August 11, 2014

Protecting Our Privacy

Concerns with how far the federal government will go in collecting and storing private, personal information are more than understandable.  These concerns are validated when we see examples of federal agencies overstepping into our personal lives, such as a federal agency collecting and monitoring massive amounts of data on individuals' personal financial accounts.  We must continue to watch the watchdogs and not allow the federal government to further encroach on our personal privacy.  Helping … Continue Reading

August 04, 2014

Senator Crapo Seeks Help Of Idaho's Veterans

The men and women of our Armed Forces face many challenges as they protect our nation.  Because of the unique challenges they face and solemn sacrifices they make, Congress must support the needs of service members both on the battlefield and upon their return.  The recent exposure of the mistreatment of veterans seeking assistance through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) again underscores the need to improve the delivery of assistance to our nation's veterans.  The scandals prove th… Continue Reading

July 28, 2014

Uncovering Secret Science

Each year, federal agencies issue thousands of rules that increase costs and the amount of paperwork Americans must sift through to conduct business and meet federal requirements in a broad array of areas of our lives.  It is reasonable to expect the data used to craft federal rules to be sound, transparent and reproducible.  Federal agencies issue rules spelling out specific requirements ranging from minor policy corrections and updates to rules that have large impacts on individuals, local go… Continue Reading

July 21, 2014

Working To Stop Federal Water Grab

As hot summer temperatures are upon us, access to abundant, clean water becomes more acute.  This is especially true in western states, such as Idaho, where efforts are ongoing to balance the ever growing pressures on our water resources.  This requires balancing drinking water and food production water requirements with maintaining water for municipalities, wildlife habitat and the recreation that makes living in Idaho so enjoyable.  Under our constitutional system, the states, not the federal … Continue Reading

July 14, 2014

Honoring The American Cowboy And Cowgirl

The cowboy way of life runs deep in Idaho, where enterprising men and women broke towns out of brush and helped build the Idaho we know today.  They are examples of strength, hard work and integrity.  That is why they have been honored for the past nine years through a Senate Resolution that dedicates a day in July as the National Day of the American Cowboy to recognize the legacy of cowboys and cowgirls and their part in American history.  I joined 11 of my Senate colleagues, including fellow … Continue Reading

July 07, 2014

Record Taxes But Deficit Still Out Of Whack

Some may view the recent reports of increased tax revenue being paid into the U.S. Treasury as a sign that our economy is picking back up.  However, federal spending remains so excessive that our nation has a dangerously high deficit despite the influx in revenue from increased taxes.  This further confirms that the federal government cannot spend its way out of the problem.  We must enact comprehensive fiscal reform that grows our economy by reducing spending, reforming our tax code, stabilizin… Continue Reading

June 30, 2014

Farm Bill: Advancing Forest Health

Making up approximately 39 percent of Idaho's land, forests have an important role in our quality of life and economy in Idaho.  Environmentally, our forests are central to air and water quality, wildlife habitat, and they are resources for recreation.  Economically, they support communities through wood and paper products jobs and recreation dollars.  We must ensure that federal forest policy keeps up with this sector, and the enacted Farm Bill makes progress.  It often goes unrecognized that … Continue Reading

June 23, 2014

Addressing Highway Infrastructure Needs

We rely on our highways to get goods to markets both at home and abroad.  We rely on them to get to work and school.  We rely on them for recreation and tourism.  We rely on them to help grow our economy.  In a nation and state as expansive as ours, we cannot afford to be lax in the upkeep of our transportation infrastructure.  That is why it is important that Congress periodically review federal transportation infrastructure policy and make any necessary changes to ensure it is meeting America'… Continue Reading

June 16, 2014

INL Helping Extend Nuclear Reactor Lifespan

One of the great opportunities as a Senator from Idaho is being able to represent innovative industries and institutions that are leading the charge in tackling some of our nation's most significant challenges.  Expanding our nation's ability to generate the energy we need here at home, thus decreasing our reliance on foreign sources, remains a necessity.  Nuclear power, which provides nearly 20 percent of our total domestic electricity generation, has a critical role in meeting U.S. energy need… Continue Reading

June 09, 2014

The Call Of The Trail

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, "The influence of fine scenery, the presence of mountains, appeases our irritations and elevates our friendships."  Fortunately, in Idaho, we have many opportunities to benefit from fine scenery and reflect on historical, nation-shaping events that took place along Idaho's trails.  For example, Idaho's section of the Lewis and Clark National Trail stretches across north-central Idaho from Lolo Pass to Lewiston.  A number of historic sites and trails can be accessed al… Continue Reading

