February 07, 2011

Solvency Necessary To Uphold Valued Programs

Unrestrained federal deficit spending is choking our nation's economic recovery. Mandatory programs, including Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare, account for the majority of federal spending. Therefore, long-term debt solutions must address automatic federal spending. More importantly, fiscal strains on mandatory programs must be removed to ensure preservation for future beneficiaries. We must correct the Social Security program's expected funding shortfalls in order to ensure it can con… Continue Reading

January 31, 2011

A Legacy Of Strength And Optimism

February 6, 2011, marks the centennial anniversary of President Ronald Reagan's birth. This anniversary is an opportunity to reflect on the late President's legacy and his important achievements. The "Great Communicator" left an indelible mark, including a stirring and visionary speech, known as "A Time for Choosing," that he gave long before his presidency. While this speech was given nearly fifty years ago, many of the issues he raised run parallel to the challenges we face today. In 1964,… Continue Reading

January 24, 2011

Time For State To Resume Wolf Management

Idahoans deserve a timely, lasting solution to the wolf issue that returns management of wolves back to the state, which has proven it can effectively manage the species. When the wolf was listed as endangered in 1974, it was almost extinct in the continental United States. In the 1990s, the federal government introduced 34 wolves to the Northern Rockies. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's (FWS) Environmental Impact Statement stated that a fully recovered Idaho wolf population would need to be… Continue Reading

January 17, 2011

Death Tax Bandage

Families should not be forced to sell their farms or small businesses to pay the federal Death Tax when they lose a loved one. Selling off productive farmland and businesses to meet unfair, overly-burdensome tax liabilities reduces jobs and destroys families' financial futures. While the Death Tax must be permanently and fully eliminated, I supported the recent proposal to prevent the tax from springing back to previous burdensome levels for the next two years. In the meantime, Congress must wor… Continue Reading

January 10, 2011

Our Escalating Debt Requires Tough Spending Reforms

America's growing debt crisis threatens national survival, and we must take decisive action now. While the President's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform's plan is flawed and incomplete, the proposed tough spending reforms would provide important budget discipline necessary to start putting our country's financial house in order. Since 2007, our public debt nearly doubled from 36 to 62 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Our more than $14 trillion debt equals a $45,0… Continue Reading

December 29, 2010

Priorities For The 112th Congress

January is a fitting time to establish priorities to maintain focus on critical goals. While not all-inclusive and adjustable to meet unforeseen circumstances, the following are some of my general objectives as we begin the 112th Congress: 1) Fiscal Responsibility: Getting our nation's fiscal house in order is Congress' most critical challenge. Our nation's extreme debt is unsustainable, cedes sovereignty to foreign creditors, impedes economic growth and saddles future generations with an un… Continue Reading

December 27, 2010

Unified Focus To Benefit Idaho

Idahoans, like many Americans, have clearly indicated that the current levels of unemployment, out-of-control federal spending and ever-increasing national debt are unacceptable. The public demand for congressional focus on these important issues is unmistakable. Idahoans are standing up and engaging in issues in new and inspiring ways. This increased involvement is encouraging as we, your elected delegation, face those challenges with an emboldened and unified voice in Washington. We share … Continue Reading

December 20, 2010

Away From Home, But In Our Hearts

One of the best gifts during the holidays is time with family and friends. The holidays provide time to catch up with close and distant loved ones. We can relax in the familiarity of shared traditions and celebrate common memories. We can reflect on experiences and lessons from the past year and discuss plans for the coming year. We are afforded this time of enjoyment due in large part to the diligence of American service members forgoing holidays at home and vigilantly defending our nation. … Continue Reading

December 13, 2010

Debt Commission Report Good Starting Point

Our debt crisis is a threat to not just our way of life, but our national survival. History has not been kind to great nations who borrowed and spent beyond their means. Doing nothing will, sooner rather than later, guarantee that this nation becomes a second-rate power with less opportunity and less freedom. The plan developed by the debt commission, while flawed and incomplete, will help America avoid this fate and secure freedom for future generations. The time for action is now. We can't … Continue Reading

December 06, 2010

Feeding The World's Hungry Enhances Security

Every nation faces poverty and food insecurity challenges. However, we are blessed as Americans to live in a country with a productive farming industry cultivating a safe, abundant and affordable food supply nourishing families worldwide. Idaho farmers and ranchers produce far more than is consumed in the state. The same cannot be said for many areas of this world. While efforts continue to provide necessary food aid, agricultural development assistance and shared research and production innovat… Continue Reading

