Editorials

January 13, 2010

FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS FOR ALL!

"It's easy in Washington and on Wall Street to dismiss the Tea-Party movement as a disorganized fringe force. It's worth remembering, though, that in a Wall Street Journal/ NBC News poll late last year, the Tea-Party movement won a higher favorability rating among Americans than did either major party" -Gerald F. Seib, Wall Street Journal, 1-12-10 Back in September, I wrote a column defending the First Amendment rights of the many Tea Party groups that sprouted up to protest the big governme… Continue Reading


December 24, 2009

SPECIAL INTEREST HEALTH CARE

"Never in our memory has so unpopular a bill been on the verge of passing Congress, never has social and economic legislation of this magnitude been forced through on a purely partisan vote, and never has a party exhibited more sheer political willfulness that is reckless even for Washington or had more warning about the consequences of its actions" -Wall Street Journal editorial, 12-21-2009 Over the last month, the Senate worked long hours and weekends on the Democrats' health care reform l… Continue Reading


December 16, 2009

CHRISTMAS AT WAR

"The inherent generosity of Americans is also on full display during the Christmas season. In deployed areas right now, company command posts are flooded with care packages from their families and kind strangers." -U.S. Army Infantry Captain Timothy Hsia, December 2008 As Americans debate the war in Afghanistan on the political front, the first unit of the President's recently announced troop surge, 1500 Marines from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, will deploy before Christmas. Here in Idaho, … Continue Reading


December 11, 2009

THE STATUTE OF MISERY

Now that we have the Senate health care reform bill before us---H.R. 3590, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act---I hope you take the opportunity to read it and figure out what this 2,074-page bill will mean for you and your family. The bill will cost two and a half trillion dollars, with lower and middle-income earners paying for much of the burden, but the American people might be surprised to see that the sick and elderly will also end up bearing much of the burden through higher co… Continue Reading


December 03, 2009

EXPORTS AND THE ECONOMY

This week, the Senate Finance Committee's Subcommittee on International Trade, Customs, and Global Competitiveness will be holding a hearing regarding trade policy and how exports can help on the path to economic recovery. As Ranking Member of this Subcommittee, I look forward to participating in this important discussion to examine export's place in revitalizing our nation's economy and upholding U.S. jobs. Exports accounted for 13 percent of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2008, yet … Continue Reading


November 25, 2009

THE WRONG KIND OF HEALTH CARE REFORM

On November 21, I voted against moving forward on the health care reform proposal in the Senate because the legislation is not true reform. This bill, drafted behind closed doors with only a handful of Democrats involved, is a massive government takeover that will result in higher health care costs for Americans - period. It passed on a strictly partisan vote of 60 to 39. Some of my colleagues argue this vote was merely a procedural step. This, however, is far more than procedure: it is the Sena… Continue Reading


November 19, 2009

LET'S WORK TOGETHER TO END TEEN DATING VIOLENCE

Last week, pop singer Rihanna told ABC's "20/20" news magazine show that she made a mistake to go back to her boyfriend Chris Brown after he beat her up during a fight last February. What happened to her was unacceptable and has put a very public face on a national problem-that of teen dating violence. We must let our young people know that violence is never appropriate in any relationship, and that there are people and resources to help those who are caught in this cycle. Many of the viewer com… Continue Reading


November 13, 2009

HUNTING AND FISHING: AN IDAHO AND AMERICAN HERITAGE

"I recognize the right and duty of this generation to develop and use natural resources of our land; but I do not recognize the right to waste them, or to rob, by wasteful use, the generations that come after us" -Theodore Roosevelt Each year, thousands of Idahoans head outdoors to hunt, fish, camp and hike or simply enjoy Idaho's beautiful scenery and wildlife. The first chief of the U.S. Forest Service, Gifford Pinchot, said, "There are just two things on this material earth---people and n… Continue Reading


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

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