Congress

Wildfire Budget
3:03 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Interior Secretary Jewell, Congressmen Visit Boise To Tout Wildfire Suppression Funding Overhaul

Gov. Butch Otter flanked by Sec. Sally Jewell, Sen. Ron Wyden, Sen. Mike Crapo, Sen. Jim Risch, Sen. Jeff Merkley, and Rep. Raul Labrador.
Credit Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

A coalition of Congressional Democrats and Republicans gathered in Boise Monday to tout a proposal that would change the way the federal government pays for firefighting operations in the West and beyond.   

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell joined Sen. Mike Crapo, R-ID, Sen. Jim Risch, R-ID, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-OR, Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-OR, Rep. Raul Labrador, R-ID, and Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise.

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Wildfire Budget
1:27 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Congress Studies Budget Change For Wildfires

Gov. Butch Otter flanked by Sec. Sally Jewell, Sen. Ron Wyden, Sen. Mike Crapo, Sen. Jim Risch, Sen. Jeff Merkley, and Rep. Raul Labrador.
Credit Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

A bipartisan effort is underway in Congress to create a new way to pay for battling wildfires that prevents the diversion of money intended to reduce the size of such fires.

Lawmakers from Oregon and Idaho met with Interior Secretary Sally Jewell on Monday to discuss the budget reform.

President Obama's proposed budget seeks a change in the long-standing method of funding the fight against the most catastrophic wildfires.

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Farm Bill
5:04 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Idaho Senators Help Pass Farm Bill Despite Objections From Ranchers

Sugar beet growing near Caldwell
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho’s senators Tuesday sided with a majority of their colleges to pass the revamped farm bill. It now goes to President Obama for a signature. Both Idaho senators had said they were undecided in the days leading up to the vote.

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Endangered Species Act
11:10 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Republican Congressmen Propose Changes To 40-Year-Old Endangered Species Act

The gray wolf was listed in 1978 and the process of de-listing the predator started in 2003. By 2012, the management of the gray wolf was back under states' control.
Credit U.S. Fish & Wildlife

Republicans in Congress say a 40-year-old law meant to protect animals and plants from extinction has become bogged down by litigation and needs to be updated.

A group of 13 GOP lawmakers released a report Tuesday detailing their proposed changes to the Endangered Species Act, one of the nation's cornerstone environmental laws.

Proponents credit the act with staving off extinction for hundreds of species — from the bald eagle and American alligator to the gray whale. President Richard Nixon signed it into law in December 1973.

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Congress
11:10 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Labrador, Simpson Vote For Farm Bill; Crapo Still Unsure

Credit CompassioninWorldFarming / Flickr

Idaho’s Republican delegation in the U.S. House voted early Wednesday in favor of the new farm bill. Rep. Raul Labrador and Rep. Mike Simpson cast votes in favor of the legislation, which cuts more than $8 billion in food stamp spending while ending a direct subsidy to crop farmers. It also expands crop insurance programs backed by the federal government.

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Election 2014
12:58 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Boise Democrat, Lawyer Wants Risch's U.S. Senate Seat

Credit Idaho Democratic Party

A Boise lawyer plans to run as a Democrat for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Republican Jim Risch.

Nels Mitchell aims to announce his run Tuesday at Boise's historic train depot.

Mitchell grew up in Idaho's capital, but spent much of his professional career as a lawyer in New York and California.

His legal experience includes several years as an associate regional director at the Securities and Exchange Commission in southern California, where he oversaw a staff of about 75 people who investigated and prosecuted securities fraud cases in the Los Angeles area.

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Campaign Finance
1:14 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Simpson Outraises Smith 4-to-1 In Idaho's GOP House Race

In the congressional fundraising horse race, Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson says he outraised challenger Bryan Smith nearly four-to-one in 2013's final quarter.

Smith announced Thursday that he raised $111,066 in the fourth quarter. The money will go to his GOP primary election bid against Simpson, with the vote on May 20.

Meanwhile, Simpson says he brought in $430,000.

In total, Simpson says he raised more than $1.25 million in 2013, with Smith raking in $525,000, including his own money, since joining the race in June.

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Federal Budget
5:48 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

Idaho's Labrador, Simpson Split On Federal Budget Deal

Idaho's Republican congressmen again parted ways on a budget vote.

Eight-term U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson on Thursday aligned with House Speaker John Boehner and other backers of the measure that passed 332-94, including majorities of Republicans and Democrats.

