May 16, 2011

Feds Again Overreaching On Water

Visiting areas of the world where clean water is not easily attainable is a reminder of how lucky we are to live in a country that puts great emphasis on maintaining a healthy water supply.  This fundamental necessity must be protected.  However, greatly expanding the federal government's jurisdiction over our waters, to include virtually all interstate and intrastate waters and their tributaries, is the wrong way to go.  The Obama Administration and its allies in Congress have taken this misgui… Continue Reading

May 09, 2011

Justice Served; But Perseverance Required

Justice was served with the death of Osama bin Laden.  The symbol for worldwide terror for more than ten years was killed in Pakistan by U.S. special forces, and his body was recovered and verified.  While we take comfort in his removal and the effect it has on al Qaeda, there should be no question that we must remain vigilant and aggressive in combating terrorism.   The shadowy terrorist network bin Laden led is only one of the global terrorist threats we face, and only one of the many terror… Continue Reading

May 02, 2011

Idaho National Lab: World-Class Innovation

Many people understand that the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) is a nuclear energy research lab.  However, the breadth of the lab's work may be largely unknown.  I am consistently impressed by the importance of INL's innovations, but never more so than following the tragedy in Japan.  INL specialists have stepped up to help address the trials in Japan in meaningful ways and continue to lead a wide spectrum of advancements that help both home and abroad.   Since the earthquake, INL experts hav… Continue Reading

April 25, 2011

Victorious In War And Vigilant In Peace

Atop our nation's Capitol stands the Statue of Freedom.  According to the book "Where the People Speak," Thomas Crawford, the American sculptor who was commissioned in 1855 to design the statue, envisioned the Statue of Freedom as "a figure victorious in war and vigilant in peace."  Standing more than 19 feet tall, the Statue of Freedom is a reminder of American service members' sacrifice and steady commitment to secure our freedom.       The stream of recent reports regarding those around the… Continue Reading

April 18, 2011

Idaho: Opportunities Right Outside Our Doors

With diverse and picturesque natural features across its 53 million acres, Idaho is undeniably beautiful.  The rolling wheat and legume fields and grasslands of the Palouse, the sparkling tree-lined Lake Coeur d'Alene and the fascinating Craters of the Moon Lava field that stretches more than 600 square miles are just a few examples of Idaho's distinctive landscape.  We have forests, wildlife, mountains, rivers, lakes, hot springs and parks a plenty, providing great opportunities for exploration… Continue Reading

April 11, 2011

Renewing The Land Of Opportunity

The Federal Register, a publication of regulations and legal notices issued by federal agencies, ballooned to more than 82,000 pages by the end of last year, and small businesses are bearing a disproportionate share of this growing regulatory burden.  To truly improve our economy and sustain what America stands for-the land of opportunity-the federal government must quit heaping federal regulations on job-makers, America's small businesses.   Increasing federal regulations have a disproportion… Continue Reading

April 04, 2011

Positive Snowpack: A Companion Of Productivity

Annual snowfall in Idaho's mountains is what feeds most Idaho waterways, and measurements of snowpack provide an excellent forecast of expected water resources.  Around this time of year, people from all sectors are eagerly reviewing this information and planning their year.   Without a doubt, our water supply is a critical element to Idaho's economy and a major factor in annual productivity.    The importance of water to Idaho communities cannot be overestimated.  Public and domestic water su… Continue Reading

March 28, 2011

Economy Boosting Energy Solutions

Identifying growing energy demands and increasing oil and gas prices as problems is easy.  Far more difficult is taking the next, productive step of identifying and implementing solutions.  Fortunately, we have options, such as expanding access to U.S. oil reserves and increasing responsible domestic oil production.  As fuel prices escalate again and threaten economic recovery, advancing these sensible solutions is increasingly critical.  Such accomplishments could increase our nation's energy s… Continue Reading

March 21, 2011

Health Care Law: A Year Older And None The Wiser

March 23 marks the first anniversary of the health care law that is failing to achieve the results, including control of health care costs and better access to quality care, Americans sought and deserve.  Instead, the law continues to deepen our nation's unsustainable deficit and debt, results in higher premiums for consumers and business owners and persists in stifling job growth.           Rather than restraining health care costs, the health care law worsens our national debt, now more than… Continue Reading

March 14, 2011

Veterinarians Needed In Rural Communities

Life in rural America is exceptionally enriching.  However, those who live in the rural parts of our country also deal with unique challenges.  While many times these challenges make them stronger, shortages in certain occupations hinder our economies, threaten our safety and weaken the fabric of communities that are otherwise the rock that our nation is based upon.  Food animal veterinarians are a sometimes overlooked but essential sector in human and animal health.  Veterinarians defend agains… Continue Reading

March 07, 2011

Plenty Of Room For Belt Tightening

Americans recognize that our inflated federal government currently spends far too much, as confirmed by our more than $14 trillion national debt.  Just as families eliminate wasteful spending to ensure they can put food on the table and provide necessities, the federal government must also eliminate redundancies to get our national deficit and debt under control.  A just-released Government Accountability Office (GAO) report sheds additional light on potentially redundant government programs and… Continue Reading

February 28, 2011

Americans Deserve A Fair And Competitive Tax Code

While an irresponsible and unrestrained explosion in federal spending is the primary cause of our record deficit and debt, an essential part of digging our nation out of our economic struggles is reforming our tax code so that it encourages, not discourages, job creation and economic growth. New, lasting jobs come from turning creative ideas into successful businesses. To enable those ideas to grow into jobs, we must remove barriers to productivity, including overly-burdensome and complicated ta… Continue Reading

February 21, 2011

Dating Violence Takes On Many Forms

My recent visit with middle school students to help young people understand the differences between healthy and unhealthy dating relationships provided an important reminder that dating violence is not just a teen issue. Regrettably, middle school, high school and college students are widely affected by dating violence, which often conveys life-long effects. Unfortunately, dating violence has a number of forms, including digital abuse, which can fall under the parental radar. The tragic death… Continue Reading

February 14, 2011

Idaho Farmers And Ranchers Grow Our Economy

Idaho is home to more than 25,000 farms and ranches growing 185 different commodities. Many of the farm families that comprise Idaho agriculture have persevered through great adversity, difficult economic times and natural disasters to help sustain our economy and provide a sector of resilience, especially during our nation's economic difficulty. The contribution of Idaho farmers and ranchers to our economy and communities is considerable. In a recently released report, University of Idaho ag… Continue Reading

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

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