Lawmakers Push Ban on Ban on Las Vegas Travel

Dean Heller, Shelley Berkley fight for the government's right to party
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 26, 2012 4:00 PM CDT
Lawmakers from Nevada want to make sure government officials keep seeing this.   (AP Photo/Joe Cavaretta, File)

(Newser) – No one is actually talking about outlawing government travel to Las Vegas or Reno in the wake of the GSA scandal, but a pair of Nevada lawmakers want to ban such a banning, just in case. Sen. Dean Heller and Rep. Shelley Berkley are putting forward bills in their respective chambers making it illegal to ban travel to any particular US city, USA Today reports.

The Bush administration had a policy effectively barring federal employee meetings in reputed casino cities, despite the cheap rates they offered. The Obama administration dropped that policy at the urging of Harry Reid, and now government meetings make up about 10% of convention business in the Reno area. Some in Washington—including Rand Paul—"are looking to score cheap political points by attacking Las Vegas and Nevada's tourism industry," Berkley said. One ironic aspect of the push? Berkley is running against Heller this fall.

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