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NV-Sen: Rosen's southern border trip a continued source of criticism in deadlocked race

Sen. Jacky Rosen has been attacked on multiple fronts for her trip to the U.S.-Mexico border. (Image source: YouTube video screenshot)

Rep. Jacky Rosen just can't shake the criticism from that trip she took to the southern border in June, during the height of uproar over illegal immigrant parents being separated from their children.

Rosen, who is in a tight race against incumbent Republican Sen. Dean Heller, has been relentlessly attacked by the Heller campaign for the trip -- but not because of her views on immigration.

There are two issues with the trip, according to Heller and his team: One is a missed vote, and one is an allegedly hypocritical campaign ad.

Skipping out on veterans?

The first attack on Rosen's trip is that she skipped a vote on a bill to benefit Vietnam veterans in order to go to the southern border for a "photo op."

Rosen's trip came on the same day as the vote for the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act, a bill that would make any sailor who served in Vietnam eligible for treatment for diseases tied to Agent Orange (which refers to herbicides the U.S. sprayed over Vietnam jungles during the war).

Although the bill passed unanimously through a special process for bills with little or no opposition, and Rosen was an early cosponsor, Heller's campaign has repeatedly accused Rosen of "[skipping] work to attend a publicity stunt instead of voting to expand coverage for Vietnam War heroes who are literally dying from exposure to Agent Orange -- a bill Dean Heller has cosponsored in the Senate."

Campaigning with taxpayer money?

The second attack is related to the use of footage from her border visit in a campaign ad.

Rosen has been an outspoken critic against the use of taxpayer money for political gain, and her trip was taxpayer funded, according to the Reno Gazette Journal.

In March, the congresswoman said congressional office budgets should not be used by legislators to "help themselves get re-elected."

The Nevada Republican Party has filed an ethics complaint over the ad, but Rosen says she was just "doing my job."

"I believe we're allowed to do our job with dignity and talk about the kinds of things we do and what we're going to do going forward," Rosen said.

Deadlocked race

The Nevada Senate race, which represents Democrats' best chance to take a seat from a Republican, is currently too close to call, according to polls.

An average of polls since April taken by RealClearPolitics has Rosen leading Heller by 0.6 percent. The most recent poll in that average, a Suffolk poll taken from July 25 through 29, had Heller leading by 1 percent.

Rosen has been endorsed by former President Barack Obama -- the only Senate candidate Obama has endorsed so far.

One last thing…
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