Editorials

June 16, 2010

SMALL BUSINESS: THE BACKBONE OF OUR ECONOMY

The Idaho National Laboratory (INL) was recently recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy as its 2009 Mentor of the Year for its "commitment to mentoring small business." INL was given this honor for its work with small businesses through its Mentor-Protégé Program, which seeks to enhance "the capabilities of small businesses to perform contracts and subcontracts for INL, other DOE Laboratories and federal agencies." There is a very good reason why INL and DOE seek to support and mentor small… Continue Reading


June 10, 2010

EPA OVERREACH

Last summer, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act, also known as the Waxman-Markey "cap and trade" legislation. The Senate has attempted to pass similar legislation, but the American people are wise to the act. They have pushed back to let their elected representatives know that they oppose a massive energy tax that will send more jobs overseas and significantly undermine our global competitiveness. Unfortunately, though, instead of signaling that t… Continue Reading


June 04, 2010

$13,000,000,000,000

Numerically, one trillion dollars has twelve zeroes---$1,000,000,000,000. A one thousand dollar stack of one dollar bills measures 4.3 inches high. A one million dollar stack of one dollar bills measures 358 feet high. A one billion dollar stack of one dollar bills measures nearly 68 miles high. A one trillion dollar stack of one dollar bills measures nearly 67,900 miles high. Now, multiply one trillion by 13 and you have the historic, yet shameful, level to which our national debt has risen as … Continue Reading


May 26, 2010

EARN THIS

On April 3, 2010, at a small cemetery in Richfield, Idaho, a Medal of Honor grave marker was placed to honor the life and service of Medal of Honor recipient Oscar Verner Peterson. That the placement of this marker comes so close to this year's observance of Memorial Day is fitting. The valor and sacrifice of Chief Petty Officer Peterson is but one shining example of the heroism Americans have benefited from throughout the course of our history, and it is an excellent example of what we acknowle… Continue Reading


May 20, 2010

SHOCKED AND APPALLED

The most common question I am asked by Idahoans, over the past eighteen months, is something like, "What can we do to fight back against the massive growth and indebtedness of the federal government?" This is commonly followed up with something like, "What can we do about the unresponsiveness and seeming indifference to our concerns?" These questions and concerns are completely justified. The federal government has spent taxpayer money with abandon and grown to an unprecedented size, and in … Continue Reading


May 12, 2010

FINANCIAL REFORM MUST INCLUDE FANNIE MAE AND FREDDIE MAC

"Reforming the financial system without fixing Fannie and Freddie is like declaring a war on terror and ignoring al Qaeda." -Wall Street Journal editorial, May 6, 2010  The Democrats' new financial reform bill fails to end bailouts for Wall Street and imposes expensive new regulatory burdens that will fall heavily on small businesses. Even worse, the bill fails to end bailouts for Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSE) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the largest housing lenders that purchased home… Continue Reading


April 29, 2010

THIS IS HEALTH CARE REFORM?

In an editorial last week, the Wall Street Journal wrote, "When President Obama signed his health-care reform last month, he declared it will 'lower costs for families and for businesses and for the federal government.' So why, barely a month later, are Democrats scrambling to pass a new bill that would impose price controls on insurance?" The answer is that the supporters of the new health care law knew, as did the majority of Americans who opposed the law, that it would ultimately increase cos… Continue Reading


April 21, 2010

DEBT REDUCTION CAN'T WAIT

"We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt" -Thomas Jefferson, July 12, 1816 "No pecuniary consideration is more urgent, than the regular redemption and discharge of the public debt" -George Washington, December 3, 1793 "The principle of spending money, to be paid by posterity under the name funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale" -Thomas Jefferson, May 28, 1816  In mid-March, I was appointed by the Republican leadership in the Senate to serve on the National … Continue Reading


April 15, 2010

HEROES ALL AROUND

How many heroes do you know? Probably more than you think. They are all around us. They are America's veterans and, sadly, we too rarely hear their amazing stories of sacrifice and selfless service. The unprecedented security, prosperity and freedoms that Americans have today were borne out of the principles in the Declaration of Independence and the system of limited, representative government set out in the Constitution. Ever since, it has been the American military service member who has done… Continue Reading


April 07, 2010

TAX FREEDOM?

