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

May 03, 2021

Weekly Column: Protecting Idaho Water Rights

Effective management of water resources affects the vitality of communities and their ability to grow and develop. Respecting water rights is a central factor in the management of water resources. I have been a longtime opponent of federal agencies eroding states' water rights practices. I have authored and introduced legislation in multiple congresses to prevent federal encroachment on the management of water resources, best controlled at the state and local levels. I am again backing legis… Continue Reading

April 26, 2021

Weekly Column: An Attack On States' Rights And Minority Opinions

Over the last few weeks, I have heard from many Idahoans expressing their concerns with H.R. 1 and S. 1, the "For the People Act." I share these concerns. This patently unconstitutional legislation looks a lot more like a "For the Bureaucrats" bill. It would circumvent our entire elections process and stifle freedom of speech. H.R. 1 would federalize our election process and strip states of election authorities guaranteed to them by the U.S. Constitution. Participation in the electoral proc… Continue Reading

April 19, 2021

Weekly Column: Removing Red Tape Preventing Combat-Injured Veterans From Receiving Full Benefits

Idahoans' input is extremely helpful as we work together to ensure federal laws are sound and federal services are accessible and effective. A great example is the time SMSgt. Jeremy Kitzhaber, U.S. Air Force (Retired), Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 63 Legislative Committee Chairman, of Boise, and his wife, Sharette, have taken to discuss veterans-related policy, including ensuring medically retired and combat-injured veterans receive full compensation earned through their service to our … Continue Reading

April 12, 2021

Weekly Column: Legislating For Idaho

As the 117th Congress is now in full swing, legislation is being reintroduced and work is underway on needed policy changes. Following is a brief overview of important legislation I am working with fellow senators to reintroduce this Congress. Energy Work continues with a bipartisan group of senators to update and reintroduce the American Nuclear Infrastructure Act (ANIA). This legislation further facilitates our nuclear competitiveness. ANIA ensures the research conducted at the Idaho N… Continue Reading

April 05, 2021

Weekly Column: Sound Immigration Reform

Throughout my time in Congress, I have consistently maintained there is a real need for a rational immigration policy built on several important principles. I have weighed past immigration reform legislation against these principles, and have voted against immigration reform efforts that do not meet them. I continue to use them as a guide for consideration of current immigration reform proposals: First, the United States must commit the resources necessary to have the strongest border enfo… Continue Reading

March 29, 2021

Weekly Column: Supporting Idaho Manufacturing Through A Competitive Federal Tax Code

A vibrant manufacturing sector is a cornerstone of strong economic activity and jobs here in Idaho and across America. Manufacturing accounts for more than 106,000 jobs in Idaho and 9.97 percent of Idaho's workforce with an output valued at $10.4 billion, according to 2018 and 2019 data compiled by the Idaho Department of Commerce. Nationwide, the manufacturing sector accounted for 15.7 percent of our country's gross domestic product (GDP) in 2019 and 14.6 percent of Idaho's GDP. To help make… Continue Reading

March 22, 2021

Weekly Column: Scrutinizing Federal Regulation

Major federal rules must be rare and well-reasoned, given their outsized impact. While Congress has enacted legislation attempting to curb federal overregulation, we cannot let up in working to ensure American productivity is not stymied by federal mandates. I joined a bipartisan group of fellow senators in reintroducing legislation that would help keep federal regulation in check. On January 27, I joined in reintroducing S. 68, the Regulations from the Executive In Need of Scrutiny (REINS) … Continue Reading

March 15, 2021

Weekly Column: As In The Past, COVID Relief Should Be Bipartisan, Targeted

Prior to the recent passage of the American Rescue Plan, Congress came together five times to pass bipartisan bills totaling roughly $4 trillion to help Americans weather the pandemic. Recent economic projections from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) provide proof of their effectiveness, predicting a robust economic recovery. We should be encouraged by this, as well as vaccine distribution underway, and look to fill any gaps in the response instead of just piling more taxpayer dollars on … Continue Reading

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