Mike Crapo's Biography

Crapo is pronounced as (CRAY-poe)
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Personal History at a Glance:

  • Born in Bonneville County, Idaho, 1951
  • Graduated from Idaho Falls High School, 1969
  • Graduated from Brigham Young University, Summa Cum Laude, B.A. in Political Science, 1973
  • Graduated from Harvard Law School, Cum Laude, Juris Doctorate, 1977
  • Eight years, Idaho State Senate, representing Bonneville County, 1984-1992; Senate President Pro Tem, 1988-1992
  • Six years, U.S. House of Representatives, Idaho's 2nd District, 1993-1998
  • United States Senator, Idaho, 1999-present; elected 1998, re-elected 2004 and 2010
  • Wife, Susan; five children, five grandchildren

As a lifelong Idahoan and third-term U.S. Senator for Idaho, Mike Crapo has learned that a willingness to listen makes for a more effective leader and lawmaker. Mike’s commonsense approach and collaborative, creative problem-solving have enabled him to achieve lasting solutions to issues of importance to Idahoans and the nation.

With the start of the 113th Congress, Mike became the Ranking Member (lead Republican) of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee. He has served as a member of the committee since the beginning of his Senate service in 1999. His strong background and interest in the finance arena has led to his leadership role in making inroads in the areas of regulatory relief, expansion of homeownership, trade and securities and investment.

Mike also serves as the third-ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, giving Idaho a strong voice in legislation that impacts our daily lives. The committee has jurisdiction over an extensive range of important policy, including federal tax policy, certain health and human services programs, implementation of reciprocal trade agreements, other trade and customs and mandatory spending programs, including Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. He serves on three Finance subcommittees: the Subcommittee on Energy, Natural Resources and Infrastructure; the Subcommittee on Social Security, Pensions and Family Policy; and the Subcommittee on Taxation and IRS Oversight. Senator Crapo’s experience and leadership in promoting Idaho and U.S. exports of goods and services also earned him a 2009 Senate Republican Leadership appointment to the President’s Export Council, which advises the White House on trade and export policy.

Idaho is defined, in part, by its vast natural resources and the environmental issues that often accompany them. That is why Mike rejoined the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee in 2009, having served on it previously from 1999 to 2005. Mike serves on three of the four Senate committees that oversee surface transportation reauthorization, so he has a hand in ensuring that Idaho’s rural transportation needs are met. Mike is the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Superfund, Toxics and Environmental Health, which oversees issues of importance to North Idaho’s ongoing efforts to address environmental challenges related to mining operations. Mike is also a member of the Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety. The Idaho National Lab is a major Eastern Idaho employer and center for national energy and defense research, and Mike utilizes his committee assignments and other opportunities to promote Idaho's essential energy research and development community and ensure Idahoans’ voices are heard in national energy policy and nuclear safety debates. Previously, Mike served as Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Water and Wildlife. Mike is heavily involved in natural resources related issues ranging from efforts to update and strengthen the Endangered Species Act to clean water to salmon recovery.

In 2003, Mike was selected to serve as a member of the Senate Budget Committee, which is responsible for crafting Congress’ annual budget plan, monitoring action on the budget and overseeing the operation of the Congressional Budget Office. Mike's fiscally-conservative principles lend a measure of responsible restraint to the pressures for greater spending by the federal government. Mike also served on the President’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, which crafted a proposal to shrink our nation’s debt by $4 trillion.  This proposal generated strong, bipartisan support, and continues to be the basis for ongoing discussions in Congress to address our fiscal crisis in a meaningful way.

Rounding out his committee assignments for the 113th Congress, Mike serves on the Indian Affairs Committee.  Idaho is home to five Native American Tribes, contributing to the richness of Idaho's history and the State's future.  The Indian Affairs Committee is tasked with addressing the unique challenges of the Native peoples of our country, including health care access, education, economic development and land management, and considering any necessary legislative solutions. 

From 2001 to 2008, Mike served as a member of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee and advanced the needs of Idaho's agriculture and timber industries during the crafting of the 2002 Farm Bill and the 2008 Farm Bill. During his service on the committee, he served as Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Rural Revitalization, Conservation, Forestry and Credit, with jurisdiction over rural development; conservation; stewardship of natural resources; state, local and private forests and general forestry; and agricultural and rural credit.

Mike also leads or serves on more than 27 caucuses, which provide an organized forum to join with others in advocating for a wide range of issues important to Idahoans. Mike is the founder and Co-Chair of the Senate Nuclear Cleanup Caucus. He also serves as Co-Chairman of the Senate Sweeteners Caucus and the Senate Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus. In early 2003, he founded the Congressional Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Caucus, reinforcing his role as a champion of men’s and women’s health issues. Mike also serves on the Air Force Caucus, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus, the Western Water Caucus, the General Aviation Caucus, the Senate Biotechnology Caucus, Senate Missing, Exploited and Runaway Children Caucus, the Medical Technology Caucus, the Canada-U.S. Interparliamentary Group and others.

Mike’s sensible approach has earned him the respect of his colleagues, and he has been selected to serve in other various leadership roles. Mike was appointed to serve as Chief Deputy Whip for the 113th Congress, and he served as a Deputy Republican Whip in the last four Congresses. During Mike’s tenure in the House, he served on House Leadership as New Member Leader, Strategic Planning Leader and Deputy Whip for the Western Region.

Before being elected to the United States Senate in 1998, Mike served three terms as the 2nd District Representative for Idaho in the U.S. House of Representatives. Previously, he served in the Idaho State Senate from 1984 to 1992, and spent his final four years in the Idaho Legislature as Senate President Pro Tempore.

Prior to his service in Congress, Mike was a partner in the law firm of Holden, Kidwell, Hahn & Crapo. He is a member of the Idaho and California Bar Associations and the Bar of the U.S. Supreme Court. He received his Juris Doctorate cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1977, and he graduated summa cum laude from Brigham Young University in 1973 with a B.A. in political science. Following graduation from law school, he served a one-year clerkship with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Mike and his wife, Susan, have five children and five grandchildren.

The urgent need to get our nation’s unsustainable deficit and debt under control and reform our tax code so that it encourages economic growth and job creation was brought to vivid focus by the President’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, on which Mike served, and continue to be Mike’s highest priorities through his involvement in discussions in Congress. Curtailment of unreasonable government mandates, increasing our nation’s global competitiveness and advancing local, collaborative problem solving and many more critical issues are among Mike’s other top priorities in the 113th Congress.

Last updated 01/08/2015