Posted by on February 3, 2012

Today, members of Idaho’s Congressional Delegation expressed their grief at the unexpected death of Micron C.E.O. Steve Appleton this morning, offering their deepest condolences to the family, friends and coworkers of one of Idaho’s most influential businessmen.  Senator Mike Crapo, Congressman Mike Simpson and Congressman Raùl Labrador issued the following joint statement on Mr. Appleton’s untimely passing: 

“Like the rest of Idaho, we are stunned and deeply saddened by the news of Steve Appleton’s sudden death, and we join his family and the Micron employees in mourning this huge loss,” the Members said.  “Steve Appleton was to Idaho what Steve Jobs was to America.  His innovation, positive attitude and forward thinking approach will be greatly missed.”

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Remembering 9/11
Posted by on September 11, 2011
"Today we pay respect and remember those who gave their lives on 9/11, their memory will be forever in our hearts. While we honor and pray for the victims on that fateful day, we also pray for our soldiers in the field who have fought and continue to fight to protect our freedom. God Bless America."
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Simpson statement on Judge Molloy's recent decision concerning wolf management
Posted by on August 4, 2011
While I am not surprised by Judge Molloy's decision, I am pleased the district court has upheld the constitutionality of my language and confident that wolves will remain delisted and under state management. Wolves are clearly a fully recovered species and anyone but the most unreasonable of activists knows their delisting is not just warranted, it is essential and legal.
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Posted by on July 11, 2011

House Interior and the Environment Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Mike Simpson will hold a full committee markup on the FY 2012 Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations bill on Tuesday, July 12, at 8:30 MST. The House Appropriations Committee will consider the bill and numerous amendments are expected to be offered. The markup will be live on a webcast that can be watched from the Appropriations Committee website.

Currently the federal government borrows over 40 cents for each dollar it spends. In his bill, Chairman Simpson is taking necessary measures to reduce discretionary spending. “While reductions in discretionary spending alone will not erase the deficit, FY12 Interior and Environment Appropriations Act is a step forward in that direction.”

The Interior Appropriations bill also addresses several regulations placed on business and industry by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). “If we want our economy to make a sustainable recovery, we need to provide the certainty that job creators need to invest in their businesses and get our economy growing again. This bill takes important steps to do that.”

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Congress and the President Must Solve Budget Crisis
Posted by on July 7, 2011

“During the debt debate, as Congress and the President circle each other, make offers and counter offers, propose concessions, then refuse to compromise, the American people can’t help but think they have been to this dance before.  They didn’t like what they saw during the government shutdown dispute and they don’t like this new version of the same old thing.


“It’s no surprise, then, that only one out of five people approve of the job Congress is doing.  One of five is a number that, quite frankly, seems high as I read the letters and hear the phone calls that come into my office every day from frustrated Idahoans.  Americans simply don’t believe Congress will solve the biggest problems facing the nation, chief among them being the $14.3 trillion national debt.  The 24 hour news cycle only makes it worse -- both parties just dig in their heels, fearing the repercussions that would come with any compromise. Meanwhile the national debt continues to climb.


“Turn on the news today and you are likely to hear something about the approaching debt limit, which has become a pressure point in the ongoing debate.  But once the debt limit increase debate is over, the really tough part begins. Will Congress have the political will to craft and follow through on a long term plan that lays out a path toward fiscal well-being?  Will the President support such a plan? Will Congress and the President then have the self control to follow through on that plan over the next 10, 20, even 30 years? 


“I was encouraged by the budget proposal put forth this spring by House Republicans and Chairman Paul Ryan that laid out a detailed path to balance.  It was a beginning to the debate, and while it may not have been perfect, it was a first step.  It illustrated just how difficult it will be to meet this challenge. House Republicans were heavily criticized for offering a plan that included reforms to Medicare and Medicaid, but any serious plan will have to bring those programs back into fiscal solvency or put serious controls on mandatory spending, which makes up two-thirds of the budget every year. It will have to deal with health care costs, which are skyrocketing at almost four times the rate of inflation while 10,000 baby boomers retire every day.


“Americans agree that the national debt is a real and serious threat to our economy, but they realize it is more than that. It is more than the cost of the interest paid every year ($202 billion in fiscal year 2010); it is more than the fact that Congress borrows more than 40 cents on every dollar it spends.  A $14.3 trillion debt symbolizes the fear of some that America is now in decline and the strength and standing of our country in the world is under threat.  Now is the time for Congress to overcome partisan disagreements and work together to craft a tough, responsible plan to meet this challenge.”



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Independence Day
Posted by on July 1, 2011

 “’When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to separate.’

 “With these words our Founding Fathers began to ‘declare the causes’ that drove them to separate from the tyrannical control of King George III. Their vision was to give birth to a new nation that believed all men were entitled to ‘Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.’

 “On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress unanimously adopted the Declaration of Independence, announcing the colonies' separation from Great Britain. This document would provide history with one of the few instances in which a work of true literary genius was produced, in essence, by committee. This Declaration announced that the thirteen American colonies were now independent states.

 “Our Founding Fathers were deeply religious men who believed Divine Providence would play a large part in the shaping of the new nation. As evidence of this Thomas Jefferson, the original drafter of the Declaration of Independence, wrote, ‘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 secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.’

 “I am forever grateful for the courage our Founding Fathers exercised as they stared into the eye of a tyrannical storm and stood for the cause of freedom. Now, 235 years later, may we continue the work our Founding Fathers started and courageously lend our hand in writing America’s future.”


