The FY 2014 Energy and Water Appropriations bill is currently under consideration by the U.S. House of Representatives. Many amendments are being offered, including Amendment #1 by Representative James Moran (D-VA). This amendment would alter the language in the bill that protects the authority of states by preventing the Army Corps of Engineers from expanding its regulation to include intrastate bodies of water under the Clean Water Act for any reason other than drinking water uses. Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson spoke on the House Floor against the amendment and encouraged colleagues to vote against it. While the entire bill is still under consideration, the amendment was defeated with a final vote of 177-236.
“In 2006, the Supreme Court determined that the EPA and the Corps of Engineers did not have the authority to regulate non-navigable waters under the Clean Water Act,” said Simpson. “Deciding how water is used should be the responsibility of state and local officials who are familiar with the people and local issues. If all intrastate waters are regulated by the federal government, the language could be broadly interpreted to include everything within a state, including groundwater.”
To watch Congressman Simpson floor speech opposing the amendment, visit his YouTube page.
“Velma Morrison was a pillar for Idaho and will be sorely missed. Her activism and love for theater, music and dance are abundantly apparent around the Treasure Valley and our communities are better because of her. Kathy and I send our condolences to the family and feel extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to have known such an amazing woman.”
The Stolen Valor Act of 2005 made it a crime for anyone to falsely claim to have been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor or any other decoration or medal authorized by Congress for our Armed Forces. However, the U.S. Supreme Court determined that the law went too far and ruled that simply lying about one’s military service and accomplishments qualifies as protected speech under the Constitution.
H.R. 258 resolves the constitutional issues by punishing those who fraudulently claim to be the recipient of valorous military decorations and awards, or to have served in combat, with the intention of obtaining money, property, of other tangible benefits.
“It is an outrage that imposters are lying about the receipt of military medals or honors in order to obtain benefits that they did not earn. This kind of deception is terribly disrespectful to our nation’s veterans.”
“Today is National Teacher Appreciation Day, so take the time to thank a teacher for their hard work, dedication and ability to change lives. I would personally like to thank Mr. Hager for first making me interested in politics!”
Kathy and my thoughts and prayers are with families impacted by this terrible act that occurred today in Boston. Watching the reports, I am once again reminded of the American spirit seeing citizens and first responders run toward danger to help out where they could.
President Obama canceled all public White House tours effective Saturday, March 9, 2013 until further notice due to staffing reductions resulting from sequestration. House Speaker John Boehner announced yesterday that the United States Capitol Building, while receiving the same sequester, will continue welcoming visitors for public tours. If you are visiting Washington and would like a Capitol tour please visit my website at http://simpson.house.gov/constituentservices/washingtondc.htm to schedule one.
Mr. Speaker: On this day in 1863, 150 years ago, President Abraham Lincoln signed a congressional act creating the Idaho Territory. Twenty-seven years later, part of that territory would become the 43rd State, the State of Idaho.
The Idaho Territory was initially much larger than the borders of Idaho today; it included most of what would later become Montana and Wyoming. The territory, to be governed by William H. Wallace, an old friend of Lincoln’s, was previously part of the Washington Territory.
Western Washington politicians moved to discard large tracts of land in eastern Washington Territory partly because the population in those areas was increasing rapidly and they wanted to assure Olympia would remain the capital of the region. That population increase was mostly gold miners seeking out their fortunes in the Clearwater region, now Idaho’s panhandle. This goes to show you, Mr. Speaker, gerrymandering is not a new phenomenon, it is in fact one of the reasons the Idaho Territory was created in the first place.
However, the land mass for the Idaho Territory was so expansive that within a year Montana broke away, and four years later Wyoming did the same, leaving the Idaho Territory looking very much like the State does today.
In 1890, after 27 years as a territory, Idaho became the 43rd State. However, much of what distinguishes Idaho today came about during its territorial years, including the creation of its main highways, many of its public schools, its tax system, its tribal laws, its universities, its water laws, and indeed, its eventual Constitution, written in the summer of 1889 in Boise. Idaho’s Constitution remains today almost exactly how it was written, and it still forms the basis for all Idaho laws to this day.
