February 10, 2010


"By sponsoring many useful physical, mental, and social activities designed to promote self-responsibility, the Scouts strengthen the cornerstone of individual freedom in our nation." -President Ronald Reagan "[Scouting] has helped to mold character, to form friendships, to provide a worthwhile outlet for the natural energies of growing boys, and to train these boys to become good citizens of the future." -President John F. Kennedy The history of Scouting in America began with a single g… Continue Reading

February 03, 2010


Without a doubt, our current level of debt, and the path we are on in creating future debt, is both unsustainable and unacceptable. As a member of the Senate Budget Committee, I have been a supporter of the efforts of our Chairman and Ranking Member to call attention to the immediate need to address the debt. I was initially supportive of their effort to create a bipartisan commission, the Conrad/Gregg commission, to address the debt, especially when there were no other serious proposals. But, a… Continue Reading

January 27, 2010


More than ten years ago, a trip to a safe house for abused children in Twin Falls County made a lasting impression on me, one that moved and motivated me to make family violence prevention one of my top priorities as a U.S. Senator. Much of that commitment is reflected in my work in the U.S. Senate to improve and strengthen legislation such as the Violence Against Women Act and the Victims of Crime Act along with regular visits to shelters throughout Idaho and partnerships with various domestic … Continue Reading

January 20, 2010


The President will release his budget request for Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 in early February. As a member of the Senate Budget Committee, I will be reviewing the proposal and questioning Administration officials when they appear before the Committee. I will approach the hearings with the faint hope that the Administration recognizes that we cannot spend our way to prosperity. Initial indications, however, are not promising. Rather than controlling spending, the Administration priority seems to b… Continue Reading

January 13, 2010


"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


"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


"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


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


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


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


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


"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


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


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


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


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


"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


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


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

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