U.S. Congressman Mike Simpson - 2nd District of Idaho
U.S. Congressman Mike Simpson - 2nd District of Idaho
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Recently in Washington

Last week, the House passed H.R. 4564, the Post-Caliphate Threat Assessment Act of 2017, by a vote of 413 to 0.  The bill directs the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security to conduct a threat assessment of current foreign terrorist fighter activity, including new travel and trends, as well as activity in Iraq and Syria.  The House also passed H.R. 4581, the Screening and Vetting Passenger Exchange Act of 2017, by a vote of 415 to 1.  The bill directs the DHS Secretary to develop best practices for utilizing Advance Passenger Information (API) and Passenger Name Record (PNR) data for counterterrorism screening and vetting operations, and to make such practices available to certain foreign partners.

On Wednesday, the House passed S. 140, a bill to amend the White Mountain Apache Tribe Water Rights Quantification Act of 2010 to clarify the use of amounts in the WMAT Settlement Fund, by a vote of 239 to 173.  The bill combines three bills that promote tribal self-governance over tribal resources, lands, and business regulation.  On Thursday, the House passed S. 139, the FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act of 2017, by a vote of 256 to 164. The bill reauthorizes title VII of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to enhance surveillance authorities, and to provide additional transparency and reporting requirements and privacy safeguards. The House also passed H.R. 4578, the Counter Terrorist Network Act, by a vote of 410 to 2.  The bill requires the National Targeting Center to collaborate with appropriate agencies—including Federal, State, local, tribal, and international entities—to enhance border security through operations that seek to disrupt and dismantle networks, including foreign terrorist networks that pose terrorist or other threats.  Congressman Simpson supported all of these bills.

Area Students Encouraged to Participate in Congressional Art Competition

Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson invites high school students across the second congressional district to enter the 2018 High School Congressional Art Competition. This annual competition encourages Idaho's aspiring student artists to showcase their talents to the public, while recognizing their achievements alongside hundreds of other students and members of Congress from across the country.

School administrators and art instructors across the state received entry forms, and a list of rules and guidelines for the competition. Additional information can be found on Congressman Simpson’s website. The entry deadline for the competition is February 21, 2017. Artwork can be mailed or submitted at any of Congressman Simpson’s Idaho district offices in Boise, Twin Falls, or Idaho Falls.

Students that enter the competition will have a chance to win a round trip flight to Washington, D.C., to attend a special reception, and see their artwork displayed for one year in the U.S. Capitol Building. One grand-prize winner from Congressman Simpson’s district will be selected during a local reception in April, and will visit Washington D.C. in June. This year’s theme is titled, Hidden Gems of Our State, and encourages students to create a work of art expressing what they treasure in Idaho.

Students should feel comfortable submitting work despite relevance to a theme. However the theme can ignite ideas and establish a foundation for many. Idaho is ‘The Gem State’, and while that references our abundance of natural resources, we now recognize that the gems of Idaho are not limited to precious stones. As one of our nation’s best kept secrets, students ought to consider what makes Idaho precious to them.

All students that enter the competition will be invited to a local reception at the Art Museum of Eastern Idaho in Idaho Falls in March. All submitted artwork will be showcased from March 3rd through March 24th at the museum.

Since the Congressional Art Competition began in 1982, more than 650,000 high school students have participated in the competition.

Simpson Announces 2018 Academy Nominees
Students from across the 2nd Congressional District, including Boise, Buhl, Kimberly, Sterling, Pocatello, Ammon, Rexburg and Driggs

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 2017 in order to be accepted to the Class of 2022. The Idaho Congressional Delegation will congratulate and meet the candidates at a reception to be held at Gowen Field on Wed., Feb. 21 at 4:00 p.m.

“It is an honor to nominate Idaho students to the service academies,” said Simpson. “Every year, I am impressed by the quality and character of these individuals. 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 extracurricular activities.

Students from Idaho were appointed to either the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.; the United States Military Academy in West Point, N.Y.; U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, N.Y., or the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.

Treasure Valley Area Students:
Air Force Academy
Ty Miller – Boise
Jacob Pittman – Boise
Dylan Thompson – Boise
Military Academy
Katelyn Murray – Boise
Noah Petty – Boise
Alya Thayer – Boise

Naval Academy
Christopher Henderson – Boise
Benjamin Seabourn – Boise

Merchant Marine Academy
Katelyn Catalano – Kuna
Andrew Maraska – Boise

Magic Valley Area Students:
Air Force Academy
Theron Christensen – Buhl
Victoria Sievers – Kimberly

Military Academy
Theron Christensen – Buhl
Victoria Sievers – Kimberly

Naval Academy
Hugh Sheldon – Buhl

Merchant Marine Academy
Theron Christensen – Buhl

Pocatello/Sterling Area Students:
Air Force Academy
Daniel Barclay – Sterling
Jett Lopez – Pocatello
Tanner Stuart – Pocatello

Idaho Falls/Rexburg/Driggs Area Students:
Air Force Academy
Rydder Driggs - Ammon
Damien Stonhill – Ammon

Military Academy
James Maguire – Rexburg
Damien Stonhill – Ammon

Naval Academy
Nikko Gutierrez – Driggs
Christopher Salcido – Idaho Falls
Damien Stonhill – Ammon

Congressman Simpson is currently accepting applications for students who seek nomination for the Class of 2023. 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.

Constituent Corner

***This is a new feature of our newsletter that we will use to distribute information from federal agencies to interested recipients.***

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

VA has recently improved the claim process by launching the Decision Ready Claims (DRC) Program.

When you file a DRC, you can get a decision on your claim in 30 days or less by working with an accredited Veterans Service Organization (VSO). Your VSO will help you gather and submit all relevant and required evidence so your claim is ready for VA to make a decision when you submit it.

You can now file a DRC for the following claim types:

  • Direct Service Connection Claims
  • Presumptive Service Connection Claims
  • Secondary Service Connection Claims
  • Increased Disability Claims
  • Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) Claims
  • Pre-Discharge Claims
Don’t miss out on this important opportunity to get a faster claim decision. Learn more about the DRC Program, including eligibility requirements, what medical evidence you need to submit, and how to find an accredited VSO at https://www.benefits.va.gov/compensation/drc.asp

Thank you for your service!

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)

Here are some key messages to share about the new Medicare card:

  • Medicare will mail new cards between April 2018 - April 2019.
  • To help prevent identity theft, new cards won’t include Social Security numbers. Instead, each person will get a new unique Medicare Number.
  • You don’t need to do anything to get a new card, but you should make sure your mailing address is up to date. Visit www.ssa.gov/myaccount or call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY: 1-800-325-0778) to correct your mailing address, if updates are needed. 
  • Medicare will never call and ask for personal information before sending new cards, so don’t share your Medicare Number or other personal information if someone calls and asks for it.
  • Medicare will mail more information with the new cards – check Medicare.gov for the latest updates.


Floor Schedule

On Monday, the House will meet at 10:00 a.m. in pro forma session. No votes are expected in the House.

On Tuesday, the House will meet at 12:00 p.m. for morning hour and 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. 4258 - Family Self-Sufficiency Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Sean Duffy / Financial Services Committee)

2) H.R. 770 - American Innovation $1 Coin Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Jim Himes / Financial Services Committee)

3) H.R. 4279 - Expanding Investment Opportunities Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Trey Hollingsworth / Financial Services Committee)

4) H.R. 4318 - Miscellaneous Tariff Bill Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Kevin Brady / Ways and Means Committee)

5) S. 117 - Alex Diekmann Peak Designation Act of 2017 (Sponsored by Sen. Steve Daines / Natural Resources Committee)

6) H.R. 1107 - Pershing County Economic Development and Conservation Act (Sponsored by Rep. Mark Amodei / Natural Resources Committee)

7) H.R. 1532 - Poarch Band of Creek Indians Land Reaffirmation Act (Sponsored by Rep. Bradley Byrne / Natural Resources Committee)

8) H.R. 2897 - To authorize the Mayor of the District of Columbia and the Director of the National Park Service to enter into cooperative management agreements for the operation, maintenance, and management of units of the National Park System in the District of Columbia, and for other purposes (Sponsored by Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton / Natural Resources Committee)

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

On Friday, the House will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business.

Legislation Considered Under Suspension of the Rules:
1) H.R. 3445 - AGOA and MCA Modernization Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Ed Royce / Foreign Affairs Committee)

2) H.R. 3776 - Cyber Diplomacy Act of 2017, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Ed Royce / Foreign Affairs Committee)

3) H.R. 1660 - Global Health Innovation Act of 2017 (Sponsored by Rep. Albio Sires / Foreign Affairs Committee)

H.R. 2954 - Home Mortgage Disclosure Adjustment Act (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Tom Emmer / Financial Services Committee)

H.R. 3326 - World Bank Accountability Act of 2017 (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Andy Barr / Financial Services Committee)

H.R. 4712 - Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Marsha Blackburn / Judiciary Committee)

Consideration of Legislation Making Further Appropriations for FY 2018

Additional Legislative Items are Possible


Congressman Simpson's Wildfire Disaster Funding Act aims to solve the issue of fire-borrowing.

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