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Simpson Opposes EPA Efforts to Regulate Dust
Posted by on October 7, 2010

Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson is urging the Environmental Protection Agency to refrain from increasing the regulatory burden on rural and agricultural communities.  Simpson recently joined colleagues in expressing concern to EPA Administrator Jackson about efforts to increase regulation of dust, which would have an enormous impact on farms and other resource-based industries in the West.

The EPA recently published its latest proposal for regulating particulate matter under the National Ambient Air Quality Standards, including dust that is kicked up by livestock or results from corn being combined.  The new proposed standard would be approximately twice as stringent as the current standard and would result in the designation of many more rural areas as non-attainment areas.

“I am frustrated that folks at the EPA continue to feel as though they need to regulate something simply because they can measure it,” said Simpson.  “Rural western communities are already struggling to meet the existing air quality standards, and now the EPA wants to implement a standard that is twice as stringent, even though the science supports the current standard.  As usual, the EPA has failed to recognize the real-world impacts of their regulations.”

Together with many of his western colleagues, Simpson expressed deep concern about the impact of the proposed standards on communities in the arid west, where dust is naturally-occurring event.  The letter reads, “Considering the Administration’s claim that it is focusing on revitalizing rural America and rural economic development, a proposal such as this would have a significant negative impact on those very goals…We are hopeful that common sense will prevail and the EPA will refrain from causing extreme hardship to farmers, livestock producers, and other resource-based industries throughout rural America.”

Simpson is the Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and the Environment, which oversees funding for the EPA.

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Simpson Opposes Government Spending Bill
Posted by on September 30, 2010

Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson issued the following statement following his vote against H.R. 3081, the Appropriations Continuing Resolution, which will fund the government from the start of the fiscal year, Oct. 1, 2010 thru Dec. 3, 2010.  The House of Representatives passed the resolution late last night with a final vote of 228-194.

“I cannot support any piece of legislation that locks in place for the next fiscal year the unsustainable spending levels of the past fiscal year,” said Simpson, a member of the House Budget Committee. “Virtually everyone in America knows that Congress has to cut spending, and the Continuing Resolution would have been a great place to start. Unfortunately, Democrats have missed yet again an opportunity to cut the federal budget and instead are content to continue down the path of even more spending and borrowing.”

Simpson is a member of both the House Budget Committee and the House Appropriations Committee, and he is the Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and Environment.

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Simpson Opposes Efforts to Ban Lead in Fishing Tackle
Posted by on September 23, 2010

Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson today joined his colleagues in sending a letter to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson opposing efforts to ban the use of lead in fishing products.  The letter, signed by 77 Members of Congress, accompanies a letter from leading hunting, fishing, and conservation organizations pointing out that there is no scientific basis to warrant a ban on traditional fishing equipment.

“There is simply no data to support a ban on traditional fishing tackle and no reason for the EPA to restrict people’s ability to take advantage of the great fishing opportunities in Idaho and elsewhere in the country,” said Simpson.  “At a time when more Americans are taking advantage of the recreational activities that are close to home, we should be encouraging them to reconnect with the outdoors, not making it more cost prohibitive.” 

The letter points out that there are 60 million recreational anglers in America, contributing $125 billion to the economy each year.  Simpson is Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and the Environment, which oversees funding for the EPA.

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Health care bill offers no help for small businesses
Posted by on May 20, 2010
The Democrats’ health care bill claims to help small businesses provide health insurance to their employees, but this chart clearly shows that it does not.  As the chart shows, the requirements to qualify for the tax credit are so confusing that they are almost impossible to decipher.  The requirements are so restrictive that, to qualify, many small businesses  would have to lay off employees first.  This provision does little to help small businesses pay for the cost of providing health insurance for their workers.  Instead of  passing health reform that does little to make healthcare more affordable and accessible, our nation’s small businesses deserve real reform.
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Pelosi will stop at nothing to pass her health care bill
Posted by on March 16, 2010

Yesterday, I opposed the health care reconciliation bill that came before the House Budget Committee.  Last night’s late-night markup was the very first step in the health care reconciliation process, which will allow Senate Democrats to pass the bill with only 51 votes, rather than 60. Unfortunately, it was not a forum for any minority views to be included, but rather it was just one more ceremonial step that needed to be taken before Speaker Pelosi could ram the health care bill through Congress. 

The bill that the Committee marked-up was really a “Trojan horse” that provided nothing more than a vehicle to pass the health care bill.  After passing out of the Budget Committee, it will be completely replaced with the bill that is currently being written in the privacy of the Speaker’s office.  No one will know what is in this bill until shortly before a vote.

I also woke up this morning to a piece of news that surprised me, and probably every Member of Congress, including many of my Democratic colleagues.  It now appears that Speaker Pelosi plans to pass the wildly unpopular Senate bill (including the “Cornhusker Kickback,” “Louisiana Purchase” and “Gator-aid”) through the House with a rarely used obscure rule that will prevent Members from having to actually vote on it.  Her strategy is to help Democrats stay off the record in their support of this bill, but still have the process move forward. 

Quite frankly, I am disappointed, but not surprised by these actions.  I don’t believe that the American people want their Congress to work in deceiving, secretive ways.  They want and deserve an open and transparent process.

