Joseph John “Joe” Heck (born October 30, 1961) is the U.S. Representative for Nevada’s 3rd congressional district and is a member of the Republican Party. He is an osteopathic physician and former Nevada State Senator.
The district includes the cities of Henderson, Boulder City, parts of Las Vegas and North Las Vegas, unincorporated Clark County, and several smaller towns and cities in the Southern Nevada region. He resides in Henderson, Nevada.
Early life, education, and military service
Heck was born in Jamaica, New York in Queens and raised in Pennsylvania. In 1992, he moved to Clark County, Nevada. He graduated from Penn State University in 1984 with a degree in Health Education.
He received his Doctor of Osteopathy in 1988 from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and obtained a residency in Emergency Medicine in 1992 at the Albert Einstein Medical Center. He earned a Masters of Strategic Studies degree from the U.S. Army War College in 2006.
Heck is a Colonel in the United States Army Reserve and commands a Medical Readiness Support Group overseeing more than 2,000 soldiers in 6 western states. He continues to serve in this capacity while in Congress. He has served in Operation Joint Endeavor, Operation Noble Eagle, and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
His last deployment was January, 2008.
Heck was the president, owner, and medical director of Specialized Medical Operations until 2011. The company provided quality medical training, consulting, and operational support to law enforcement agencies, EMS, and military special operations. Heck has lectured and is published on special operations medical support, the medical response to acts of terrorism, and emergency preparedness and response.
From 1998 to 2003, Heck served as the medical director of the Casualty Care Research Center of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland, where he provided medical support for several federal law enforcement agencies and oversight for the medical response to acts of terrorism.
Heck started his medical career as a volunteer firefighter and ambulance attendant in rural Pennsylvania. He volunteered as a Medical Team Manager with the Nevada Urban Search & Rescue Team - Task Force 1 and as a member of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Search & Rescue team. He has also served as a tactical physician with the LVMPD SWAT team.
Heck served as a member of the Nevada State Homeland Security Commission Sub-committee on Health, the American Osteopathic Association's Task Force on Bioterrorism, and as the Medical Director for the Nevada Hospital Association’s Hospital Preparedness program.
He also served as the Medical Director for the Southern Nevada Health District's Office of Public Health Preparedness.
Heck served one four-year term in the Nevada Senate, representing Clark County’s 5th district.
Heck was first elected to the Nevada Senate to represent Clark County’s 5th district in 2004, after defeating Senator Ann O’Connell in the Republican primary. Heck narrowly lost reelection to Democrat Shirley Breeden by a margin of 46.57% to 45.81% and a plurality of 765 votes. Libertarian T. Rex Hagan received 4754 votes (8.4%).
He served on the Natural Resources, Human Resources and Education, the Commerce and Labor Committees. He was also the vice-chair of the Transportation and Homeland Security Committee.
U.S. House of Representatives
Although Heck had earlier announced he would challenge incumbent Republican Jim Gibbons for Governor, he decided against it in favor of a run for Nevada's 3rd congressional district. He won by a margin of 48.16% to 47.44% and a plurality of 1922 votes, defeating Democratic incumbent Dina Titus. Titus had only held the position for one term after she defeated incumbent Republican Jon C. Porter in 2008.
Heck was one of three freshmen named to the House Republican Steering Committee in the 112th Congress. His top three legislative priorities are jobs and the economy, healthcare reform, and national security.
In 2011 Heck voted in favor of bills requiring the EPA to consider the costs and feasibility of air quality standards and delay their regulation of cement manufacturers.
He also supported amending the clean water laws to instill looser standards, repealing energy efficiency standards currently in place for incandescent light bulbs, and preventing an energy tax. He voted against repealing provisions currently in place that limit funding for the Endangered Species Act. In a public statement released in January of 2011, Heck expressed his opinion on environmental regulation, stating that, “With the current restrictions on our ability to utilize domestic oil and natural gas resources, Nevadans are forced to pay a high premium on energy costs…restrictions on our ability to utilize domestic oil and natural gas resources only drive up energy costs.”
In 2011 Heck voted in favor of Free Trade Agreements and Trade Promotion Agreements with Korea, Colombia and Panama, expressing a desire to revitalize the role of the United States in the global economy. He also voted against requiring public disclosure of employee bonuses, and the instillation of crowd funding intermediaries to disclose methods of compensation to investors.
Heck voted against increasing the debt limit and supported a separate bill that expressed disapproval of the President’s authority to raise the debt limit. He released a public statement saying, “Raising the debt ceiling without significant spending cuts will only prolong the uncertainty preventing an economic recovery.”
In 2011 Heck strongly voiced his opinion against United States involvement in Libya, saying, “We are already engaged in military operations on two fronts, and Libya opened a third. We cannot afford the troops or taxpayer dollars—especially without a national security objective.” He also voted against removing troops from Afghanistan.
Joe and his wife, Lisa (formerly Matiello), have three children: Monica, Chelsea and Joseph III. Lisa is a registered nurse. Heck is a Roman Catholic. He is active with the Knights of Columbus Council 13456 and Catholic War Veterans Post 1947.
December 11th, 2011