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Silver State Is Golden for Lawmakers on Monday

Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo
Sens. John McCain (above), Kelly Ayotte and Lindsey Graham will hold a town hall meeting in North Las Vegas on Monday to press for a legislative replacement for the budget sequester.

If you're looking for Members of Congress on Monday, you might try Nevada.

The Silver State plays host to a pair of policy events that epitomize the varied priorities of Members of Congress. While substantively unrelated, both issues could shade the battleground's political environment leading up to November.

Republican Sens. John McCain (Ariz.), Kelly Ayotte (N.H.) and Lindsey Graham (S.C.) will be visiting the southern part of the state.

The trio will hold a town hall meeting in North Las Vegas to press for a legislative replacement for the budget sequester, the coming automatic across-the-board discretionary spending cuts required when the deficit reduction super committee could not reach agreement on a plan last year.

The visit to North Las Vegas, near the 14,000-acre Nellis Air Force Base, is the latest stop on the GOP Senatorial road show warning of the dire consequences to defense preparedness and the economy of military communities. According to the base, the population of the area with military connections totals upward of 40,000.

"We look forward to visiting Nevada to sound the alarm about the profound negative consequences of these cuts to our national security and economy. North Las Vegas and similar communities across the nation - which do so much to provide our troops the equipment and support they need to defend our country - will bear the brunt of the defense sequestration cuts," McCain, Graham and Ayotte said in a joint statement.

Nevada is the fifth state on the tour.

The Office of Management and Budget has already informed Congress of a plan to exempt military personnel accounts from being hit by the sequester, but the White House has yet to outline specifics of the cuts on other programs.

McCain, Graham and Ayotte offered an invitation to Nevada Sens. Harry Reid (D) and Dean Heller (R), but both already had other plans. A Republican aide said Reid and Heller were invited Thursday.

Reid, the Senate Majority Leader, is spending some vacation time with his wife, Landra, who has been undergoing treatment for stage 2 breast cancer since last year.

Heller has his hands full with a general election contest looming against Rep. Shelley Berkley (D).

While his three Republican colleagues come to the state to talk about a topic of national importance, Heller will focus on a far more parochial issue.

He will spend Monday in Northern Nevada hosting the annual Lake Tahoe Summit, an important regional event intended to promote environmental stewardship and regional tourism.

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