January 01, 2018

Senate Banking Committee: A Year In Review

Serving as Senate Banking Committee Chairman over the past year has been an honor and responsibility as the committee has worked to manage legislation that affects so many Americans. Despite the current political climate, my priority has been to find agreement on common-sense reforms. One significant achievement has been to reach bipartisanship on the committee, avoiding many partisan battles that plague so much of Congress. The following are some of those efforts over the past year. Right-s… Continue Reading

December 25, 2017

Fixing Broken Tax Code Benefits Taxpayers And Boosts Economy

A typical family of four will get a $2,059 tax cut. Lower-middle and middle income families can save time and money on tax preparation due to the near doubling of the standard deduction and other simplifications. According to more than 100 economists, "economic growth will accelerate" under the tax relief legislation passed by Congress, which will give Americans access to higher wages, greater job opportunities and a more vibrant economy. There is no need to take our word for all of this; jus… Continue Reading

December 18, 2017

Making Good Things Happen In Our Communities

We do not have to look hard in Idaho to find great people helping others. Idahoans strive every day to ease the burden of others and inspire acts of kindness through their service. The Idaho Hometown Hero Medal reminds us of the many Idahoans, including those unrecognized, who make good things happen in our communities. Through Congressional Record Statements, I have had the opportunity to help congratulate the award recipients. Ten Idahoans working in various fields are 2017 Hometown Her… Continue Reading

December 11, 2017

Celebrating Adoption: Making The Dream Of A Family A Reality

I had the honor of helping to pay tribute to Idahoan Dixie Weber who was recognized as a 2017 Angel in Adoption® for her work as an adoption advocate. Dixie is the Women's Services Administrator at St. Luke's Boise Medical Center. She is a nurse and health care leader who has dedicated more than 15 years to supporting families participating in and considering adoption. Dixie joins the 28 other extraordinary Idahoans who have been honored with the title Angels in Adoption since the award's… Continue Reading

December 04, 2017

All Hands On Deck To Fight Opioid Crisis

The American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors (ASCLD) issued an urgent public alert regarding the toxicity of illegal drugs being circulated on American streets advising, "The street drugs the public may be exposed to can be so dangerous that even trace amounts can be fatal when ingested, inhaled or even absorbed through the skin." ASCLD reported a 6,000 percent increase in fentanyl cases witnessed in laboratories between 2012 and 2016 that "corresponds directly with the overdose deaths be… Continue Reading

November 27, 2017

Improving Veterans' Education Benefits

Specialist Robert Cannon, of Boise, served 5.5 years in the U.S. Army in military intelligence. This included a 13-month deployment in Southern Iraq. Robert attended approximately eight different colleges until he found a class structure that provided the hands-on learning that best enabled him to succeed. Unfortunately, when ITT Educational Services (e.g., ITT Technical Institutes) closed, his education and educational benefits were in limbo. However, new changes in law make him eligible to… Continue Reading

November 20, 2017

Idaho Brimming With Spirit Of Freedom

Idahoan and Vietnam Veteran Jim Chally overcomes symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis to assist fellow veterans and their families by giving long-term caregivers of veterans needed breaks from providing round-the-clock care of their loved ones. Jim has provided this care as a volunteer for the past four years with the Legacy Corps for Veterans and Military Families, which supports family caregivers. Jim shared a fond memory of his time serving veterans as part of his nomination for the 2017 Spirit o… Continue Reading

November 13, 2017

Honoring Veterans By Effectively Supporting Their Service

Veterans Day-a day to honor veterans for their service to our nation-is a good time to take stock of where were are in ensuring that they have access to quality health care and other services that support their enduring commitment. So far this year, Congress has passed and President Trump has signed into law the following important, veterans-related legislation that I supported: The Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017 was enacted to overhaul the current U.S. Departm… Continue Reading

November 06, 2017

Veterans Leading The Way In Helping Others

Idaho veterans and veterans service providers have been among those assisting with hurricane recovery and other emergency response. Staff from the Boise Veterans Affairs Medical Center headed to Puerto Rico to assist. Area veterans and veterans service providers have skills of great use in a variety of fields, especially emergency response. They are highly trained, hard workers, who above all, have a deep personal understanding of what service means. They know what it is to overcome extreme … Continue Reading

October 30, 2017

Tax Reform: Considering All The Effects

This column is the fourth in a series of recent columns to carry on a discussion with Idahoans about the comprehensive tax reform efforts underway. This guest column, as well as the other tax reform-related op-eds in this series and links to cited reports and proposals, can be viewed on my official website at: www.crapo.senate.gov/media/editorials. In this column, I will write about the importance of considering the broad range of potential effects of the tax reforms being considered. Those … Continue Reading