November 29, 2010

Inspiring Compassion

Many demonstrate steady acts of compassion: donating to canned food drives in local schools; collecting coats for those without them during the cold months; tutoring struggling students; and visiting with seniors. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines compassion as "sympathetic consciousness of others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it." Recognizing the kindness and giving spirit throughout Idaho, I am not surprised by the numerous examples of compassionate Idahoans. However, I am… Continue Reading

November 22, 2010

Global Success Depends On Empowering Youth

With accelerating advancements in technology and the global marketplace, today's youth are essentially preparing for challenges we have not yet seen, and cannot yet imagine. At the same time, market productivity is increasingly dependent on technology. To best enable the U.S. to continue to lead in developing technologies used by the world and, importantly, manufactured in the U.S., our nation must maintain systems that encourage ideas to flourish and promote an educational culture providing the… Continue Reading

November 15, 2010

A Heritage Of Overcoming Challenges

Thanksgiving provides a fitting time to express thankfulness for our nation's great heritage in the face of difficulty. Despite considerable challenges, we can get our nation on the right track. Making our economy stronger and more competitive, and creating the lasting, high-quality jobs that our people and our families depend on, remain necessary steps in charting a productive course for our nation. Thanksgiving has often been celebrated during times of significant challenges. The Pilgrims a… Continue Reading

November 08, 2010

Defending Idaho Jobs

To find a model of ingenuity and resilience, visit an Idaho sawmill. Idaho's forest products industry, interwoven into the region's history and central to the development of the area, has experienced significant challenges in recent years with the downturn in the housing market and economy, increased transportation and energy costs, raw material availability and unfair trade practices. Facing these tests, Idaho sawmills and forest products workers have increased efficiency and innovation. Advanc… Continue Reading

November 01, 2010

Veterans History Project

Gerald "Jerry" Sorensen, of Pocatello, Idaho, was a 24-year-old U.S. Air Force gunner who was aboard a B-17 brought down by German fire in Nazi-occupied Belgium during World War II. Jerry Sorensen survived the downing, was hidden by the Abeels family of Ganshoren, near Brussels, and joined the Belgian resistance fighting against the Germans. In 1944, Belgium was liberated, and Jerry was killed by German soldiers leaving Belgium. The Abeels' also lost their oldest son, Roger Abeels, who died with… Continue Reading

October 25, 2010

Why Vote?

At times, people ask, "Why vote? My one little vote does not really make a difference." The question is often raised by those frustrated with the course of our government. But, voting is central to effecting change. It is also essential to vote because each vote is meaningful, voting is a right we cannot take for granted and Americans continue to make sacrifices to protect our freedoms, including the right to vote. For whatever reasons a person votes in the coming elections on Tuesday, November … Continue Reading

October 18, 2010

Countering Abuse With Support

We all need love and support. We are the same that way. Unfortunately, for far too many, love and support have been replaced with mistreatment and abuse. However, we can work together to counter this abuse and prevent domestic violence from harming more lives by taking action to increase community support and awareness, providing resources for victims, educating children early about domestic violence and promoting a culture that does not overlook signs of abuse. Awareness is critical to comb… Continue Reading

October 11, 2010

Failing At Its Business

It is a basic concept - stay until the work is complete. In fact, Congress has a responsibility to establish the federal budget every year, but yet again failed to do so and did not complete its work. Worse, before departing, Congress passed a stopgap measure extending recent double-digit increases in funding for federal agencies. I opposed this measure because such increases are irresponsible, and Congress needs to stay and focus on the needs of American families. Out of control federal spe… Continue Reading

October 04, 2010

Four Thousand Pages Of Broken Promises

In the six months since enactment of health care reform, the 2,733-page Senate health care bill has ballooned into more than 4,000 pages of regulations and the creation of at least 159 new boards and programs. The unfortunate outcome of this overwhelming implementation is numerous broken promises. Throughout the health care debate, I, along with many of my colleagues, stated repeatedly that this bill would result in cuts to Medicare, higher taxes and increased health care costs and insurance pre… Continue Reading

September 27, 2010

Let Loose U.S. Innovation

Creative Idaho businesses are producing innovative products meeting the needs of consumers around the world. PakSense manufactures and exports to sixty countries smart labels used to determine the quality and safety of products, including food and pharmaceuticals, during shipping. Exports are twenty-five percent of PakSense's sales. Another Idaho company, Meyer Industries, produces a machine to humanely and environmentally-eliminate burrowing pests. Exports account for nearly half of the company… Continue Reading

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