensign supported it.
Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., sent the following letter to President Barack Obama regarding the use of economic recovery funds Friday. Text of the letter follows:


The President
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20500


Dear Mr. President:


I am writing to you about an issue relating to the implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (AARA, P.L. No. 111-5) that is critical to the State of Nevada. Section 1604 of the AARA included a prohibition on the use of funds appropriated by the bill for certain facilities, including casinos and other gaming establishments. It has come to my attention that solicitations and related guidance relating to requests for funding under the bill includes language to implement section 1604 that is vague and overly broad, causing confusion and discouraging many eligible beneficiaries in Nevada from applying for funding.
Specifically, the language on grant solicitations and other guidance creates the impression that otherwise eligible grant/funding recipients conducting activities wholly appropriate to the grant/funding program may not hold events at facilities that are part of a hotel/casino complex. This is a non-sensical and overly broad interpretation of section 1604. The intent of section 1604 was to prohibit the facilities delineated in that section from being direct beneficiaries of funding provided under the ARRA (e.g., to receive construction funds or funds to assist their operations). It was not intended to restrict the location of activities wholly appropriate to the grant/funding program and conducted by otherwise eligible grant/funding recipients.
The overly broad language hurts non-profits in Nevada, especially. Nevada has a long history of community integration with hotel/casino complexes, which has created a unique environment in which hotel/casino complexes are often the most appropriate venue for certain activities, particularly holding public events such as community outreach events, Parent Teacher Association meetings, domestic violence trainings, and other workshops.
A couple of specific examples are illustrative of the problems caused by the overly broad language. The Department of Justice-Office on Violence Against Women's Transition Housing Assistance Program offers funding to provide victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking supportive services such as short-term housing assistance. In many Nevada rural communities the only hotel rooms available are in casinos. The overly broad restriction deprives victims of a safe place away from their attackers. Additionally, the Department of Justice-Office on Violence Against Women has encouraged domestic violence coalitions to hold community conferences and workshops to stimulate the local economy. The only suitable conference space in Nevada is often found in hotel/casino complexes. If the overly broad language is maintained, it would be impossible to hold conferences and workshops in many Nevada communities.
Nevada organizations that could qualify for grants/funding under the AARA are already being dissuaded from applying because of this confusion. Therefore, it is my hope that you will ensure that the appropriate office(s) issue a clarifying statement as soon as possible that an entity otherwise eligible to receive a grant/funding under the ARRA, conducting activities otherwise eligible to receive a grant/funding under the ARRA, is not restricted in the location of the activity.
Thank you for taking steps to rectify this misunderstanding.


Sincerely,
HARRY REID
Majority Leader


http://www.krnv.com/Global/story.asp?S=10043348

alnorth
03-20-2009, 10:56 PM
I don't have a problem with this letter, and it was appropriately sent to the President.

Basically, the bill's intention was to forbid casinos from receiving bailout money. The people who are implementing this law are interpreting this too broadly to say that people who receive bailout money cant hold any kind of meetings in casino conventions or stay in hotel rooms located in a casino.

Sen. Reid basically said "wait a minute, what about businesses that are located in Nevada?" If you need a hotel room for a legit business (or non-profit) reason and the ONLY hotel rooms are casinos, what are you supposed to do? If you need a large facility for a meeting, and the only thing available is a casino's convention hall, are you supposed to spend extra money to fly everyone out of state? That's rediculous.

It's now the law, the part of the law that he has a problem with is being misinterpreted, so it is appropriate for him to ask the executive to consider this when figuring out how to enforce the law. This isnt a left/right partisan issue where conservatives ought to automatically leap to anything Reid does = bad = I disagree. This is a constituent issue where he is hearing complaints from the people who voted for him and acting on it.

Chiefshrink
03-20-2009, 11:40 PM
LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Nevada Sen. Harry Reid has sent a letter to President Barack Obama asking for clarification to a provision that restricts casinos from using federal stimulus funds.
The Democratic majority leader says in a letter sent Friday that the provision is "overly broad" and is discouraging nonprofit groups from applying for stimulus money.
Reid argues that casinos are often the only suitable space for conferences and workshops held by community organizations. He also cites a women's group that often uses casino hotel rooms as transitional housing for victims of violence.
The Senate approved the provision, introduced by Republican Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, last month in a 73-24 vote. Reid voted against the measure, while Nevada Republican Sen. John Ensign supported it.
Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., sent the following letter to President Barack Obama regarding the use of economic recovery funds Friday. Text of the letter follows:


The President
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20500


Dear Mr. President:


I am writing to you about an issue relating to the implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (AARA, P.L. No. 111-5) that is critical to the State of Nevada. Section 1604 of the AARA included a prohibition on the use of funds appropriated by the bill for certain facilities, including casinos and other gaming establishments. It has come to my attention that solicitations and related guidance relating to requests for funding under the bill includes language to implement section 1604 that is vague and overly broad, causing confusion and discouraging many eligible beneficiaries in Nevada from applying for funding.
Specifically, the language on grant solicitations and other guidance creates the impression that otherwise eligible grant/funding recipients conducting activities wholly appropriate to the grant/funding program may not hold events at facilities that are part of a hotel/casino complex. This is a non-sensical and overly broad interpretation of section 1604. The intent of section 1604 was to prohibit the facilities delineated in that section from being direct beneficiaries of funding provided under the ARRA (e.g., to receive construction funds or funds to assist their operations). It was not intended to restrict the location of activities wholly appropriate to the grant/funding program and conducted by otherwise eligible grant/funding recipients.
The overly broad language hurts non-profits in Nevada, especially. Nevada has a long history of community integration with hotel/casino complexes, which has created a unique environment in which hotel/casino complexes are often the most appropriate venue for certain activities, particularly holding public events such as community outreach events, Parent Teacher Association meetings, domestic violence trainings, and other workshops.
A couple of specific examples are illustrative of the problems caused by the overly broad language. The Department of Justice-Office on Violence Against Women's Transition Housing Assistance Program offers funding to provide victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking supportive services such as short-term housing assistance. In many Nevada rural communities the only hotel rooms available are in casinos. The overly broad restriction deprives victims of a safe place away from their attackers. Additionally, the Department of Justice-Office on Violence Against Women has encouraged domestic violence coalitions to hold community conferences and workshops to stimulate the local economy. The only suitable conference space in Nevada is often found in hotel/casino complexes. If the overly broad language is maintained, it would be impossible to hold conferences and workshops in many Nevada communities.
Nevada organizations that could qualify for grants/funding under the AARA are already being dissuaded from applying because of this confusion. Therefore, it is my hope that you will ensure that the appropriate office(s) issue a clarifying statement as soon as possible that an entity otherwise eligible to receive a grant/funding under the ARRA, conducting activities otherwise eligible to receive a grant/funding under the ARRA, is not restricted in the location of the activity.
Thank you for taking steps to rectify this misunderstanding.


Sincerely,
HARRY REID
Majority Leader


http://www.krnv.com/Global/story.asp?S=10043348


Did he ever have a mind?:shrug: