December 31, 2018

Weekly Column: Roadmap For Progress--Bipartisan Work Of This Congress

Bipartisan legislative achievements often get lost in the din of partisan rhetoric. But, the bipartisan accomplishments of the 115th Congress and this Administration are representative of how we can work together in the 116th Congress ahead to make further progress for our country. The following are some highlights as the 115th Congress draws to a close: Economic Reform-As Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, I worked with the Administration and my colleagues in Congress to enact bipa… Continue Reading

December 24, 2018

Weekly Column: Importance Of Water Infrastructure

As we spend time with family and friends this Christmas season-tromping through the snow to get a Christmas tree, skiing, snow shoeing, sledding, ice skating, or just shoveling snow and ice off of our driveways and sidewalks-the snow we recreate in and move around translates into significant water resources and development for our state. Federal policy must enable the local decisions that best determine the management of these critical resources. Snowfall in Idaho's mountains feeds most Idah… Continue Reading

December 17, 2018

Weekly Column: Veterans Education And Workforce Development

Veterans serve on the front lines of our national defense, sacrificing for country, community, family, friends and fellow soldiers. Many people's thoughts may go directly to how we can honor this service by better supporting our troops in combat or in memory; however, there is another component that equally deserves our consideration: supporting servicemembers when they leave the service and return home. As veterans know, military service is not a one-time event-it is a defining part of a vet… Continue Reading

December 10, 2018

Weekly Column: Protecting Children

America's children represent our nation's prospect for a bright and strong future. They are smart, hopeful, inquisitive and insightful. It is incumbent upon all of us to do what we can to keep them safe from harm and help them to have opportunities for promising and productive lives. The fact that many children in our communities are not safe in their homes is far beyond tragic. Thankfully, Americans across our country work tirelessly to end violence and turn hardship into hope for abuse vic… Continue Reading

December 03, 2018

Weekly Column: First Term On Judiciary Committee--Record Number Of Judges Confirmed

With the end of the 115th Congress, I will wrap up my first term serving on the Senate Judiciary Committee. It has been a memorable, remarkable and historic experience. We have no doubt addressed some very difficult issues that have weighed heavily on the minds of committee members and all Americans, as we have considered judicial nominations and other duties of the committee. The 115th Congress and this Administration have made significant progress in advancing a court system that preserves … Continue Reading

November 26, 2018

Weekly Column: An Idaho Veteran's Reflections On Service

Fellow Idahoan Ted M. Boyce read this poem, titled "Veterans Day," that he authored at a recent breakfast in Idaho Falls to honor veterans. With Mr. Boyce's permission, I am sharing this touching tribute to the service of veterans. "I call myself a veteran sir, I answered on the run, when my country needed me I got a uniform and a gun. I carried out my orders just as well as I knew how, left my job in the city, or was it behind a plow. I call myself a veteran sir, when my country made t… Continue Reading

November 19, 2018

Weekly Column: An Idaho Thanksgiving

As we sit down to our Thanksgiving meals, there is a good chance the hard work of Idaho farmers went into a majority of our meal. Meals at Thanksgiving are as varied as the people who celebrate it, but there are some iconic dishes with strong Idaho connections. Mashed potatoes: Idaho leads the nation in the production of potatoes. Stuffing and rolls: Idaho is ranked in the top ten of Spring Wheat and Winter Wheat producing states. Milk: If we drink milk with our meal, add milk to the mash… Continue Reading

November 12, 2018

Weekly Column: The Spirit Of Freedom Award Spotlights Compassion And Heroism Of Idahoans

When heavy winter snowfall blocked sidewalks, Danny Pugmire, of Nampa, followed a wheelchair-bound person with his car's emergency blinkers on to keep the man safe until the wheelchair could be navigated safely off the road. But, Danny's compassion did not stop there. He and his wife, June, then opened their home to the man who had faced some very difficult times and gave him the love he needed until he could return home six months later. This is just one of the many acts of kindness cited in… Continue Reading

November 05, 2018

Weekly Column: Honoring Veterans

Veterans, by putting their lives on the line for their country, communities, fellow servicemembers and fellow Americans, represent the ultimate sacrifice, which is at the core of their service. We honor veterans this Veterans Day by recognizing the foundation of their service and helping to ensure that their immense commitment is acknowledged and respected. One of the most fundamental ways to respect veterans' dedication is by providing full support for their service, not only while deployed, … Continue Reading

October 29, 2018

Weekly Column: Honoring Idaho's Principals

One of the things I treasure most about representing Idaho in the U.S. Senate is that I get to cross paths with extraordinary Idahoans doing great work. I recently had the opportunity to meet with Amy McBride, who is Idaho's 2018 Outstanding Secondary Principal of the Year. When you think about how many great principals there are in Idaho working hard to ensure Idaho's children receive top-notch educations that set them on a path to succeed, her selection as topmost among them is significant. … Continue Reading