June 02, 2014

Mothers Deserve Freedom To Choose Whether to Buy Potatoes

Those who argue that the Administration is right in excluding white potatoes as a nutritional option in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program are essentially saying that mothers utilizing WIC should not be able to choose whether to purchase white potatoes, despite their nutritional benefits.  It is like they claim to know better than we do what is good for us, regardless of nutritional facts to the contrary.  Nobody is forcing mothers to buy po… Continue Reading

May 26, 2014

Honoring The Families Of Fallen Heroes

This month, I have the honor of presenting the Spirit of Idaho award to the mother of an Idahoan who lost his life serving in Iraq.  She continues his commitment to serving others through a program she created to help meet the needs of active military, veterans and Gold Star families.  Her son's legacy of giving lives on in her work to help service members and their families in his loving memory.    Families of service members who lost their lives serving our nation are an important part of our… Continue Reading

May 14, 2014

Working To End IRS Targeting

James Madison, the fourth President of the United States and arguably the "Father of the Constitution," understood that freedom of speech was instrumental in holding government accountable.  Unfortunately, we have seen multiple attempts by this Administration to stretch its regulatory authority and try to stifle this freedom.  The effort to use the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to silence political dissent is intolerable and undermines our nation's founding principles.  That is why I once again… Continue Reading

May 07, 2014

New Federal Rule Threatens Control Over Water, Property

Idahoans know the value of environmental stewardship.  Access to abundant, clean water is a central pillar of our state's agricultural and natural resource heritage, providing numerous outdoor recreational opportunities and a uniquely Idaho way of life.  For these reasons, you will not find people more connected or more committed to water quality and quantity than Idahoans.    Unfortunately, recent moves by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) threaten the very control of our water t… Continue Reading

April 30, 2014

A Pioneer Lost But Opportunity Gained

Many people in Washington, DC, often comment to me about the physical beauty of Idaho-the majestic mountains, pristine whitewater streams and ample opportunities to hunt, fish and recreate.  When they do, I am quick to add that Idaho's people are every bit as unique as our scenery. I was reminded of those conversations when I learned recently about the loss of an Idaho hero.  He was a man who set a model to build the consensus and collaboration needed to solve so many of the land management iss… Continue Reading

April 23, 2014

Reading: Filling Up the Information Bank

We live in an accelerating world.  Advancing technology places an increasing premium on reading and writing well.  Quickly understanding complex and evolving terminology is required to run a household, be effective in the workplace, comprehend financial, health care and other information, get the most out of our education and use new information tools.  To ensure America's youth are able to succeed, we cannot let up in stressing the importance of continuous learning.                            … Continue Reading

April 09, 2014

Supporting New Farmers and Ranchers

Preliminary results from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) 2012 Census of Agriculture confirm that the average age of the American farmer is continuing to increase.  With more pressure on our land and an expanding need for food worldwide, we must persist in looking for ways to address the challenges faced by those just starting out in farming and ranching.    USDA found that a mere 6 percent of principal farm operators are under 35 years old, and the average age of principal farm o… Continue Reading

April 07, 2014

Fannie-Freddie Wind Down Will Protect Taxpayers

Beginning last year, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-South Dakota) and I held a series of in-depth hearings on how to reform our broken housing market.  The hearings examined the massive taxpayer intervention for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that occurred in 2008, and the negative consequences that have arisen as a result of the federal government controlling almost the entire mortgage finance market since then.  Building on those hearings and bipartisan legislation introduced by … Continue Reading

March 26, 2014

Healthy Foods Are the Pulse of Idaho

Getting out of Washington, D.C. and back to Idaho is rewarding enough; it is all the more so when I am fortunate enough to meet with Idaho students.  I recently had the opportunity to meet with students at Jenifer Junior High School in Lewiston, and join them for some healthy foods made from Idaho-grown pulse crops-peas, lentils, chickpeas and dry beans. Washington Senator Maria Cantwell and I worked to include special provisions for pulse crops in the new farm bill legislation approved earlier… Continue Reading

March 17, 2014

Celebrating Agriculture

According to data from the American Farm Bureau Federation, in 1940, the average U.S. farmer fed 19 people.  The number of people fed by our nation's farmers has steadily risen over the years, and now the average American farmer feeds nearly 155 people worldwide.  While we should recognize the hard work that goes into food production every day, a National Ag Day was created to celebrate the remarkable work of American farmers who feed our country and the world.  National Ag Day was establis… Continue Reading

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