October 23, 2017

Tax Reform: Making Sense Of The Numbers

This column is the third in a series of columns to discuss the need for comprehensive tax reform, rather than solely debating traditional rate cuts, review many of the tax reform proposals and ideas put forward from across the political spectrum, consider how reforms are estimated and reflect on the potential effects of the reforms being considered. The goal with this series of tax reform columns is to carry on a discussion with Idahoans about the reform efforts underway. In this column, I wil… Continue Reading

October 16, 2017

Tax Reform: Building On Years Of Work And Proposals

I recently wrote about the need for comprehensive tax reform to lower the burden on all Americans and make the tax code fairer, flatter and simpler. This column is meant to be the second in a series of columns to delve into the need for comprehensive reform, rather than solely debating traditional rate cuts, review many of the tax reform proposals and ideas put forward from across the political spectrum, consider how reforms are estimated and reflect on the potential effects of the reforms bein… Continue Reading

October 09, 2017

Fraud Watch: Actively Protecting Your Identity

Credit bureaus serve a critical function in our financial system and have become a daily part of every American's life. Every day, these institutions intersect in people's attempts to get credit cards, car loans, mortgages and other items. Consumers may know about their involvement in their lives, such as when they directly request a credit report, but sometimes they may not, like when a company requests a background check to determine their eligibility for a cell phone. The ability of Americ… Continue Reading

October 02, 2017

Time For Comprehensive Tax Reform

Serious work on federal tax reform is encouraging, as the best way to strengthen families, support small business growth and job creation and boost our national economy is to enact pro-growth comprehensive tax reform. The tax code is weighing us down and in need of comprehensive reform to lower the burden on all Americans and make the tax code fairer, flatter and simpler. We would be hard pressed to create a tax code that is more complex, more costly to comply with, unfair and anti-competitiv… Continue Reading

September 25, 2017

I Wear The Blue Teardrop To Help Raise Awareness About Military Suicide

Marilyn Neal, Department President for the Idaho Department of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Auxiliary, gave me a blue teardrop pin to wear on my lapel to bring awareness to veterans and military suicide. I continue to wear the pin with pride and take every opportunity to explain its significance. The VFW Auxiliary describes the blue teardrop as a "symbol that we can use to open a conversation to give this issue the attention so desperately needed." The Auxiliary provides a template of t… Continue Reading

September 18, 2017

Strength And Patriotism Of Japanese Americans

The 75th anniversary this year of the opening of the historic Minidoka War Relocation Center is not only a reminder of the injustices that can never be repeated, but also of the extraordinary service of Japanese Americans. Despite their own country, America, questioning their patriotism and uprooting their families, many put their lives on the line to uphold the freedoms of those who distrusted and condemned them. The strength and patriotism of Japanese Americans is to be celebrated and honore… Continue Reading

September 11, 2017

Healthy Forests Legislation

Fourteen years ago, congressional colleagues and I crafted the Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003 (HFRA) to help provide the U.S. Forest Service with the tools needed to do the necessary work on the ground to restore our forests to health and reduce the threat of catastrophic wildfire to our communities and ecosystems. With the National Interagency Fire Center reporting more than 45,000 fires burning more than 6.9 million acres since the beginning of this year alone-approximately 2.4 milli… Continue Reading

September 04, 2017

Idahoans: Boundless Examples Of Humanity

Events in Charlottesville and hateful vandalism at our own Anne Frank Memorial are glaring reminders of the work that must continue. But, the immeasurable kindness that fills our communities is Idaho's bedrock. We do not have to look far to see the depth of compassion among Idahoans. It is far too large to quantify, but these are some examples of the types of acts of kindness seen regularly in our communities and the examples being set by Idahoans who contribute to Idaho's exceptionalism: … Continue Reading

August 28, 2017

Combatting Human Trafficking

In the 2017 Trafficking in Persons report, U.S. Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson wrote, "Human trafficking is one of the most tragic human rights issues of our time. It splinters families, distorts global markets, undermines the rule of law, and spurs other transnational criminal activity. It threatens public safety and national security. But worst of all, the crime robs human beings of their freedom and their dignity. That's why we must pursue an end to the scourge of human trafficking."… Continue Reading

August 21, 2017

Honoring Those Who Served At Wake Island

The history of World War II and the bravery of the American service members who fought for our nation and its allies are familiar parts of our collective national history, but an often overlooked part of this legacy is the service of the civilian workers on Wake Island who were swept into the war. The civilian workers, including many Idahoans, working for Morrison Knudsen Company building infrastructure on the island when it was attacked the same day as the attack on Pearl Harbor immediately be… Continue Reading

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