Jim Risch

Cliff1066 / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho's Republican U.S. senators both voted against a bipartisan budget deal that now goes to President Obama for his signature.

Sens. Mike Crapo and James Risch on Tuesday opposed the plan that passed 67-33.

Like Crapo and Risch, all those against the measure were from the Senate's minority GOP side.

The deal marked a modest congressional accomplishment at the end of a year punctuated by a partial government shutdown, a near-default by the U.S. Treasury and congressional gridlock on issues ranging from immigration to gun control.

Idaho Senators Vote Against Gay Rights Bill

Nov 7, 2013
U.S. Capitol, Washington, DC
VPickering / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho's Republican Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch voted against today's historic vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, that gives workplace protections to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals.

The partial shutdown of the federal government is taking a toll on the offices and staff of Idaho's four congressional leaders.

All four members of the delegation said they were scaling back constituent services and staff in their offices across the state and in Washington, D.C.

Republican Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch also say they intend to donate a portion of their $174,000 annual pay during the shutdown to charity.

Stethescope, Health Care, Doctor, Medical
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Federal officials insist people who enroll in Idaho's Internet health insurance marketplace starting Tuesday shouldn't fear for their personal-data privacy.

That's despite last-minute concerns among some foes of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul that more must be done to protect privacy.

Julian Carroll, U.S. Navy / Flickr Creative Commons

President Barack Obama's primetime speech on possible military action in Syria hasn't changed the minds of Idaho's congressmen.

In a nationally televised address Tuesday night, Obama offered a rationale for greater U.S. intervention in Syria's sectarian civil war while acknowledging that winning the hearts and minds of Americans to back another Mideast conflict remains a struggle.

Idaho Sen. Jim Risch says the repercussions of a limited attack on Syria are too hazy and Americans are too war-weary to justify President Obama's proposed military strike.

U.S. Senate

Members of Idaho's all-Republican congressional delegation aren't yet committing to a position on military action in Syria. But the direction most are leaning is against a resolution authorizing President Barack Obama to use air strikes.

A spokesman for Sen. Mike Crapo says the Idaho Republican is skeptical of authorizing military force at this point, especially without a broad international coalition.

Crapo’s colleague, Sen. Jim Risch sits on the Foreign Relations Committee, which heard the Obama administration's arguments for action in Syria.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Yesterday marked the 200th speech given at the Idaho Environmental Forum in Boise. The non-partisan association has been around since 1989, when its first speaker was Governor Cecil Andrus. To celebrate this anniversary, the association invited their inaugural speaker back for an encore.

Speaking in front of a rapt audience in downtown Boise, Andrus started by giving a bit of a history lesson on environmental policy. He went back and forth between being passionate and light-hearted in his remarks.

An effort to streamline the regulatory process for small hydropower dams is generating a rare moment of bipartisanship in Congress. Two bills sailed through a Senate committee Wednesday. They've already passed the House.

Whatever gridlock exists elsewhere, it didn't show up in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. A voice vote was unanimous.

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.

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — U.S. Reps. Mike Simpson and Raul Labrador say they are withholding judgment on a series of gun proposals issued by President Obama — at least for now.

The Idaho Republicans say they want to take some time to review the proposals, including 23 separate executive orders issued Wednesday.

Simpson says he doesn't see any momentum building in Congress for more gun control measures. And Labrador says he will continue to defend the 2nd Amendment and make sure Obama's proposals don't infringe on the right to bear arms.

remster_9 / Flickr

In Portland Friday, a federal appeals court heard a challenge to Idaho’s roadless rule.

Environmental groups argued the rule gives the Forest Service too much flexibility to build new roads.  The courtroom was packed.

A dozen people made the trip from Idaho to sit in silent support of the state’s roadless rule, including former Idaho governor Jim Risch and the chair of the Kootenai tribe.

metaroll / Flickr

A week ago, the U-S Department of Agriculture sent out a newsletter encouraging employees to take part in a Meatless Monday initiative.  The USDA said meat production creates greenhouse gases, wastes resources, and uses pesticides.  Now Idaho’s Mike Crapo and a handful of other Senators are expressing their displeasure. 

Scott Ki / Boise State Public Radio

U.S. Senators Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Jim Risch (R-ID) want the federal government to be more aggressive in opening the market for U.S. potatoes in Mexico.  They joined seven other senators Thursday in urging federal trade and agriculture agencies to push Mexico on the issue.   

Pages