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Brown Election - Simpson's reaction
Posted by on January 19, 2010

“The election of Scott Brown, a republican in a state that is among the most liberal states in the nation, demonstrates that the American people are rejecting the extreme agenda being pushed by this Administration and the Democrat Leaders in Congress,” said Congressman Simpson. “This election proves that Americans want bipartisanship. They want a government that works together to solve problems not one that creates them.”

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Mammogram Screening
Posted by on November 19, 2009

As you may know, the 16-member U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recently released new recommendations on mammograms.  Their recommendations included raising the age to begin routine screening mammography from age 40 to age 50, moving from annual screening mammography for women aged 50 to 74 years to biennial screening, and no longer recommends screening mammography in women aged 75 and older.

I am extremely concerned that these recommendations and new guidelines are designed more to control health spending than to improve the health of patients.   I believe that all Americans should have access to the best possible health care and that improving access to early screening and detection will save money in the long run by preventing illnesses and catching them early when they are easiest to treat as well as improving patient outcomes and saving lives.  I am concerned that this ruling is just the first example of the types of government rationing that Americans can expect to see if the Democrats’ health reform bill is passed and the government takes control of an individual’s healthcare decisions.  I believe that decisions as personal as a person’s health should be between patients and their doctors, NOT between patients and the government. 

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Nancy's plan for national health care
Posted by on November 2, 2009

Nancy Pelosi just introduced her new health reform bill, HR 3629, claiming that it is budget neutral and will allow Americans to get affordable access to health care. This argument is absurd and factually wrong. This bill will do nothing to make your health insurance cheaper. In fact it will accomplish the exact opposite. By increasing the number of government mandates, imposing new government regulations on insurance companies, and penalizing businesses and individuals who choose not to buy health insurance, your out-of-pocket costs will go up.  And so will your taxes—because eventually we will have to pay for this new TRILLION dollar mandate if Speaker Pelosi gets her way.

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House Expected to Pass Bipartisan Legislation to Ease Unnecessary Regulations on Small Businesses
Posted by on October 20, 2009

The House of Representatives is expected to pass bipartisan legislation this evening, introduced by Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson, Congressman John Adler (D-NJ), and Congressman Paul Broun (R-GA), to help protect small businesses and small health care practices from overreaching federal regulations. The bill will exempt certain small businesses from the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) burdensome Red Flags Regulation, which would force them to develop and implement an unnecessary identity theft program. 

 

“It is obvious that physicians and dentists are not creditors, and they should not be forced to spend hundreds of dollars to comply with this needless regulation.  They don’t require full payment at the time of service because they first bill the insurance company, then they bill the patient the remainder of the bill.  This system should not be treated the same as a loan with a financial institution,” said Congressman Simpson. “Health care is expensive enough; we don’t need to create needless rules to increase costs even more.”

 

This bipartisan legislation amends the Fair Credit Reporting Act to provide for an exclusion from Red Flag Guidelines for health care practices and law and accounting firms with 20 or fewer employees. In addition, it would create a system where the FTC has some flexibility to waive implementation of the regulations for other industries.

 

“Small businesses are the backbone of New Jersey’s economy,” said Congressman Adler, a member of the House Financial Services committee. “During these tough economic times, the federal government should not be placing new burdensome regulations on these hard-working entrepreneurs. I am committed to helping small businesses thrive.”

 

“During these tough economic times, Congress should be assisting small businesses and health care providers instead of tying their hands with more costly bureaucratic red tape,” said Congressman Paul Broun, M.D.  “I want to thank Congressmen John Adler and Mike Simpson for working in a quick and bipartisan manner before the November 1st deadline to help small businesses avoid the burdensome red flag compliance rule at a time when they are trying to stay financially afloat.”

 

Background:

The Federal Trade Commission went beyond the intent of Congress by considering non-financial services-related industries to be “creditors” under the FAIR and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003. Its ruling would force thousands of small businesses to comply with burdensome, expensive regulations by forcing them to develop and implement an identity theft program.

 

The bipartisan Adler/Simpson/Broun bill will exempt certain health care practices and law and accounting firms from the FTC’s red flag guidelines.  In addition, it would create a system where the FTC has some flexibility to waive implementation of the regulations for other industries.  The House is expected to pass the bill tonight. If a bill to exempt small businesses is not signed into law, the regulation will go into effect on November 1.

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Simpson: All Crimes are Hateful
Posted by on October 8, 2009

Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson today voted against H.R. 2647, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 because it included a provision concerning hate crimes.

“I believe that every potential victim deserves protection,” said Simpson. “When any heinous crime is committed, perpetrators should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. All crimes are hateful and a violent crime committed to ANY person should be treated the same, regardless of their race, color, religion, or sexual orientation.”

The hate crime language that was inserted in H.R 2647 creates special classes of victims based solely upon behaviors of certain groups of people. The bill equates these protected classes with those of race, color, religion, and national origin – a premise that many civil rights leaders feel is not appropriate.

H.R. 2647 passed the U.S. House of Representatives with a vote of 281-146 and will now be sent to the President for his signature.

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