Editorials

November 04, 2009

AMERICAN HEROES

One of the most impressive things about the American people is the way they respect and honor the military members who work every day to protect and defend our country. We have many holidays and occasions to celebrate and honor our military members and each one is important because they allow us to publicly express our gratitude for our service members while they are deployed around the world. Veterans Day is special because it allows us to show our appreciation for them when they return, and it… Continue Reading


October 30, 2009

SPEND AND TAX

The phrase "tax and spend" is a common one in politics, but given the federal government's out-of-control spending this year, and with all of the spending currently being considered, "spend and tax" might be more accurate. This year, the federal government has spent unprecedented amounts on "bailouts" and "stimulus," which has pushed the yearly deficit to triple that of last year's deficit, which, itself, was already a record. Trillions in further spending and tax increases are on the table in t… Continue Reading


October 22, 2009

PROTECTING IDAHO'S WATER SOVEREIGNTY

Since the Clean Water Act was passed in 1972, there has been ongoing debate over the federal government's jurisdiction and regulatory authority to enforce America's clean water laws. Some argue that the Clean Water Act gives the federal government virtually limitless authority over our waters, while others, including myself, have held that there are limits to how far the federal government may go, and that the statute intended to balance rights of states and private property owners with enforcem… Continue Reading


October 08, 2009

BALANCING WORK AND FAMILY

In Idaho, and for most people in the country, families are the most important part of life. But, to adequately provide for families, Americans often spend a significant amount of each day away from their families at their jobs. Studies show that a healthy balance between work and family produces happier and more productive employees, which will benefit the rest of society as well as the economy. This is why I have co-sponsored Senate Resolution 296, with Senator Blanche Lincoln (Arkansas), which… Continue Reading


October 01, 2009

HARVEST TIME

"When tillage begins other arts follow. The farmers, therefore, are the founders of human civilization." -Daniel Webster (quote displayed in the U.S. Capitol) Fall harvest has arrived once again; before it passes, let's reflect upon the benefits Idaho agriculture brings to our state, our nation and the world. Harvest has traditionally been a time to reap and store crops planted throughout the year, enabling families to persevere through hard winters. Today, with advances in science and techn… Continue Reading


September 23, 2009

ACADEMY DAY 2009

One of the most important and enjoyable aspects of being a member of Congress is the ability to nominate young Idahoans to the United States military service academies. Every year, as your elected officials, we each have the honor of nominating deserving young women and men to the U.S Air Force Academy, the U.S. Military Academy, The U.S. Naval Academy, and the Merchant Marine Academy. If you are interested in receiving an excellent education and an opportunity to develop strong character and le… Continue Reading


September 17, 2009

A BETTER PLAN FOR HEALTH CARE REFORM

As I traveled throughout Idaho last month, Idahoans overwhelmingly expressed their concerns over the further encroachment of the federal government into their everyday lives, particularly into something as personal as health care. They shared their distrust of a government plan and their worries about losing their existing coverage and not being able to keep their preferred doctor. Because health care is too big, too personal, and too important to rush or get wrong, many Idahoans would prefer th… Continue Reading


September 10, 2009

SINCE 1787

"Our Constitution is a document in which 'We the people' tell the government what it is allowed to do. 'We the people' are free." -Ronald Reagan, Farewell Address, 1989 September 17th is Constitution Day, marking the day in 1787 when the Constitution was signed. It is a very special, important day in American history, but, unfortunately, it usually passes with little notice. We rightly celebrate the Fourth of July with much fanfare and fireworks, but without the Constitution, we wouldn't hav… Continue Reading


September 03, 2009

EXERCISING OUR FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS

Congress and the President are engaged in a spending spree accompanied by assertions of federal government control over the economy on a scale never before seen in America. This unbridled expansion of the federal government is happening at such breakneck speed that it is causing tremendous unease among the American populace. Many are deeply disturbed about where it might lead. Reactions have ranged from tea party rallies and protests throughout the year, to anger and outrage at town hall meeting… Continue Reading


August 26, 2009

TAX INCREASES COMING YOUR WAY?

