April 15, 2019

Weekly Column: Tax Day Reflections On Tax Refom Benefits

This tax filing season is a reminder of the benefits of the 2017 tax reform law already being realized and the long-term positive effects taking shape. These gains include an average 3.1 percent growth in our economy, the creation of more than 2.6 million jobs and a 3.4 percent increase in wages in the last year alone. The considerable progress being made is worth consideration as Americans file taxes this year. Fortunately, there is now a growing understanding that tax refunds are not a goo… Continue Reading

April 08, 2019

Weekly Column: Bipartisan Legislation To Protect Fish Habitat

Sport fishing is culturally and economically important to families and communities all across Idaho. According to the most recent data available from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's 2016 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, more than 35 million Americans participated in fish-related activities. These recreationists spent over $46 billion pursuing these activities, contributing to millions of jobs in industries and businesses that support fish-related … Continue Reading

April 01, 2019

Weekly Column: Indispensable Guidance Of Idahoans

Idaho families struggling with debilitating diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, or less common and rare illnesses, regularly share their heartbreaking, but also inspiring, personal experiences with me. These insights drive my longtime advocacy for necessary National Institute of Health funding to support medical research to save and improve lives. Each year, I join fellow senators in urging congressional appropriators to fully fund this critical research. This is one example of… Continue Reading

March 25, 2019

Weekly Column: Romance Scams Number One In Losses

In the past, I have written about tax season scams to try to help raise awareness so that Americans do not fall victim to fraud that robs people of their hard-earned money. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently alerted the public to romance scams that the commission reports has resulted in more financial losses than any other form of consumer fraud. The FTC reported that there has been a major increase in reports of romance scams from 8,500 reports and losses of $33 million in 2015 to 21… Continue Reading

March 18, 2019

Weekly Column: Lands Bill Furthers Success Of Owyhee Collaborative

The Senate and House of Representatives both passed S.47, Natural Resources Management Act, by overwhelmingly, bipartisan votes, and President Trump signed it into law. This new law contains boundary changes for three wilderness areas in Owyhee County. These changes are important to the ongoing implementation of the hard-sought Owyhee Initiative (OI), which provides for the sustainability of this special part of our great state. It also helps ensure the long-term success of this outstanding e… Continue Reading

March 11, 2019

Weekly Column: Celebrating Women Leaders Of Idaho

Idaho has been home to women pioneers, educators, civic leaders, elected officials, physicians, attorneys, businesswomen, writers, artists, innovators and more. The courage and skills of Idaho women are among our state's enduring strengths. Women shape the history and future of our great state and nation. In recognition of March as Women's History Month, here are some examples of the many women who enrich Idaho's heritage: Sacagawea was born in 1788 in what is now Idaho. She served as a … Continue Reading

March 04, 2019

Weekly Column: Recognizing Local Innovation

In 2017 alone, 1,432 patent applications were filed by residents of Idaho, and 752 patents were issued to Idahoans, according to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). USPTO reports that nearly the same amount of patents (744) were issued to Idaho residents in 2018. Considering the innovative products and services already coming out of Idaho, it is no surprise that Idahoans continue to be brimming with ideas to make lives easier and better our communities and world. In recent… Continue Reading

February 22, 2019

Weekly Column: Priorities For The 116th Congress

As the 116th Congress has begun, work continues to build on the progress made in the last Congress in restoring prosperity, stability and liberty for our country. As a result of our comprehensive reform of the tax code, we are seeing robust growth in our economy, at rates well above what had been projected if we had not reformed the tax code. This increased economic activity, and resulting increased revenue generation, has helped to create a better foundation from which to enact long-overdue … Continue Reading

February 18, 2019

Committee Assignments Set: We Have Idaho Covered

Congressional committees are central to the legislative process. Committees provide oversight of federal governmental operations and identify issues suitable for legislative review. A committee can dig into the details of issues under its jurisdiction and advance legislation to be considered by the full U.S. Senate or House of Representatives. At the beginning of each Congress, committee assignments are determined. The breadth of our committee assignments for the 116th Congress, which have n… Continue Reading

February 11, 2019

Weekly Column: Planning Now For Spring Washington, D.C., Visit

Washington, D.C., is a popular tourist destination at all times of year, but March through June are especially busy times for tours. People from all over the world visit our capital in the spring to see the cherry blossoms that frame the Tidal Basin in a cloud of light pink. The National Park Service explains there are more than 2,500 Yoshino cherry trees along the Tidal Basin and other parts of the city. If you are planning to travel to Washington, D.C., this spring, now is a good time to st… Continue Reading

February 04, 2019

Weekly Column: Enactment Of The New Farm Bill

On December 11, 2018, with my support, the U.S. Senate passed the final version of the new Farm Bill by an overwhelmingly, bipartisan vote of 87-13. The U.S. House of Representatives passed the legislation the next day also by a broad, bipartisan vote of 369-47 before it went to President Trump to sign into law. Enactment of the new Farm Bill provides certainty agriculture producers in Idaho and across the nation need as they continue to face a challenging farm economy while ensuring the conti… Continue Reading

January 28, 2019

Weekly Column: Respecting Privacy And Safeguarding Data

The collection, protection and use of personally identifiable information by both the government and private companies deserves close scrutiny. Americans are rightly concerned about the collection and use of their data, and how such data is secured and protected. So concerned, in fact, that in January 2014, Congress adopted a resolution expressing support for the designation of January 28 as "National Data Privacy Day." This is an international effort held annually to create awareness about t… Continue Reading

January 21, 2019

Weekly Column: Laws Enacted To Combat Human Trafficking

The Administration reports that there are nearly 25 million victims of human trafficking worldwide, and more than 8,500 human trafficking cases were reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline here in the U.S. last year alone. Congress passed and President Trump signed four pieces of legislation recently to help end this horrible crime. As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I co-sponsored two bills under the jurisdiction of the committee to help combat human trafficking. In D… Continue Reading

January 14, 2019

Weekly Column: Reflections On Success, Achievements At Banking Committee

Committees are essential to the legislative process. I am privileged to serve on committees that encourage pro-growth economic policies and prioritize constitutional principles. Beginning in 2017, I had the honor to begin serving as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, a post that I will continue to hold in the 116th Congress. In the 115th Congress, we ushered dozens of bills through the committee and into law, exercised important oversight of the financial … Continue Reading

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

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