This April, Americans will feel the sting of two rather unpleasant days within the span of one week. Last Friday, April 9th, was Tax Freedom Day 2010; and, as everyone knows, Thursday, April 15, 2010, is Tax Day. Tax Freedom Day is the day on which the nonpartisan Tax Foundation estimates that Americans have earned enough money to pay for all federal, state and local taxes for the year. This year, Tax Freedom Day comes on the 99th day of the year, which means that your earnings for 99 of the 365… Continue Reading


April 01, 2010

WHAT THE HEALTH CARE LAW MEANS FOR IDAHOANS

After months of debate, our country has a new health care law that I'm convinced will prove to be a historic mistake. Although there was minimal discussion about bipartisanship on the matter, the only thing about this bill that turned out to be bipartisan was the opposition to it-in Congress and in public opinion. Instead of focusing on reforms that address what Americans really care about-high health care costs, rising insurance rates and meaningful access to insurance---it raises taxes, reduce… Continue Reading


March 24, 2010

THE OWYHEE INITIATIVE, ONE YEAR ON

It's been nearly one year since the President signed the Omnibus Public Lands Act of 2009, which contained the Owyhee Initiative Implementation Act. In that year, we have already seen the fruit of the collaborative process and the successes that made this effort well worth the many years it took to craft agreement. The Owyhee Initiative (OI) started in 2001 when the Owyhee County Commissioners tackled the decades-old land management issues in their county. They put together a broad represent… Continue Reading


March 17, 2010

TOURING WASHINGTON, D.C.

This is the time of year when many plan their summer vacations. Each year, many Idaho families choose to visit our nation's capital, which is full of historic sites and buildings along with museums and other attractions that make it a good place to spend a week or two. But with so many opportunities to learn about our country's past and present, it can be overwhelming to decide how to spend your time and money. That is one reason that I have set up a section on my website dealing with visiting D… Continue Reading


March 10, 2010

ON THE MOUNT VERNON STATEMENT

We recommit ourselves to the ideas of the American Founding. Through the Constitution, the Founders created an enduring framework of limited government based on the rule of law. They sought to secure national independence, provide for economic opportunity, establish true religious liberty and maintain a flourishing society of republican self-government. -The Mount Vernon Statement, 2-17-10 A group of prominent conservative leaders recently released the Mount Vernon Statement to recommend a r… Continue Reading


March 03, 2010

NUCLEAR ENERGY IS THE FUTURE, PART II

Many who are interested in the future of nuclear energy want to see a summit of political and nuclear industry leaders to develop an action plan and take advantage of the many positive recent developments on this issue. A summit would allow everyone involved to stay consistently focused on the same objectives. A summit should focus on key issues such as strengthening and extending the safe and efficient use of our existing nuclear fleet. To that end, I am very happy that the Idaho National L… Continue Reading


February 25, 2010

NUCLEAR ENERGY IS THE FUTURE

For far too long, one of our most promising alternative energy options has been left to languish-nuclear energy. Nuclear power should be a central, key part of our national energy strategy. It is encouraging that the President's Fiscal Year 2011 budget provides stronger support for nuclear energy through a significant increase in loan guarantees for construction of new nuclear plants. I firmly believe in the benefits of nuclear energy, which can provide energy and economic security to our countr… Continue Reading


February 10, 2010

CELEBRATING 100 YEARS OF GOOD TURNS

"By sponsoring many useful physical, mental, and social activities designed to promote self-responsibility, the Scouts strengthen the cornerstone of individual freedom in our nation." -President Ronald Reagan "[Scouting] has helped to mold character, to form friendships, to provide a worthwhile outlet for the natural energies of growing boys, and to train these boys to become good citizens of the future." -President John F. Kennedy The history of Scouting in America began with a single g… Continue Reading


February 03, 2010

OVERSPENDING IS THE PROBLEM

Without a doubt, our current level of debt, and the path we are on in creating future debt, is both unsustainable and unacceptable. As a member of the Senate Budget Committee, I have been a supporter of the efforts of our Chairman and Ranking Member to call attention to the immediate need to address the debt. I was initially supportive of their effort to create a bipartisan commission, the Conrad/Gregg commission, to address the debt, especially when there were no other serious proposals. But, a… Continue Reading


January 27, 2010

TEEN DATING VIOLENCE AWARENESS AND PREVENTION MONTH

More than ten years ago, a trip to a safe house for abused children in Twin Falls County made a lasting impression on me, one that moved and motivated me to make family violence prevention one of my top priorities as a U.S. Senator. Much of that commitment is reflected in my work in the U.S. Senate to improve and strengthen legislation such as the Violence Against Women Act and the Victims of Crime Act along with regular visits to shelters throughout Idaho and partnerships with various domestic … Continue Reading


January 20, 2010

BUDGET GAMES

The President will release his budget request for Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 in early February. As a member of the Senate Budget Committee, I will be reviewing the proposal and questioning Administration officials when they appear before the Committee. I will approach the hearings with the faint hope that the Administration recognizes that we cannot spend our way to prosperity. Initial indications, however, are not promising. Rather than controlling spending, the Administration priority seems to b… Continue Reading

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