The citizens of Idaho have always demonstrated a unity and sense of pride in their traditions and history, and this rich history is what makes them who they are today. From the Canadian border to Yellowstone, from Craters of the Moon to Coeur d’Alene Lake, Idahoans celebrate today. It is my privilege today to commemorate Idaho’s territorial sesquicentennial.
Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson is a cosponsor of H.J.Res.2, which proposes a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
Offered by Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), the legislation would require a 3/5 vote of both the House and the Senate to allow spending to exceed receipts for that fiscal year, require 3/5 vote to increase the debt limit, direct the President to submit a balanced budget annually, and prohibit any bill to increase revenue from becoming law unless approved by a majority of each chamber by roll call vote. It waives these provisions when a declaration of war is in effect.
“As a supporter of the balanced budget amendment since I first came to Congress, and a long time member of the House Budget Committee, I can attest firsthand the value that a balanced budget requirement would have on the yearly budgeting process,” said Simpson. “Over the past several years, the growth in government funding has far outpaced the growth of the American family budget. Congress must answer the call of the American people to do what families in America are doing every day—figuring out what their priorities are and creating a responsible budget that reflects those priorities.”
Washington, D.C. – Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson released the following statement after the Obama administration unveiled a set of new gun proposals, including 23 separate executive orders.
“I haven’t yet had a chance to fully review the many executive orders President Obama signed today, but I have long been concerned about the use of executive orders to push forward proposals that should be considered in Congress,” said Congressman Mike Simpson. “I will take time over the coming days to fully review each of the executive orders and consider them with the Constitution and the concerns of my constituents foremost in my mind. I am not seeing any significant support among my constituents for new restrictions on gun rights nor am I seeing any momentum building in Congress for additional federal gun control measures.”
“Idaho’s abundance of parks, forests, and public lands makes our state a wonderful place in which to live, work, and play. As a life-long Idahoan, an appreciation for Idaho’s wild areas is in my blood. I spent my childhood years at Redfish Lake, hiking in the Sawtooth National Forest, and camping in Island Park. These places hold the memories of my childhood, but they are just as significant to me today. They provide beauty and space that lets me breathe and find rest when I need it.
“My experience with the wild areas of Idaho is no different than that of most Idahoans. Idahoans live here because of the beautiful natural resources, and we spend our free time fly fishing in the Middle Fork of the Salmon, rock climbing in City of Rocks, or hiking in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness Area.
“As Idahoans, we have a special relationship with our public lands. We live near them or in them. Our gateway communities welcome people from all over the world to enjoy the beauty and adventure that Idaho’s parks and forests have to offer. When national forests and public rangelands go up in flames, like they have this summer, it impacts our day-to-day lives, and it is our friends and neighbors who rush in to protect our lives and property. And because we have such a close relationship with our lands, policies affecting public lands affect us directly and significantly.
“As Chairman of the House Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee, which oversees the budget for many public land management agencies, I have a unique opportunity to influence federal policies that directly impact Idaho. The federal government owns nearly two-thirds of the land in our state, so Idahoans interact with agencies like the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) on a daily basis. Land management agencies need to be good neighbors, and in my position I am working to ensure that they are able to act effectively and efficiently on the public’s behalf.
“After a number of years in Congress, I have learned to appreciate the perspective of those who come from different parts of the country. But I feel even more strongly than ever that Idahoans are more qualified than Washington bureaucrats to determine what is best for Idaho. Our public lands issues are complex—ranging from ecosystem management to resource development to private property rights—but some of my proudest moments as a Member of Congress have been watching my fellow Idahoans work together to find solutions to these challenges.
“As we celebrate National Public Lands Day this Saturday, take the opportunity to embark on a new adventure in a national recreation area or sit and soak in what nature has to offer in the quiet of a national park. In doing so, you will be taking part in a long Idaho tradition. For a full list of National Public Lands Day activities, please visit www.publiclandsday.org and click on “Find a Site” to find an event near you.”