October 22, 2018

Weekly Column: U.S. Senate Takes Steps To Address High Prescription Costs

There is growing concern over the rising cost of prescription drugs. Drug manufacturers argue that the rising prices of these medications are largely due to the cost of research and development; however, it can be challenging for consumers to distinguish whether these claims are authentic. As the U.S. continues to lead the world in the research and development of drugs that improve and extend lives, we must do more to ensure that those who need them most have access to affordable medication. … Continue Reading

October 15, 2018

Weekly Column: Idaho Hometown Hero Medalists

Each year since 2011, Idaho Hometown Hero Awards have been presented to members of Idaho communities who are extraordinarily dedicated to hard work, self-improvement and community service. This annual spotlight on great work reminds us of the many Idahoans, including those unrecognized, who are continuously helping others and inspiring other caring actions through their leadership. Through Congressional Record Statements, I have had the opportunity to help congratulate the award recipients an… Continue Reading

October 08, 2018

Weekly Column: Let's Bring Them All Home

Through a recent Congressional Record Statement, I had the opportunity to honor America's prisoners of war (POW)s and missing in action (MIA), recognize the commendable efforts of those keeping attention on our missing servicemembers and thank those who are working hard to bring our missing servicemembers home. The loved ones of missing servicemembers deserve resolution. We can never let up in this American responsibility. The following is the text of the Congressional Record Statement: Mr.… Continue Reading

October 01, 2018

Weekly Column: Nuclear Innovation Legislation Becoming Law

Congress's recent passage of S. 97, the Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act (NEICA) underscores the strong bipartisan agreement in Congress that nuclear energy is a reliable, safe, clean and efficient part of our national energy portfolio and a commitment to maintaining U.S. leadership in nuclear innovation. I have been proud to lead this legislation with fellow Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island) and James Risch (R-Idaho). The bill has been the result of years of bipartisan c… Continue Reading

September 24, 2018

Weekly Column: Creating Stronger Footing For Retirement Savings

In recent years, we have seen press reports about Americans being unprepared for retirement with too little savings to provide a lifestyle during retirement similar to their pre-retirement standards of living. The long-term benefits of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which will continue to be felt throughout the years ahead, are setting the stage for improved retirement savings opportunities. Preparing for retirement years is often difficult, especially when paychecks have to cover mortgages, rent… Continue Reading

September 17, 2018

Weekly Column: Judge Kavanaugh Will Protect Our Constitution

In a 1987 radio address to the nation, President Ronald Reagan stated, "Our judges should be faithful to the written Constitution, the bedrock of our liberties." This guiding principle remains as important today as it has always been. Our judicial system must be guided by our Constitution to protect American freedoms, which remain an inspiration to people around the world. As a member of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, I recently participated in roughly a week-long hearing to consider… Continue Reading

September 10, 2018

Weekly Column: Keeping The Door Open For Veterans

Last summer, I had the opportunity to place my handprint on the civilian side of a door Melanie Foster, Jr. Vice Commander for the Department of Idaho Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), takes to veterans events. She helps raise awareness about suicide prevention, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injuries. Veterans have placed handprints on one side of the door, while families, friends and veteran advocates have signed the other side. As we recognize September as Suicide P… Continue Reading

September 03, 2018

Weekly Column: Protecting Against Security Threats From Foreign Bad Actors

Recently, the President signed into law the John S. McCain 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, fulfilling one of Congress's most serious responsibilities to provide for and protect our nation's military servicemembers. This legislation will strengthen our military's readiness, provide our troops a pay raise, support effective implementation of the National Defense Strategy, drive further innovation in emerging technologies to secure our military advantage, and continue to reform t… Continue Reading

August 27, 2018

Weekly Column: Connecting Idaho Veterans With Opportunity

For those who have spent years serving in and rising through the ranks of the U.S. military, embarking on an entirely new path in the civilian sector after service can be daunting. Despite today's positive economic climate, with historically low unemployment and many sectors reporting more jobs than people to fill them, thousands of servicemembers separating from the military each year with valuable skills, leadership experience and strong work ethic still face challenges to accessing these opp… Continue Reading

August 20, 2018

Weekly Column: Thank You, Firefighters

Many have seen pictures of the flames that threatened Dubois. Heroic efforts saved the town from the Grassy Ridge Fire that has burned thousands of acres. Firefighters lined the perimeter and actively stopped the fire line just two miles outside of town, as the town was evacuated and neighbors worked together to move cattle and help build fire breaks. This is a recent example of the countless times the great people of Idaho have stepped in to help others. And, it reminds us of the courageous… Continue Reading

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