What did you want to be when you were growing up?
Rep. Amodei: I wanted to be a pilot. My dad worked for the Division of Forestry, and they had the air tankers and that sort of thing, which was always neat … I grew up in Carson City [Nev.], and there were propeller-driven planes around there, and that was always neat. Airplanes have always fascinated me.
What is your favorite hobby?
I have my ’86 GMC, which is the first new truck I ever owned. I have my dad’s ’71 GMC. He passed away about five years ago, so we’re keeping that in the family. I have a 1987 Chevy one-ton, flatbed, four-wheel-drive dually (two tires on either side of the back). And I’ve got a ’66 GMC two-ton flatbed, four-wheel-drive dually. It used to be an Army dump truck.
I enjoy history. I’m kind of a Nevada history nut from the Civil War forward.
And I enjoy working in the yard — I’m always working on something. … The next project is an outdoor, built-in barbecue.
What do you consider to be your biggest political achievement?
Rep. Amodei: I’m pretty proud of the fight that occurred in 2003 in Nevada when there was a move to create a whole new tax structure for businesses based on gross receipts. It was a knockdown, drag-out fight. … As far as Nevada political drama goes, it doesn’t get much hotter than that. I felt very proud of having the opportunity to participate in fighting that battle and defeating that proposal.
What is something you’re passionate about?
Rep. Amodei: I’m passionate in the belief that it’s possible to use natural resources in an environmentally responsible manner.
What is your favorite place in the world?
Rep. Amodei: The mountain range between Carson City and Tahoe is called the Carson Range. And there’s an area where I’ve cut firewood called Hobart Lake … it’s very historical. … The first time I went to it, I was young, and my dad was working for the Division of Forestry as a patrolman.
It’s a very peaceful place. It’s just about five miles from former Sen. [Paul] Laxalt’s (R) family sheep camp. His dad was a sheepherder.
That’s my absolute place to relax.
What is your least favorite household chore?
Rep. Amodei: I’m awful on cleaning windows. One of my summer jobs when I was going to college, I worked for the Bureau of Land Management in Tahoe, so I’m actually pretty good at cleaning bathrooms.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Rep. Amodei: As my doctor will tell you, I have at times slovenly dietary selection habits. So my guilty pleasure … if it comes through a drive-through window, I usually have an interest in it. It was a big deal when I was growing up when we got a McDonald’s.
And Five Guys — I had never even heard of them before coming to Washington. The first time I rolled in there, I just ordered a cheeseburger, and I said, “It comes with two patties?” It’s like, wow.