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

August 13, 2018

Weekly Column: Supporting All Parts Of Opioid Fight To Help Make Further Progress

An important part of furthering progress in combatting opioid abuse is ensuring resources are in place for every piece of the response to this pervasive problem. Medical examiners, coroners and toxicologists have an important role in addressing the opioid crisis, and they have had increased manpower and resource pressures as more autopsies and toxicology testing are required to respond to increased deaths from opioid abuse. I joined a bipartisan effort to ensure that local forensic medicine is… Continue Reading

August 06, 2018

Weekly Column: Farm Bill--Not Broken, Don't Fix It

A message I have heard clearly from Idahoans in the town meetings I have been holding across our great state and in discussions with Idaho producers and agricultural leaders is the current Farm Bill is not broken and does not require major changes. I have approached the current effort in Congress to reauthorize the Farm Bill with this principle in mind. While Farm Bills have largely been bipartisan, the Senate passed its version of the 2018 Farm Bill with the most bipartisan vote in recent his… Continue Reading

July 30, 2018

Weekly Column: Balancing Road Safety With Realities Of Ag Production

Holding town meetings in all of Idaho's communities enables me to hear clearly some of the most pressing issues on the minds of Idahoans. Oftentimes those concerns are echoed by their neighbors and in other communities. At town meetings held earlier this year in Idaho's unincorporated communities, Idahoans shared concerns about the impacts of the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate on safely hauling Idaho agricultural goods, including livestock and perishable commodities such as milk and f… Continue Reading

July 23, 2018

Weekly Column: Advancing Judges Who Will Protect The Constitution

Our nation's first president, George Washington, wrote in 1789, "The administration of justice is the firmest pillar of government." The judicial system's critical role in our constitutional republic is reflected in the process for appointing federal judges, which apportions responsibility between the two political branches of government. The Senate Judiciary Committee, on which I serve, is tasked with considering judicial nominations, including for the U.S. Supreme Court, appellate courts and… Continue Reading

July 16, 2018

Weekly Column: Backing Collaborative Forest Management

The U.S. Forest Service reports that between 2010 and 2016, Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program (CFLRP) projects resulted in the treatment of more than 2.4 million acres to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires and the maintenance of 630 miles of trails. The agency also found that $1.2 billion in local labor income, and an average of 5,180 jobs were created or maintained each year nationwide through CFLRP projects. Each fire season, the threat of wildfires bears down on many… Continue Reading

July 09, 2018

Weekly Column: Freeing The Engines Of Our Communities

I often think about the Americans in communities across this nation who have sat at their desks well into the night trying to make sure they filed necessary paperwork and kept up to date on federal regulations so they can keep their small businesses afloat, provide for their families and ensure steady income for their employees. These producers are the engines of our communities and economy. One of my top priorities in Congress has been to curtail unreasonable government mandates unnecessarily… Continue Reading

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