Cortez Masto narrowly defeated Republican Joe Heck in the 2016 United States Senate election in Nevada to replace outgoing Democratic senator Harry Reid, becoming the first woman elected to represent Nevada in the Senate and the first Latina elected to serve in the upper chamber.] As Senator she served as Chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee from 2017-2020.
Prior to that she was a two-term Attorney General for Nevada. Born and raised in Las Vegas, Catherine Cortez Masto has spent her career fighting for Nevada’s working families. She served two terms as Attorney General of Nevada. During her time as Nevada’s top prosecutor, Cortez Masto became well known as an advocate for seniors, women, and children. She worked closely with local law enforcement to keep Nevada’s communities safe. As Attorney General, Cortez Masto led the push to break up sex trafficking rings throughout the state. She partnered with community advocates to give first responders the tools they need to identify and intervene in trafficking incidents. She also helped pass a law to make sex trafficking a crime at the state level, an achievement that allowed state and local officials to share resources and information with federal prosecutors. Cortez Masto sought to protect Nevada’s seniors and implement guardianship reform in the state. She created a senior protection unit to safeguard older Nevadans from identity theft, exploitation, and abuse. To help middle-class families recover from the housing crisis, Cortez Masto created the Mortgage Fraud Strike Force to investigate and prosecute lending scams. She led the fight to hold the Big Banks accountable for their role in the housing collapse and secured a $1.9 billion settlement for Nevada homeowners.
Prior to becoming Attorney General, she was the Assistant County Manager for Clark County, an Assistant US Attorney, and worked for Governor Bob Miller.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS AS SENATOR
In Congress, Senator Cortez Masto remains a strong advocate for women and children and is working to pass legislation to strengthen women’s health care. She is a cosponsor of the Healthy Maternal and Obstetric Medicine (Healthy MOM) Act, which would ensure that mothers and their babies have access to the care they need, both before and after birth. She has introduced the Servicewomen’s Health Transition Training Act of 2019, which would increase the knowledge of available VA health care resources like mental health assistance, maternity care, cancer screenings and casework management.
Cortez Masto is a cosponsor of the DREAM Act and a fervent supporter of comprehensive immigration reform.
She has also seized on Nevada’s innovation economy and leadership in renewable energy production. Cortez Masto has unveiled a key legislative initiative to strengthen America’s 21st century economy, called the “Innovation State Initiative.” Her legislative package is aimed at cementing Nevada’s place as a leader in innovation and strengthening America’s economic competitiveness in the fields of science, technology, and renewable energy. It consists of several pieces of legislation designed to promote technology jobs and innovation in the state, as well as nationally.
Cortez Masto introduced the Home Loan Quality Transparency Act to reinstate key Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act reporting requirements, which were repealed last year, which help regulators and advocates hold banks accountable for discriminatory or unfair lending practices.
She has been a strong advocate in the Senate for strengthening our health care system and for protecting Medicare and Medicaid. In response to provider shortages in rural communities that could affect the health care coverage of nearly 8,000 Nevadans, Cortez Masto cosponsored the Marketplace Certainty Act to stabilize the health care markets, lower premiums for consumers and prevent insurers from leaving rural counties. She also introduced bipartisan drug pricing transparency legislation to allow the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) and the Medicaid and CHIP Payment Advisory Commission (MACPAC) to access critical information on pricing and contracts under Medicaid and Medicare to reduce costs.
Senator Cortez Masto is also a proud cosponsor of the following:
the Family Coverage Act, legislation that would fix a glitch in the health care system and ensure all spouses and children are able to get covered.
Empowering Medicare Seniors to Negotiate Drug Prices, a bill to authorize HHS to negotiate drug prices to protect seniors from exploitation; and
Stopping the Pharmaceutical Industry from Keeping Drugs Expensive (SPIKE) Act, a bill that would require drug manufacturers to publicly justify large price increases in prescription drugs.
Combating human and child trafficking continues to be one of Cortez Masto’s top priorities. Cortez Masto introduced two bipartisan bills, titled the Not Invisible Act of 2019 and Savanna’s Act, which aim to address the crisis of missing, murdered, and trafficked Native Americans and Alaska Natives by increasing coordination among all levels of law enforcement. Cortez Masto has also introduced the Interdiction for the Protection of Child Victims of Exploitation and Human Trafficking Act to ensure law enforcement officers have the necessary tools and training to recognize and rescue at-risk and exploited children.
She is the cosponsor of the Clean Energy for America Act, a bill that would measurably reduce carbon pollution over the next decade through a series of incentives for clean energy and the promotion of new technologies in the private sector. Cortez Masto cosponsored legislation called the Electric CARS Act to encourage the use and development of electric vehicles, the GEO Act to promote the growth of geothermal energy, especially in the State of Nevada, and the Renewable Energy Extension Act to extend clean energy tax incentives and ensure continued deployment, growth, and innovation of green technologies. Cortez Masto has also defended the Antiquities Act to protect Nevada’s national monuments and worked alongside the Nevada congressional delegation to introduce the Nuclear Waste Informed Consent Act, which would ensure Nevadans have a voice in any plan to store nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain.
BOLD Democrats (CHC BOLD PAC)
Council for a Livable World
Culinary Union Local 226
Democracy For America
Feminist Majority Equality Political Action Committee
Human Rights Campaign
J Street PAC
Latino Victory Project
League of Conservation Voters
NARAL Pro-Choice America
National Education Association
National Organization for Women
Nevada Association of Public Safety Officers
Nevada State AFL-CIO
Nevada State Education Association
NRDC Action Fund
Planned Parenthood Action Fund
In recent cycles, Democrats have generally won Nevada by slight, but consistent margins. In fact, of the 50 states, it saw the least movement between the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections— Biden's 2.4% edge in the state was unchanged from Hillary Clinton’s margin. Cortez Masto’s deep roots in the state are an advantage. One obstacle is there is a bitter internal battle in Nevada’s Democratic Party which may affect the ability to successfully implement an efficient coordinated campaign. Progressives and socialists won control of the state party this year, resulting in a mass resignation and the creation of a shadow party under a different umbrella. Cortez Masto and other Democratic incumbents may not be able to access certain data and networks needed to run their best campaign.
Cortez Masto’s opponent is former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt a member of a prominent Nevada political family and a Trump supporter who actively tried to overturn the Nevada 2020 presidential vote. Laxalt lost his 2018 bid for Nevada Governor.
Committee on Indian Affairs
Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
Housing, Transportation, and Community Development
Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection
Securities, Insurance, and Investment
Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
Public Lands, Forests, and Mining, Chair
Water and Power
Committee on Finance
International Trade, Customs, and Global Competitiveness
Taxation and IRS Oversight