Trump reversal on Yucca Mountain followed by new campaign event
President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE’s recent announcement that he no longer supports funding for a controversial nuclear waste repository in Nevada was quickly followed by his campaign saying they would be holding an event in the state featuring the president’s eldest son.
Within an hour of Trump’s tweet on Thursday reversing his position on the Yucca Mountain repository, his campaign sent out a press release announcing that Donald Trump Jr. and Kimberly GuilfoyleKimberly Ann GuilfoyleTrump campaign launches new fundraising program with House Republicans Brazilian president Bolsonaro tested for coronavirus days after meeting Trump Business as usual for Trump as coronavirus spreads MORE will appear in Las Vegas, about 85 miles from Yucca Mountain, later this month.
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The Feb. 18 event will “highlight the accomplishments of the administration and the commitments of the president,” according to the Trump campaign.
“Nevada, I hear you on Yucca Mountain and my Administration will RESPECT you! Congress and previous Administrations have long failed to find lasting solutions – my Administration is committed to exploring innovative approaches – I’m confident we can get it done!” Trump tweeted on Thursday.
A senior administration official later confirmed that the president would not seek funds for the Yucca Mountain project in his 2021 budget request, which is expected Monday.
The election-year reversal affects a state Trump narrowly lost in 2016. In the previous three years, Trump had requested funds to build the Yucca Mountain project despite objections from Nevada leaders.
Former President Obama ended the licensing process in 2010, but in Trump’s first budget request the White House asked for $120 million to restart the licensing process for the repository.
Following the Thursday announcement, Rep. Susie LeeSuzanne (Susie) Kelley LeeMORE (D-Nev.) accused Trump of playing “political games with Nevadans’ health and future.”
“When you ran in 2016, you said you opposed Yucca. Then, once elected, you wanted to fund it. Now, election season is here and you’re against Yucca again,” she tweeted. “Please don’t play political games with Nevadans’ health and future. If you’re sincere about alternatives, I’m all ears.”
The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to The Hill’s request for comment.