The Latest: Nevada Sen. Heller defends his bipartisan record

RENO (AP) - The latest on Nevada Republican U.S. Sen. Dean Heller and Rep. Mark Amodei meeting Monday with a town hall crowd in Reno.

2:40 p.m.

Nevada Republican Sen. Dean Heller says no one in Congress does more than he does to work with Democrats in a bipartisan fashion.

Heller made the comment Monday at a sometimes combative town hall meeting in Reno where several critics in the crowd of more than 600 accused him of doing more to divide the country than unite it.

One woman pointed to a Ronald Reagan quote Heller posted on a social media site on Sunday suggesting Republicans stand for freedom while Democrats for taxes. It said: "Republicans believe every day is the Fourth of July, but Democrats believe every day is April 15."

The woman said she found it "offensive and divisive." She asked whether Heller thought that would "help or hurt" efforts to unite the country.

Heller answered that he often quotes the former Republican president. Pressed by the crowd to answer the question, he said he didn't think the quote was "extreme" or that Reagan was "divisive." He says he's proud to be a conservative Republican who believes in low taxes and small government.


12:45 p.m.

Nevada Republican Sen. Dean Heller mixed it up with hundreds of sometimes combative critics at a town hall meeting on topics including immigration, the environment, health care and access to abortions.

More than 600 people crowded a conference room Monday at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center where Heller co-hosted the town hall session with GOP Rep. Mark Amodei.

Heller denied a claim by speakers who said he voted last month to defund Planned Parenthood, a key source of contraceptives for many low-income women.

Heller drew loud boos and jeers when he insisted his vote only allows individual states to decide whether to defund the program.

He says he's proud to be a conservative who believes in low taxes, small government and local control.


10:30 a.m.

Nevada's Republican U.S. senator and congressman are facing a big and sometimes combative town hall crowd critical of recent federal action on health care, abortion rights and environmental protection.

Sen. Dean Heller and Rep. Mark Amodei were met Monday with chants of "yes-or-no" from more than 600 people at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center.

Some in the crowd accuse Heller and Amodei of being evasive and not answering constituents' questions.

Heller says he's a conservative and won't apologize for his belief in low taxes and small government.

He says both he and Amodei opposed the push by Republicans and the Trump administration to repeal the Affordable Care Act before it was pulled without a vote in the House.

Heller also says he believes federal funds should not be spent on abortions.

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