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

September 20, 2010

Idahoans' Steadfast Service

President Obama recently announced the end of the U.S. combat mission in Iraq. However, the local contribution to the war effort is not over. As the Idaho National Guard's 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team deploys to Iraq, we cannot lose sight of the continued sacrifice of the men and women in military service, their families and the local employers who await their safe return. Idaho ranks twelfth among states with the highest National Guard membership based on percentages of the states' popu… Continue Reading

September 13, 2010

Federal Powers Intended To Be 'Few And Defined'

James Madison wrote, "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the state governments are numerous and indefinite." Unfortunately, state sovereignty, private industry and individual freedoms have been eroded by the unhealthy notion that the federal government knows best. We must stem this tide and return to a strict interpretation of the U.S. Constitution if we are to restore the proper balance of power and prese… Continue Reading

September 06, 2010

A Foundation For Quality Education

As the son of a teacher, the importance of a quality education was ingrained in me. Sound education is elemental to the strength of our nation. State and local control in matters of education, ensuring students have access to quality nutrition to fuel their minds and proper rural school resources are critical to ensuring that students getting back to school have the right foundation for success. Students, parents, teachers and state and local public school officials best understand how to im… Continue Reading

August 30, 2010

Lifting The Weight Off Idaho Commerce

Each time we shop, every time we purchase something, chances are pretty good a truck played a role in getting those goods to that retailer. Trucks play a vital role in our country's commerce, and getting goods from source to consumer safely and cost-effectively is an important consideration. That's why I joined with Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Herb Kohl (D-Wisconsin) to introduce the bipartisan Safe and Efficient Transportation Act (SETA), S.3705, which provides a voluntary opt-in progr… Continue Reading

August 23, 2010

Fairs: Time To Celebrate Hard Work

The county, regional and state fairs that take place throughout the summer are far more than cotton candy, carnival rides, funnel cakes, musical acts and petting zoos. Fairs provide time to take a break, unwind and connect with neighbors. Most of all, fairs are a time to celebrate productivity. The fun of fairs belies their value. Fairs are productive for the economy. The International Association of Fairs estimates a fair the size of the Eastern Idaho State Fair generates $6 million for the … Continue Reading

August 16, 2010

The 1910 Fire: Learning From Idaho's Past

August 20, 2010, marks the 100-year anniversary of the 1910 Fire that resulted in nearly 100 lost lives, hundreds of injuries, approximately three million burned acres and the destruction of towns and homes in Idaho.  As we honor the heroism of the response to the 1910 Fire, it is a reminder that we must actively manage our national lands, provide resources to our local communities and land managers to respond when lives and property are threatened, take responsibility for reducing fire risk at … Continue Reading

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