Editorials

June 04, 2009

ONE LAST CHANCE?

In a speech to the Northwest Energy Coalition conference recently I said that the conjoined issues of energy, water and anadromous fish recovery in the Pacific Northwest will likely be resolved by a comprehensive regional collaboration. Such collaboration will be necessary to achieve regional consensus that generates broad enough public support for Congress to act and plans be funded and implemented. Based on experience with collaborations, the participants must have the courage to bring all opt… Continue Reading


May 28, 2009

IDAHO AGRICULTURE AND TRADE

We in Idaho understand the importance of agriculture to the state, but many of us don't understand the importance of trade to agriculture. Most of Idaho's agricultural products are exported to other states and approximately 20 percent are exported to other countries. According to statistics from the Idaho State Department of Agriculture, if Idahoans had to consume all of Idaho's agricultural produce, each day we would all have to consume 52 potatoes, 240 slices of bread, 38 glasses of milk or 1.… Continue Reading


May 21, 2009

A DAY FOR REMEMBERING

When you go home Tell them for us and say For your tomorrow We gave our today                                                                                              -Message chiseled outside cemetery at Iwo Jima, from Flags of our Fathers, by James Bradley   Memorial Day is one of our most meaningful holidays.   It is a day for honoring and remembering those who have died in America's many b… Continue Reading


May 18, 2009

IDAHO'S CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION

Idaho's Congressional delegation, even as it changes over the years, has a strong, bipartisan history of working together to address many of the important issues facing Idahoans. Just last week, the Idaho Congressional delegation was notified of our success in maintaining the United States Postal Service's (USPS) contract with Arnold Aviation, who delivers air mail from Cascade to residents in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness. On March 24, the owners of Arnold Aviation, Ray and … Continue Reading


May 06, 2009

NATIONAL MILITARY APPRECIATION MONTH

Throughout the year America does much to honor the service and sacrifice of our military members and their families. We observe many holidays including National Military Appreciation Month, Military Spouse Day, Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, POW/MIA Recognition Day, Gold Star Mother's Day, National Military Family Month, and Veterans Day. But for all that we do to honor them, they have done and continue to do much more in service to us. For all that they and their families have sacrificed, past… Continue Reading


April 23, 2009

NATIONAL CRIME VICTIMS WEEK 2009

In 2007, the U.S. Department of Health and Human services estimated that over 790,000 children in the United States had been maltreated, that is, subject to neglect, physical or sexual abuse, psychological abuse and medical neglect. That is a rate of just over 10 children for every 1,000. Of these, nearly 32 percent were under the age of four, and approximately 75 percent had no prior history of maltreatment. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, in 2006, the most recent year for whi… Continue Reading


April 15, 2009

EARTH DAY 2009--CELEBRATING CONSERVATION MILESTONES

Today, America continues to grapple with how best to ensure future generations have access to abundant natural resources while evaluating global warming mitigation strategies such as cap and trade and additional environmental regulations. April 22 is Earth Day-an appropriate time to reflect on federal programs that improve the environment the right way, through incentives rather than mandates. I was fortunate to serve on the Senate Agriculture Committee, where I acted as Ranking Member on the… Continue Reading


April 08, 2009

STEPS TO ENERGY INDEPENDENCE

As many Idahoans know, energy and climate change issues continue to dominate discussions about our future, our economy and our security. During the recent consideration of the Senate's Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 Budget Resolution, there was an attempt to include controversial cap and trade provisions in the annual budget resolution. While this effort was defeated in the Senate, the future in conference discussions is uncertain. Regardless of the outcome in the final FY 2010 Budget Resolution, Congres… Continue Reading


April 01, 2009

APRIL: FINANCIAL LITERACY MONTH

Tax season tends to be a time when people think more often about their personal finances-savings, investments, income and expenditures. This year, turmoil in the economy and financial markets, job losses, uncertainty in the housing market and concern over proposed and significant changes in the tax code have caused people to re-assess allocations of personal expenditures, long-term savings and investments. Personal savings rates are rising again after years at historically-low levels, but this a… Continue Reading


March 19, 2009

INCOMPREHENSIBLE

On March 18, high school students and mayors from Caldwell and Nampa presented me with a petition signed by over 400 Treasure Valley students, indicating support for a balanced budget. They talked about the problem of high school dropouts and the unsustainable national debt. I'm impressed with these students' interested in the state of our economy and the actions or inactions of government. However, it's troubling that these young people, who are just embarking on the journey of adulthood, rich … Continue Reading


