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

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

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