September 20, 2021

Weekly Column: We Cannot Tax And Spend Our Way Into A Stronger Economy

The United States is experiencing record price increases and rising inflation, and Americans are rightly concerned. A recent poll said that when Americans are asked to name the top economic problem facing their family today, rising prices and the cost of living are overwhelmingly the top issue. Economists on both sides of the aisle have warned excessive, non-productive spending could put us in this position. Now, Democrats are advancing an additional $3.5 trillion in spending that will balloo… Continue Reading

September 13, 2021

Weekly Column: Our Constitution

Nearly 234 years ago, our nation's Founders overcame months of debates, disagreements and multiple drafts to produce the greatest government in the world. We have an extraordinary system, outlined in the Constitution, which promises Americans basic principles of individual rights and freedoms, limited government, rule of law, sovereignty, separation of powers and a representative government. The purpose of our Constitution is reflected in its Preamble: "We the People of the United States, in … Continue Reading

September 06, 2021

Weekly Column: Investing In Idaho And Opposing Reckless Spending

The media and others have incorrectly conflated the Senate-passed hard Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) we voted for with "President Biden's social infrastructure bill." They are incorrectly being lumped together, and the IIJA is being criticized for provisions not in it. Were it not for the passage of the IIJA, the Democrats would most certainly have passed a much larger reconciliation package in the $6 trillion range. Voting "no" on the Senate-passed hard infrastructure bill wo… Continue Reading

August 30, 2021

Weekly Column: Securing Resources For Idaho Crime Victims

Crime victims in Idaho and across our country deserve full access to resources after a traumatic experience. Ensuring funds intended for helping crime victims recover are only used for that purpose is central to making progress in decreasing the impact of violent crime and supporting victims. The U.S. Senate unanimously passed H.R. 1652, the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Fix to Sustain the Crime Victims Fund Act of 2021, or VOCA Fix Act. The U.S. House of Representatives previously passed the b… Continue Reading

August 23, 2021

Weekly Column: Building On Bipartisan Retirement Law To Make It Easier For Idahoans To Save For Retirement

The pandemic put a great deal of economic stress on workers and retirees, and some had no choice but to withdraw money from their retirement accounts to make ends meet. As the economy continues to bounce back, we have a chance to build on the success of the Setting Every Community up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act of 2019 in a bipartisan way to help make it easier for Idahoans and all Americans to save for retirement. In 2019, Congress passed and President Trump signed into law … Continue Reading

August 16, 2021

Weekly Column: Investing In Idaho

Senators on both sides of the aisle have long agreed on the need to modernize and expand hard infrastructure, and infrastructure investments have traditionally been accomplished through bipartisanship and regular order. Traditional, hard infrastructure investments include funding of roads and bridges, transit, rail, airports, drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, ports and inland waterways, water storage and broadband infrastructure. The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Ac… Continue Reading

August 09, 2021

Weekly Column: Keeping Pressure On China, Not Idaho Producers

We must work to ensure free and fair trade-and use trade enforcement tools as necessary-while taking into account the best interests of our domestic manufacturers. One of the reasons I held firm on including the Trade Act of 2021 in the Senate-passed S. 1260, the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (USICA), was to make sure the pressure stays on China, not Americans. As Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, I worked with Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) to negotiate a … Continue Reading

August 02, 2021

Weekly Column: From The Mailbag--Removing The Filibuster Would Increase Divisiveness Rather Than Efficiency

As participants in the decisions made in Congress, Idahoans contact me with valuable input about the issues our country faces. I post information about various issues of importance on my website, http://crapo.senate.gov. One of the issues Idahoans have contacted me about recently is the proposal to revise the standing rules of the U.S. Senate to remove the Senate filibuster, which requires 60 votes to end debate and proceed to a vote. The following is my response: The Senate is commonly refe… Continue Reading

July 26, 2021

Weekly Column: Ensuring Idaho Medicare Beneficiaries Receive Coverage For Cancer Detection

Under current law, Medicare only covers preventive services Congress has explicitly authorized, or the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has recommended. As the Republican Ranking Member on the Senate Finance Committee that oversees a wide range of federal policy, including social and health care services programs, I reintroduced S. 1873, the Medicare Multi-Cancer Early Detection Screening Coverage Act of 2021. This legislation would ensure Medicare beneficiaries in Idaho and across America … Continue Reading

July 19, 2021

Weekly Column: Working To Lower Prescription Drug Costs For Idahoans

America's biopharmaceutical innovation recently brought life-saving vaccines to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in under one year. This same medical ingenuity is leading the world in bringing life-saving therapies to patients and discovering cures for the future. However, access to affordable prescriptions remains one of the most persistent challenges facing our nation, and these treatments are only effective if patients can afford them. I recently reintroduced the Lower Costs, More Cures Act to… Continue Reading