March 11, 2009

A TAX BURDEN WE CANNOT BEAR

On March 11, I reintroduced legislation to permanently extend the 15 percent tax rate (0 percent on those in the two lowest income tax brackets) on capital gains and dividends that was enacted as part of tax relief in 2003. I've introduced this legislation every Congress since 2005. This bill has even greater urgency now considering the President's budget proposal before Congress that will allow the tax rates on these investment earnings to rise to 20 percent for individual filers earning above … Continue Reading


March 04, 2009

IDAHO WOMENâ??A LEGACY FROM YESTERDAY, LEADERSHIP TODAY

Lives and activities of many remarkable individuals comprise the rich tapestry that is the history of Idaho. From the time that Idaho was simply part of a vast frontier to the establishment of the State of Idaho and the growth of the natural resource industries of farming, ranching, timber harvest and mining, the stories of Idahoans have woven together to give us pride in our heritage and thanks for our many blessings. March is Women's History Month, giving us an opportunity to look back to s… Continue Reading


February 25, 2009

BUDGETING FOR CHALLENGING TIMES

President Barack Obama addressed a joint session of Congress on February 24 and delivered his budget outline on February 26. I once again hold a seat on the Senate Budget Committee and look forward to examining the details of the Administration's FY2010 budget outline. While it is important to work with the President to help those who are experiencing financial difficulties, it is equally important that we protect future generations of taxpayers from an untenable debt load. The President want… Continue Reading


February 19, 2009

ABUSIVE BEHAVIOR HAS NO PLACE IN DATING RELATIONSHIPS

With a struggling economy and Congress on the verge of passing the largest spending bill in the history of our country, it seemed unlikely in early February that entertainers could make any real headlines. But there it was-on Sunday, February 8, R & B star Chris Brown and award-winning pop singer, Rihanna, his girlfriend of nearly a year, would not be performing at the Grammys. Why? There had been a fight-with injuries. Brown was arrested and Rihanna (Robyn Fenty) was pressing charges, alleg… Continue Reading


February 12, 2009

SENATE COMMITTEE ON INDIAN AFFAIRS

At the start of every new Congress, Senate committee assignments are reviewed and changes made. While some of my assignments have remained the same-(Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Budget Committee), I have been successful in obtaining two additional assignments that reflect priorities Idahoans place on our remarkable natural resources and a commitment to our strong Native American heritage. In addition to a seat on the Senate Environm… Continue Reading


February 05, 2009

COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENTS REFLECT IDAHO PRIORITIES

At the start of every new Congress, Senate committee assignments are reviewed and changes are made. While some of my committee assignments have remained the same-I've retained my positions on the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Budget Committee-I have been successful in obtaining two new committee assignments (both ones I've held in the past) that reflect priorities Idahoans place on our remarkable natural resources and a commitment to… Continue Reading


January 28, 2009

BE OUTSIDE

"Eventually, most of us figure out that it's people, not nature, who create morality, values, ethicsâ??and even the idea that nature itself is something worth preserving. We choose to be shepherds and stewards, or we don't...We will live wiselyâ??preserving water and air and everything else intrinsic to the equation we're only beginning to understandâ??or we won't, in which case Nature will fill the vacuum when we leave." --Seth Norman, in Richard Louv's "Last … Continue Reading


January 07, 2009

OF EPIC PROPORTIONS

On January 7, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its budget outlook for Fiscal Years 2009-2019. With a sobering prediction that this year's deficit will total $1.2 trillion (without factoring the cost of any new stimulus bill), the report cites what many already know or suspect: the slowdown in economic activity and policy responses to challenges in the housing and financial markets have significantly affected the federal budget. In fact, CBO stated that the U.S. will likely see the … Continue Reading


December 17, 2008

CLOSE TO HOME

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." -U.S. Declaration of Independence, 1776 "Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home - so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person; the neighborhood he lives in; th… Continue Reading


December 10, 2008

ENROLLMENT PERIOD FOR MEDICARE PARTS C AND D

The Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday seasons are busy times of the year for many people-we are pulled in many directions fulfilling commitments to family, friends and work. Still there are a few things on the to-do list that should take priority even in this busy time of the year. If it applies to you or an aging or disabled family member, and if you have not already done so, you should set aside some time to evaluate your Medicare Advantage plan and/or Medicare prescription drug coverage to m… Continue Reading

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