At about 14 percent, the county has the highest unemployment rate in Nevada (which, as a state, has the highest unemployment rate in the country). And the federal government is partially to blame. A copper-mining company has designs on opening a new mine in the town of Yerington that would create about 800 mining jobs, 500 construction jobs, and plenty of ancillary employment opportunities. That’s a lot of jobs in a town of 3,000. The only problem: The federal government owns the land surrounding the mine.
Even though it’s not really a partisan issue, the struggles of this bill manage to elucidate the difficulties of turning a bill into a law. The bill may have had no objections, but unfortunately it never got the opportunity to be judged on its own merits. Instead, it was wrapped up with 15 other land bills in an omnibus package that was destined to die in the Senate. That larger bill included, among other things, a provision to let Border Patrol agents bypass environmental laws where they found them inconvenient, creating what Democrats called a “drone zone” through several national parks.
Things were made even harder by the fact that Senator Tom Coburn, R-Okla., was so strongly against land bills in general that he took to placing holds on them so they couldn’t be brought up for a vote.
What a tragedy. Thousands of people that could be employed with good jobs kept unemployed by Senators playing politics and being close-minded. No wonder Congress has a 78.6% Disapproval rating.