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School Lunch Programs Need Potatoes
Posted by on June 28, 2011

“Earlier this year, the USDA issued the proposed rule, “Nutrition Standards in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs.”  This proposed rule would have forced schools to limit servings of potatoes, corn, green peas and lima beans. This drastic change to the school meal programs would have incurred significant costs to all school districts. Due to the radical changes and extreme costs that would have been associated with the proposed rule, it is likely that considerable number of schools would have chosen not to participate in the meal programs, especially school breakfast.  As a result, kids might have gone hungry.

“It is frustrating that the Administration would try to restrict one of the healthiest and economical vegetables from schools. Current school meal standards require that less than 30% of the calories be from fat, and less than 10% of the calories be from saturated fat. Potatoes are fat free, cholesterol free and low in calories. By eating one medium sized potato, children receive 45% of their recommended daily value of Vitamin C — a great antioxidant. Potatoes contain 18% of the recommended daily value of potassium — a great way to build stronger bones. The 3g of fiber in one medium-sized potato is 8% of the recommended daily value.  A medium potato contains over 200 milligrams more potassium than a banana and has as much fiber as a similar serving of broccoli.  Potatoes are part of a well-balanced diet, and despite rash claims that a recent study by Harvard University calls into question the health benefits of potatoes, the study itself concludes that the average adult gains only 1.28 pound over an entire span of four years when one extra serving of potatoes is added to their regular diet each day.  Serving potatoes, corn, and green peas to our children in school lunches is not causing the obesity epidemic in America. 

“In fact, Gooding Elementary School in Idaho was the first school in the nation to receive the “Healthier US School Challenge’s Gold Award of Distinction” for providing children healthier meals and promoting physical activity in November 2009.  Yet, the proposed USDA rule would have removed Gooding Elementary’s healthy “baked potato bar,” which uses locally grown potatoes served to students twice a week, even though the potato bar was considered by USDA as a basis for the award. Potatoes should not be withheld from children at the whim of those who are seemingly more interested in fad diets than child nutrition. 

“The U.S. House of Representatives approved Fiscal Year 2012 Agriculture Appropriations bill that contained a provision preventing the USDA from forcing schools to limit servings of these vegetables. This was a provision that I strongly supported, because I don’t believe that the goals of promoting a healthy lifestyle and making our school lunch program more cost efficient are at odds with each other.  At a time when our nation is facing serious financial difficulties, I am deeply concerned that this Administration is pushing for costly rules and regulations that have little, if any, impact on the goals we are striving to achieve.”


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Honoring the Birth of the American Flag
Posted by on June 14, 2011

 “On June 14, 1777, the Second Continental Congress adopted the American flag as an emblem of freedom and independence. John Adams proclaimed that, “the flag of the thirteen United States represents a new constellation.” Over 220 years after it was first embraced, Old Glory remains a symbol of the pride of our nation.  

“Recognizing the importance of this American treasure, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation in 1916 that established a National Flag Day. Following this act, in 1949, Congress by joint resolution designated June 14 of each year as a day to commemorate the adoption of the American Flag. The Stars and Stripes continue to majestically wave to us from “sea to shining sea” and stand as a symbol of the American spirit.

“The flag that flew over Fort McHenry in 1814 after the Battle of Baltimore that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the Star Spangled Banner is the same flag that unites our nation today. This same flag still waves to us from the backs of American athletes taking a victory lap, from overseas reminding us of the resilience of our heroic sons and daughters serving in the Armed Forces, and from the porches of everyday Americans striving for a better tomorrow. Through tragedy and triumph, adversity and accomplishment, our flag endures as a declaration of our independence.

“On this Flag Day, the President has issued an annual proclamation for the observance of “National Flag Week” that traditionally takes place the week of June 14 and for the all Federal government buildings to display the flag. Today I join with Idahoans and Americans across the country in honoring the birth of the American flag.”

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Simpson Responds to President's Budget
Posted by on April 13, 2011
“After seeing that House Republicans and Chairman Paul Ryan are responding to the call of the American people to get spending under control, President Obama has come late to the game and put forth a proposal that still doesn’t pass muster.  Unlike Chairman Ryan’s plan, which reduces the deficit by $4.4 trillion and reduces taxes, President Obama proposes to raise taxes on job creators while punting on the real drivers of the debt: our expensive mandatory programs which make up 60% of the federal budget.  After putting out a federal budget that did absolutely nothing to address the deficit crisis facing our country, the President’s proposal is too little too late,” said Congressman Mike Simpson.
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Simpson Statement on Provision Protecting State Role over Non-Navigable Waters
Posted by on February 15, 2011

Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson, Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and Environment, today issued the following statement on language he has inserted into H.R. 1, the House Continuing Resolution, that prohibits the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from using taxpayer dollars to implement laws or regulations expanding federal jurisdiction over state waters.  The provision would block any attempt by the Obama Administration to remove the term “navigable waters” from the definition of waters subject to EPA regulation under the Clean Water Act.  Currently non-navigable waters are regulated by the states.

“Most farmers and ranchers I talk to are scared to death about the possibility that the Environmental Protection Agency would be able to regulate their irrigation ditches, drainage ponds, and even groundwater, and I understand why,” said Simpson.  “In the West, water is critical to our way of life.  Allowing the federal government to claim jurisdiction over state waters would have a devastating impact on rural communities throughout our state and the food supply throughout our nation.  For that reason and others, I have moved to insert language in the House Continuing Resolution that will prevent any attempt by the EPA to claim additional jurisdiction over state waters and increase its already excessive authority over Western farmers, families, and businesses.”
The House Continuing Resolution funds the government for the remainder of the 2011 fiscal year and is under consideration by the House of Representatives this week.

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