That didn't stop second-term Rep. Raul Labrador from branding the bi-partisan package "a bad deal, plain and simple."

For Simpson, it protects funding for the Idaho National Laboratory, shores up rural schools' budgets — and reduces the federal deficit by $23 billion, all without raising taxes.

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Idaho News
11:49 am
Thu December 12, 2013

Advocates Of Boise Man Held In Iran Say Obama Administration Must Do More

Nagmeh Abedini met with Sen. Jim Risch (R-ID) during her trip to Washington this week.
Credit Twitter: @SenatorRisch

A Boise woman was on Capitol Hill Thursday to make her case for the U.S. government negotiating the release of her husband from a prison in Iran. 

Nagmeh Abedini, her attorney and experts on human and religious rights, testified in front of a House subcommittee. They urged President Barack Obama and the U.S. State Department to do more to free Saeed Abedini – the Boise man held in prison in Iran for more than a year.

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Federal Budget
11:47 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo Not Likely To Support Budget Compromise

Credit VPickering / Flickr Creative Commons

Legislation being supported by Democrats and Republicans in Washington has not impressed Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho. Crapo told reporters in a conference call Wednesday that he’s still examining the compromise, but that he is not likely to support it.

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Immigration Reform
12:47 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

Labrador Says Future Of Immigration Reform Rests On Senate's Willingness To Compromise

Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador (R) met with Hispanics protestors in his Meridian office on June 10. Labrador says whether immigration reform passes Congress will depend on Senate Democrats' willingness to compromise.
Credit Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador reacted today to the Senate’s approval Thursday of an immigration reform bill.  The Republican congressman who made his living as an immigration attorney before being elected to the House in 2010 says he gives the Senate credit for framing the issue and addressing important aspects of the immigration debate. 

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Immigration
4:25 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

Immigration Group Rallies At Labrador’s Office, Meets With Congressman

Credit Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

A group of about a dozen immigration rights supporters protested Monday outside Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador's Meridian office. They criticized Labrador’s decision last week to leave a group of House Democrats and Republicans who’ve worked for weeks on a bipartisan bill to reform immigration law.

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IRS
1:27 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Idaho Senator Crapo Weighs In On IRS Scandal

Credit Courtesy of Sen. Mike Crapo's office

Congress held another hearing today on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) scandal.  The IRS has revealed it subjected Tea Party and other conservative groups seeking non-profit status to extra scrutiny from 2010 to 2012.

Idaho Senator Mike Crapo sat in on two hearings yesterday where the matter was discussed.  He says in 2010 the IRS had created a BOLO or 'Be On the Lookout' list, instructing Internal Revenue agents to identify Tea Party case files. 

He says the abuse by the IRS is very serious.

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Congress
3:18 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Idaho Senators Vote Against Expanded Gun Background Checks

Credit Courtesy of Sen. Mike Crapo's office

The Senate has rejected a bipartisan effort to expand federal background checks to more firearms buyers in a crucial showdown over gun control. 

Idaho's Republican Senators Jim Risch and Mike Crapo voted against the measure. Just four Republicans voted in favor of the expanded background check amendment.

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Logging
1:52 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Congress Debates Proposals To Raise Revenue For Counties Through Logging

Congress is back in session this week. The House will discuss two proposals that would increase logging in federal forests to raise money for struggling timber counties.

Washington Republican Doc Hastings chairs the House Natural Resource committee. Hastings says Northwest timber counties are running out of money. And it’s difficult for them to raise revenue given their depressed economies.

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Immigration
5:57 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Northwest Agriculture Industry Participates In National Immigration Forum

Anna King Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 5:40 pm

Northwest agriculture advocates are more optimistic Congress will take up the issue of immigration after a forum this week in Washington, D.C. The effort is getting support from a surprising mix of organizations.

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Politics/Policy
4:37 pm
Tue April 17, 2012

Labrador Holds Second Conversation With Conservatives

Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador participated in what's called "Conversations with Conservatives" Tuesday. It was the second in a new monthly event for Congress’s most conservative Republicans. Labrador is one of the organizers along with Tim Huelskamp of Kansas and Jeff Landry of Louisiana. Today Labrador had some advice for Mitt Romney. Labrador said if Romney gets the Republican nomination for president he’ll need help from the people involved with Conversations for Conservatives.