September 02, 2019

Weekly Column: Fortifying Our Supply Chains

We live in an accelerating world requiring reliance on ever-advancing technology for many aspects of our lives. While technology may speed up and facilitate daily tasks, it also presents risk. Attacks through our technology do not just cause frustrating delays; malicious supply chain exploitation endangers our servicemembers without ever firing a shot. I am working to enact legislation that would secure the supply chains that government, industry and the general population rely on to reduce o… Continue Reading

August 26, 2019

Weekly Column: Farm Bill Support For Veteran Farmers And Ranchers

The work ethic, experience, diligence and ingenuity of our nation's veterans lend well to many civilian professions. Some veterans choose to apply their skills to farming and ranching following their military service, and certain federal programs provide tools for former servicemembers transitioning to civilian life or seeking a new career in agriculture production. At the end of last year, the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives passed the 2018 Farm Bill by overwhelmingly bipartisan… Continue Reading

August 19, 2019

Weekly Column: Welcome Discussions On Affordable Housing

Housing affordability is a critical issue in Idaho and all across the country. Nationwide, there is a shortage of millions of affordable rental homes available to lower-income Americans, and the gap between the demand for affordable homes and the supply of new ones being built increases each year. I was proud to welcome U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson to visit Idaho recently when we toured nationally recognized models of affordable housing. We discu… Continue Reading

August 12, 2019

Weekly Column: Economic Growth From Regulatory Relief

Over the last two years, Congress and the Administration have taken a number of actions to reduce burdensome and unnecessary regulations, as well as slow the massive growth of new regulations. Through a combination of issuing executive orders, utilizing the Congressional Review Act to overturn unnecessary regulations legislatively, enacting new laws focused on providing relief from onerous regulation and appointing pro-growth agency officials, deregulatory actions are creating more freedom for … Continue Reading

August 05, 2019

Weekly Column: Ending Robocall Scams

Nearly everyone has received those calls in the middle of dinner, in the middle of getting kids to sleep or in the middle of trying to finish a project. We stop what we are doing. We hurry to answer the phone only to hear a long pause followed by an automated voice trying to defraud us of our money. The calls are beyond annoying. They are invasive and can be financially destructive. Legislation I am backing would help end what are known as robocall scams. The non-partisan Congressional Re… Continue Reading

July 29, 2019

Weekly Column: Working To End Veterinarian Shortages

The benefits of living in rural Idaho communities are abundant-easy access to outdoor activities, strong sense of community, great places to raise children, neighbors banding together in times of need or to celebrate accomplishments and much more. But, some dealing with trying to pay high student loans may face challenges with locating anywhere they want. Bipartisan legislation I introduced would make it easier for veterinarians to locate in rural communities with veterinarian shortages. This… Continue Reading

July 22, 2019

Weekly Column: National Day Of The American Cowboy

Idaho's cowboys and cowgirls have a lasting legacy in our great state, where personal responsibility, strength, hard work, integrity and determination are deeply rooted. Resourceful men and women helped build the Idaho we know today and continue to advance a time-honored tradition of living off the land and sustaining it for future generations. The Senate honors the men and women who helped establish the American West through an annual resolution designating the National Day of the American Co… Continue Reading

July 15, 2019

Weekly Column: Americans Deserve Real Data Privacy

Over the last decade, we have experienced a digital revolution that sees people using the Internet to manage more of their daily lives. Mobile applications, social media and search engines have become everyday tools, but their usage is accompanied by a shocking amount of hidden data collection without individuals' knowledge or consent. A report from Cracked Labs on corporate surveillance notes "the behaviors, movements, social relationships, interests, weaknesses and most private moments of bi… Continue Reading

July 08, 2019

Weekly Column: Confronting Threats From China

As Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, I recently led a hearing entitled: "Confronting Threats From China: Assessing Controls on Technology and Investment, and Measures to Combat Opioid Trafficking." With its jurisdiction over banks, markets, export promotion, export controls, and reviews of foreign direct investment security and economic sanctions, the Banking Committee sits at the intersection of U.S. national security, economic prosperity and the glob… Continue Reading

July 01, 2019

Weekly Column: Celebrating Our Extraordinary Independence

Every July 4th we celebrate the establishment of our nation and the values that created it. The freedoms that our inspired founders affirmed in the Declaration of Independence, and upheld in our Constitution, are the guiding principles of our Republic. The Declaration proclaims, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness-That to … Continue Reading

