Horsford presses White House budget chief on Yucca funding

Why Trump so trumpy? congressman asks
Rep. Steven Horsford questions Office of Management and Budget Director Russ Vought Tuesday. (Screen grab from YouTube video loaded by Horsford's office)
Why Trump so trumpy? congressman asks
Rep. Steven Horsford questions Office of Management and Budget Director Russ Vought Tuesday. (Screen grab from YouTube video loaded by Horsford’s office)

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is open to discussing the future of nuclear storage at Yucca Mountain, the acting White House budget chief told Congress Tuesday.

At a U.S. House hearing on Trump’s federal budget request for fiscal 2020, Acting Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget Russ Vought told lawmakers that Trump is willing to discuss Nevadans’ concerns with the nuclear repository, despite his recent request to spend $116 million to revive the storage program.

His comments came in response to questions from Nevada Rep. Steven Horsford, who accused Trump of reversing course on Yucca after his visit to Nevada last October.

“I think you should do things where people want them to happen, so I would be very inclined to be against it,” Trump told KRNV-News 4, based in Reno, the Washington Post reported. “We will be looking at it very seriously over the next few weeks, and I agree with the people of Nevada.”

Trump has included money to restart licensing at the site in each of his budget proposals, but Nevada lawmakers were surprised to see it in his latest request in the wake of his October comments.

“Well Mr. President, if you agree, what changed?” Horsford said Tuesday.

“Why is he breaking his promise that he made to the people in October of 2018 in Nevada,” Horsford asked Vought.

“He’s not breaking his promise and he is very open to the conversation,” Vought told the House Budget Committee.

Robin Bravender
Robin Bravender is the Washington, D.C., bureau chief for The Newsroom, a network of state-based non-profit news outlets that includes Nevada Current.

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