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Biden's infrastructure law is boosting Nevada's economy. Sam Brown opposed it.

The Nevada Republican U.S. Senate hopeful also spoke out against a rail project projected to create thousands of union jobs

By Jesse Valentine - November 15, 2023
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Sam Brown
Nevada Republican U.S. Senate candidate Sam Brown speaks to the media as he was at Reno High School for casting his ballot in Reno, Nev., Tuesday, June 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Tom R. Smedes)

President Joe Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure law has invested billions of dollars in the state of Nevada and is projected to create more than 140,000 jobs in the state. Republican U.S Senate candidate Sam Brown opposed the legislation.

If Brown secures the Republican nomination, he will face incumbent Democratic Sen. Jacky Rosen in the 2024 election. Brown has been endorsed by the National Republican Senatorial Committee, but faces several opponents in the June 11, 2024, GOP primary.

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act was passed in 2021 with bipartisan support in Congress. Biden signed it into law that November. As of November 2023, it has provided Nevada with more than $6 billion in federal funds to improve airports, roads, and railways.

In a September 2021 interview, Brown told KLAS News in Las Vegas, “I wouldn’t have voted in agreement with the infrastructure proposals.” In a November 2021 town hall, he referred to the legislation as the “CCP bailout bail” and claimed without proof that it would take money from American taxpayers and transfer it to the Chinese Communist Party.

Six days later, in a meeting with the Republican Men’s Club of Northern Nevada, Brown attacked Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for supporting the legislation.

“You know, Mitch McConnell had, I think it was 13 or 19 other senators that he dragged across the line to, it was part of what led to this infrastructure bill,” Brown said. “It takes a serious spine, and it takes serious determination and conviction to stand up against leaders of your own party when they’re leading the wrong way.”

One Nevada project benefiting from the infrastructure bill is the Brightline West train, a rail service that will connect Las Vegas to Los Angeles, California. It is being financed by a mix of federal grants and private funds. Brightline has committed to using union labor for the project. It is expected to create more than 1,000 permanent jobs.

In March, Brown tweeted that he opposed federal funding for the project: “With massive government spending driving inflation and hurting so many Americans, we have to be more critical of grant programs like this one for CA-NV rail connector. If it made financial sense, the private sector would be doing this without grants.”

Representatives for the Brown campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment for this story.

Sen. Rosen was a vocal supporter of the infrastructure law and voted for its passage.

“Our bipartisan bill will be the most significant investment in American infrastructure since we built the interstate highway system,” Rosen said in 2021. “For my state, for Nevada, well, these investments are going to make a real difference.”

In August, Rosen held a press conference urging the Department of Transportation to invest federal funds in Brightline West.

Brown ran unsuccessfully for a seat in the Texas Legislature in 2014. He ran for a Nevada U.S. Senate seat in 2022 but failed to advance past the primary.


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