President Obama has promised that anyone who makes under $250,000 a year will not see their taxes raised by a "single dime," and that 95 percent of working families will receive a tax cut. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) recently released its mid-session review, which projects a 2009 budget deficit nearly triple that of 2008 and larger than those of 2002 through 2007 combined. On top of this, trillions in new spending would be added by the proposed government takeover of health care an… Continue Reading


August 21, 2009

FAMILY VIOLENCE IN IDAHO

Last month, I wrote about the rise in the incidence of family violence during times of economic recession. A few days later, a young boy went missing in Boise. Since then, Idaho has learned more about this heartbreaking story, and now, his mother and her boyfriend have been charged with his death. This case is an example of how awful family violence can be and should give us motivation to do everything we can to prevent family violence in all of its forms.  The alleged events of this case are s… Continue Reading


August 13, 2009

THE COST OF HEALTH CARE REFORM

Last month, I wrote about my opposition to the proposed takeover of health care by the federal government because of the reduced quality of care it will bring. Government-run health care means that Washington politicians and bureaucrats will make important health care decisions for you and your family. It will also bring rationed care, which means you may not get the care you need or want. This week, I want to focus on the high cost of allowing the government to take over American health care. … Continue Reading


August 06, 2009

ENHANCING FLEXIBILITY FOR EFFECTIVE SCHOOLS

Once again, the summer has passed more quickly than many of us have realized and Idaho's students will soon be going back to school. School supply lists are out, many parents have already started their school shopping and many more will be rushing to do so in the remaining weeks before the first bell rings. Preparing for the upcoming school year is critical, but more important is to ensure that we have an education system that works for our varying states, regions, families and individual studen… Continue Reading


July 29, 2009

JUDICIAL ACTIVISM V. EQUAL JUSTICE BEFORE THE LAW

Recently, we had the opportunity to watch the Senate Judiciary Committee's hearings regarding Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama's nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court. I had the opportunity to meet with her, and found her to be an enjoyable, personable individual. Judge Sotomayor has led a distinguished career and demonstrates one of the greatest things about America-the opportunity to become whatever you want with hard work and God-given abilities. However, after studying her positions and care… Continue Reading


July 22, 2009

AN UNSEEN ASPECT OF RECESSION

Everyone in Idaho - and throughout the country - somehow feels the effects of the current economic recession. Many individuals and families have dramatically reduced spending to make up for fewer work hours and smaller paychecks, while many others have been laid off or lost their jobs altogether. Unfortunately, another less-noticed side effect of an economic downturn is an increase in domestic violence.  A recent Washington Post article highlighted the rise of domestic violence in Fairfax Count… Continue Reading


July 16, 2009

UNSUSTAINABLE

"Under current law, the federal budget is on an unsustainable path" -Congressional Budget Office, Long-Term Budget Outlook, June 2009 The federal budget is growing larger and increasingly hard to comprehend. We constantly hear differing numbers cited in different analyses and scenarios coming from many different sources. But few of us have the time to study this information and to place it into context. Most Americans are responsible citizens who work hard to support themselves and their fam… Continue Reading


July 09, 2009

UNIVERSAL WAITING LISTS

"Access to a waiting list is not access to health care" -Canadian Supreme Court, 2005 Each summer, many people eagerly await the release of the latest blockbuster movies. This summer, many are eagerly anticipating the debate over Congress's summer blockbuster: health care reform. The President and many in Congress are aggressively advocating the creation of a universal health care system and a new federal government insurance company that would ultimately run our health care system. Politi… Continue Reading


July 01, 2009

TAXING TIMES

There is an old adage: If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. This may be the case with a number of taxpayers who are now reaping a small benefit from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, President Obama's economic stimulus package. The law included the Making Work Pay tax credit, which allows $400 for individuals and $800 for couples. The credit is also refundable, which means that if your tax liability is less than the amount of the credit, you receive a check from the… Continue Reading


June 24, 2009

INDEPENDENCE DAY

"There! His Majesty can now read my name without glasses. And he can double the reward on my head!" -Attributed to John Hancock upon signing the Declaration of Independence "Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people" -John Adams, 1765 July 4, 2009, is the 233rd birthday of this great country, an anniversary that marks our break with the tyrannical rule of King George III.  July 4, 1776, marked for the world a break with the common course of human history-… Continue Reading


June 18, 2009

EXPANDING THE DIALOGUE WITH IDAHO

The Internet has brought members of Congress, and the people who elected them, closer than ever before.   Since it is important that elected officials know what the people they represent want, this closing of the communications gap between Congress and its constituents is a positive development. In recent years, social networking sites such as Facebook have proven to be wildly popular, as well as quite diverse.   It seems everybody these days is logging on to these sites, creating profiles and… Continue Reading

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