U.S. Congressman Mike Simpson - 2nd District of Idaho
Email Newsletter                                                                RSS Feed   Twitter  YouTube  Facebook

Recently in Washington                   

Simpson Announces Idaho Academy Appointments
Applications for 2014/15 US Service Academy Nominations Are Now Available

Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson is pleased to announce the following men and women have been officially appointed to the United States service academies. Simpson nominated the students in December 2012 in order to be accepted to the academic year of 2013/14.

“It is an honor to nominate Idaho students to the service academies,” said Simpson. “I am always impressed by the quality and character of our youth in Idaho. Each person is a fine example of what our state has to offer. They are bright and articulate and I’m proud of these exceptional students who were selected to serve.”

Nominations were selected on the quality of their application, scholastic achievement, references and extra-curricular activities.

The following students from Idaho were appointed to either the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.; the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York; or the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.


  • Julen Totorica – US Military Academy
  • McCall Kerkman – US Naval Academy
  • Grant Hruby – US Air Force Academy
  • Nathanael Szuch – US Air Force Academy
  • Adrianna Lutu – US Air Force Academy
  • McCall Kerkman – US Air Force Academy


  • Nathan Marshall – US Naval Academy


  • Samantha McCain – US Air Force Academy


  •  Mickenzie Boggs – US Military Academy


  • David Borden – US Naval Academy


  • Emily Taylor – US Air Force

Congressman Simpson is currently accepting applications for students who seek nomination for the 2014/15 academic year. Information about eligibility and answers to other common questions can be found under the student section on Simpson’s website: simpson.house.gov. The application is also online.

Keystone XL Pipeline Needed for Energy Independence
Idaho Congressman Supports Pipeline to Reduce Dependence on Foreign Oil While Creating American Jobs 

Idaho Congressman Simpson supported H.R. 3, the Northern Route Approval Act, which would put an end to years of bureaucratic delays and allow construction of the Keystone XL pipeline project.   

The Keystone XL pipeline would transport crude oil from the oil sands region of Alberta, Canada, to refineries in the United States. Because the pipeline would connect the United States with a foreign country, it requires a Presidential Permit issued by the State Department.  The State Department must find that the project would serve the national interest before it can issue the permit.  

The first application to the U.S. State Department to build the pipeline was submitted in 2008. After a thorough environmental review in 2011, an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) found that the pipeline would have limited adverse environmental impacts during its construction and operation.

“Moving forward with the permitting of the Keystone XL Pipeline would create jobs and reduce our dependence on unstable foreign sources of oil,” said Simpson, “I am disappointed that the President appears to be playing politics with our nation’s energy security.”

Canadian pipeline company TransCanada has estimated that it will invest $7 billion in the United States to build the pipeline, and that up to 20,000 jobs would be directly created by the pipeline’s construction.  The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that the Keystone XL Pipeline would be able to move 830,000 barrels of oil per day, which represents about half of the amount the U.S. imports from the Middle East.   

“This project has broad bipartisan support in both the House and the Senate, and it has been reviewed and studied for five years.  Its economic implications for this country are too important to delay any longer,” Simpson said.   

The Northern Route Approval Act would eliminate the need for a Presidential Permit, and finds that the Final Environmental Impact Statement issued by the Secretary of State on August 26, 2011, shall satisfy all environmental review requirements.  It also addresses all other necessary federal permits and limits legal challenges that could serve as further delays to the advancement of the project.   

The House passed H.R. 3 by a vote of 241-145.  It will now move to the Senate for further consideration.   

Simpson Supports Bill to Protect Students from Loan Cliff
U.S. House Passes Smarter Solutions for Students Act

Idaho Congressman Simpson supported H.R. 1911, the Smarter Solutions for Students Act.  The bill would prevent interest rates on new federally subsidized undergraduate Stafford Loans from increasing to 6.8% from their current rate of 3.4%.  It permanently moves the rate to a market-based rate, tied to the 10-year Treasury Note. The bill passed 221 to 198.  

“I have always said that every student who wants to attend a college or university should be able to, and money should not be an impediment to higher education,” said Congressman Simpson. “It hurts our country if capable students don’t seek higher education because they can’t afford it.”   

The bill would effectively take Congress out of the business of setting student loan interest rates by providing a permanent fix and tying rates to the market rate. On July 1st rates go up to 6.8% as required by current law.  If this bill becomes law it is estimated the rate will be 4.4%, and the rate would be reset once a year to keep to the 10-year Treasury Note.  The bill is also estimated to save $3.7 billion over 10 years.

“The longer Congress fails to act and the closer we come to July 1st, the more concerned students and families become that their rate will double,” added Simpson. “An increase of that size would be overwhelming for many students seeking a new federal loan in this economy.” 

The bill now moves to the U.S. Senate for consideration.  Meanwhile, the so-called “loan cliff” is barely more than a month away.

Floor Schedule 

On Monday, the House will meet at 2:00 p.m. for legislative business. Votes will be postponed until 6:30 p.m.

Legislation Considered Under Suspension of the Rules:

1) H.R. 1919 - Safeguarding America's Pharmaceuticals Act of 2013, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Bob Latta / Energy and Commerce Committee)

2) S. 622
- Animal Drug and Animal Generic Drug User Fee Reauthorization Act of 2013 (Sponsored by Sen. Tom Harkin / Energy and Commerce Committee)

3) H.R. 126
- Corolla Wild Horses Protection Act (Sponsored by Rep. Walter Jones / Natural Resources Committee)

4) H.R. 1206
- Permanent Electronic Duck Stamp Act of 2013 (Sponsored by Rep. Rob Wittman / Natural Resources Committee)

5) H.R. 885
- San Antonio Missions National Historic Park Boundary Expansion Act of 2013 (Sponsored by Rep. Lloyd Doggett / Natural Resources Committee)

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the House will meet at 10:00 a.m. for morning hour and 12:00 p.m. for legislative business.

On Thursday, the House will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business. Last votes expected no later than 3:00 p.m.

On Friday, no votes are expected.

H.R. 671 - Ruth Moore Act of 2013 (Suspension, 40 minutes of debate) (Sponsored by Rep. Chellie Pingree / Veterans’ Affairs Committee)                  

H.R. 2216 - Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2014 (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. John Culberson / Appropriations Committee)

H.R. 2217 - Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2014 (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. John Carter / Appropriations Committee)


House Passes H.R. 258, the Stolen Valor Act of 2013

If you are having trouble reading this message, try viewing the web version