June 24, 2019

Weekly Column: Improving Veterans' Access To Mental Health Care

When we think of what it means to be healthy, we often think of physical health--maintaining an optimal weight, eating well and not having any ailments slowing us down. However, the definition of "healthy" includes not just physical but also mental and emotional wellbeing. Distressing statistics show we cannot afford to overlook the importance of balancing all of these essential parts of healthy living. I recently co-led the introduction of S. 1594, the Show Esteem and Respect for Veterans by… Continue Reading

June 17, 2019

Weekly Column: Stabilizing The Secure Rural Schools Program

"Ninety-seven percent of land in Custer County is state and federally owned and exempt from taxation," explained Custer County Commissioner and Idaho Association of Counties Public Lands Committee Chairman Wayne Butts. "Counties and schools like ours can't operate without federal forest payments." This is the crux of why addressing the expiration of the Secure Rural Schools (SRS) program is important. The SRS program has become vital in budgeting for essential services in Idaho's forest… Continue Reading

June 10, 2019

Weekly Column: We Continue To Be 'Flag Makers'

Our flag is a powerful image of our national strength and American principles. The flag has stood on the Moon. Determined American soldiers raised our flag during the Battle of Iwo Jima. It was flown on buildings after the September 11 attacks. The coffins of our best and bravest, who paid the ultimate price for our freedoms, are draped with the flag. Our flag flies in communities across our nation as a faithful witness to our national struggles and accomplishments. In a past column,… Continue Reading

June 03, 2019

Weekly Column: Small Businesses Drive Our Economy

Americans turning ideas into jobs and opportunities have made our country into a force of innovation and productivity. The Idaho Small Business Profile issued by the Office of Advocacy, within the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), includes the following important small business and economic growth statistics that show just how important they are to our communities: 162,905 small businesses in Idaho account for 99.2 percent of Idaho businesses and 56.2 percent of Idaho's workforce… Continue Reading

May 27, 2019

Weekly Column: Memorial Day--Military Widow's Tax Elimination

One of the ways we can honor fallen heroes beyond Memorial Day is by making certain that the benefits they more than paid for to ensure the wellbeing of their families after their death are fulfilled. I co-led the introduction of the Military Widow's Tax Elimination Act that will correct an unfair application of federal regulations that strips surviving family members of annuities they already purchased. A bipartisan majority of 58 senators have co-sponsored this legislation. It is past time … Continue Reading

May 20, 2019

Weekly Column: May--National Foster Care Month

On May 10, 1988, President Ronald Reagan issued a proclamation to observe the first National Foster Care Month. The proclamation followed the Senate's passage of a resolution establishing this designation. This May is once again National Foster Care Month, an opportunity to acknowledge the importance of foster care in providing opportunities to succeed for thousands of American children. In that first National Foster Care Month Proclamation, President Reagan recognized, "The family has t… Continue Reading

May 13, 2019

Weekly Column: A New Era For Nuclear Energy

A new chapter in U.S. nuclear energy started with the enactment of two pieces of legislation that further nuclear innovation-S. 97, the Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act (NEICA) and S. 512, the Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act (NEIMA). These laws help ensure the research conducted at Idaho National Laboratory (INL) continues to contribute to our diverse domestic energy resources and keeps our nation at the forefront of nuclear innovation. Empowering the long-term develo… Continue Reading

May 06, 2019

Weekly Column: Progress In Restricting Unjust IRS Asset Seizures

The federal government should meet a high threshold of proving illegal activity when seizing personal property in a criminal investigation. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) should not be given cart blanche to take an American's-hard-earned and legally-earned money-and then require the accused to prove the IRS should not have taken it in order to get it back. Unfortunately, there have been reports over the years of the IRS seizing the bank accounts of small businesses making cash deposits of … Continue Reading

April 29, 2019

Weekly Column: Taking Action For Crime Victims

National Crime Victims Week is recognized each April to raise public awareness about the rights and concerns of victims and survivors of crime in the United States. This national recognition provides opportunities to honor crime victims, survivors and those who provide help in the aftermath of a crime. It also provides an opportunity to reflect on the progress made and take stock of additional steps needed to make certain effective and timely responses are in place to help with recovery and ex… Continue Reading

April 22, 2019

Weekly Column: Earth Day--Bipartisan Conservation Success

At the end of last year, both the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives passed by overwhelmingly bipartisan votes one of the largest, if not the largest, environmental bills. President Trump then signed this bipartisan bill into law. The environmental bill I am referring to is the new Farm Bill. Beyond establishing national agricultural policy, the Farm Bill authorizes conservation programs that provide voluntary, incentive-based tools for landowners to implement conservation practice… Continue Reading

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