Today U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) sent a letter to U.S. Representative John L. Mica (R-FL), House Chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, requesting that his upcoming hearing focus on the misdeeds of the General Services Administration (GSA), not Nevada.
Yesterday, Chairman Mica announced his Committee will conduct a hearing of GSA's activities including a conference they held in Henderson. General Services Administration chief Martha Johnson resigned after she dismissed two deputies and suspended other career employees over the incident.
Text of the Letter Below:
April 4, 2012
The Honorable John Mica
Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
2165 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Chairman Mica:
Yesterday, you issued a public notice of your intent to hold a hearing on the recent findings of the General Services Administration (GSA) Inspector General regarding excessive government spending during a conference meeting in October 2010 in Nevada.
I agree that the GSA's actions are inexcusable. Taxpayer dollars should be spent responsibly and those responsible for any misuse should be held accountable. However, while you investigate this matter, it should be noted that it was not the location that caused the misuse of taxpayer funds. The convention services my state offers are the best in the world, and no town in Nevada should be singled out due to the poor judgment by the GSA.
Every day I fight to create new jobs in Nevada. In my home state, a strong travel industry means more jobs. Las Vegas, Henderson, Lake Tahoe, and Reno have long been a favorite destination for millions of visitors. The entire Southern Nevada economy is heavily dependent on the hotel, gaming, and convention industries, which employs over one-quarter of the region's labor force. Plain and simple, travel and conventions are the lifeblood for businesses and job creation in Nevada.
Right now, Nevada leads the nation in unemployment. It is my hope that members of the House and Senate can focus on the misjudgments of the GSA without unfairly targeting Nevada's unparalleled accommodations and convention services.