July 12, 2021

Weekly Column: Tax Compliance Contingent On Trust

Nearly every American engages in what the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) calls "voluntary tax compliance," which is to say they make disclosures, file returns and pay taxes without being directly compelled to do so. Voluntary compliance is a bedrock of our tax system, and is dependent on taxpayer trust that laws are equitable, equally applied, administered fairly, and administered without penalty for timely compliance. Voluntary compliance also relies on taxpayers trusting the IRS to safeguard… Continue Reading

July 05, 2021

Weekly Column: Full Picture Needed To Shore Up Medicare For Idaho Recipients

More than 355,000 Idahoans-approximately 19 percent of Idaho's population-are enrolled in Medicare, according to April 2021 data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. To maintain the promises made to protect current Idaho Medicare recipients, while strengthening the system to guarantee benefits for future retirees, we must shore up Medicare, which is nearing insolvency. A clear understanding of the program's current funding status, taking into account the impacts of the COVID-… Continue Reading

June 28, 2021

Weekly Column: American Exceptionalism

Former President Ronald Reagan's words from decades ago continue to ring true today: "The American dream lives-not only in the hearts and minds of our own countrymen but in the hearts and minds of millions of the world's people in both free and oppressed societies who look to us for leadership. As long as that dream lives, as long as we continue to defend it, America has a future, and all mankind has reason to hope." Our American dream is rooted in the Declaration of Independence adopted on… Continue Reading

June 21, 2021

Weekly Column: Health Care Flexibilities--Lessons Learned From The Pandemic

Telehealth services have been especially useful during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Idaho Department of Insurance, telemedicine visits went from 200 appointments per month to 28,000 visits in April 2020 alone. We can use lessons-learned from the expansion of telehealth and other flexibilities to make sensible changes that can better enable Idahoans' access to quality care going forward. Information on the impact of expanded telehealth on access, quality and cost helps guide permane… Continue Reading

June 14, 2021

Weekly Column: From The Mailbag--Supreme Court Packing

As participants in the decisions made in Congress, Idahoans contact me with valuable input about the issues our country faces. Realizing that many may not have the chance to contact me, I post information about various issues of importance on my website, http://crapo.senate.gov. One of the issues Idahoans have contacted me about is the makeup of the U.S. Supreme Court, especially in the wake of President Biden's new Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States. The follow… Continue Reading

June 07, 2021

Weekly Column: Protecting Idahoans From Unemployment Fraud

As Idahoans and Americans across our country are working hard to overcome the incredible challenges of the past year and turn the corner on the pandemic, we as a nation, unfortunately, must do more to deter criminals from abusing taxpayer-funded unemployment assistance to ensure taxpayer funds reach Americans truly in need of assistance. l joined U.S. Representative Kevin Brady (R-Texas), Ranking Member of the House Ways and Means Committee, in introducing the Combatting COVID Unemployment Frau… Continue Reading

May 31, 2021

Weekly Column: Idaho's Gold Star Families Memorial Monument

We recently had the opportunity to join in celebrating the completion of a very special project in Pocatello that is yet another reminder of the magnitude of respect and gratitude Idahoans have for the extraordinary Americans who serve in our country's Armed Forces. Idaho is now home to one of our nation's Gold Star Families Memorials thanks to the hard work and dedication of many Idahoans. This Memorial Day, as we pay tribute to the service and sacrifice of Americans lost in service to our na… Continue Reading

May 24, 2021

Weekly Column: Following Idaho's Lead On Getting Employees Safely Back To Work

Alex Adams, Administrator of the Idaho Division of Financial Management, shared remarkable results of Idaho's Return to Work bonuses at a House Ways and Means Committee panel discussion in March. He cited Idaho's unemployment rate as among the lowest in the country [at 3.2 percent in March], due in part to Idaho's Return to Work bonuses and other actions Idaho Governor Brad Little took last year. He reported Idaho not only averted an unemployment insurance trust fund crisis, but also grew the … Continue Reading

May 17, 2021

Weekly Column: Confronting China The Idaho Way--By Innovating Out-Competing And Reflecting Our Values

China is a potent challenge to the United States on several levels--economic, strategic and moral. Republicans and Democrats can--and should--work together to formulate a China policy that can effectively confront these challenges. As Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, I stressed this message at a recent Finance Committee hearing. There is no need for a Republican or Democrat policy on China, just an American policy. An American policy is precisely that: it reflects the bes… Continue Reading

May 10, 2021

Weekly Column: Tax Filing Complexities Highlight The Need For Easing Idahoans' Tax Filing Burdens

Tax filing season and Economic Impact Payment issues are the most frequent federal tax-related topics I hear about from Idahoans. Since coronavirus relief programs have resulted in extra paperwork for taxpayers this year and nearly constant updates of tax preparation systems, I called for extending the federal tax filing deadline, now set for May 17. Amid the extended tax filing season, the Senate Finance Committee, on which I serve as Ranking Member, held a hearing with IRS Commissioner Char… Continue Reading

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