Mike Crapo

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.

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.

Chobani, Greek Yogurt
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

New York based Greek yogurt maker Chobani has been chosen to lead a new pilot program through the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That program will feature the high protein yogurt in school lunches starting this school year.

Idaho, along with Arizona, New York and Tennessee will participate to see how cost effective it will be to offer this yogurt as a meat substitute for school meals.  If the test is successful, Greek yogurt could become a permanent fixture of the school lunch program across the U.S.  

Courtesy of Sen. Mike Crapo's office

Supporters of the Senate immigration bill got a boost today from the Congressional Budget Office.  The CBO report says the bill would boost the economy and reduce federal deficits.  But last night, the House approved an immigration bill increasing criminal penalties against anyone in the U.S. illegally. 

Emilie Ritter Saunders / StateImpact Idaho

Idaho Senator Mike Crapo toured the Chobani yogurt plant in Twin Falls Tuesday. Along with Chobani executives and agricultural leaders, Crapo hopes that soon school children in Idaho and around the country will be eating more Greek yogurt.

Crapo says the USDA may add Chobani yogurt as an option on school menus. He says the department is considering a pilot program in four states that would bring the protein-rich dairy product to kids this fall. This could mean more Chobani jobs in Idaho.

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.

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

Democratic and Republican senators have filed hundreds of amendments to an immigration bill in the U.S. Senate.  Many amendments filed by Republicans aim to boost border security and add employment enforcement provisions. Supporters say in some cases the real intent is to kill the legislation.

Courtesy of Sen. Mike Crapo's office

Tax-free shopping on the Internet could come to an end under a bill making its way through the U-S Senate.

The bill would allow states to require online retailers to collect state and local sales taxes for purchases made over the Internet. The sales taxes would be sent to the states where a shopper lives.

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.

Courtesy of Sen. Mike Crapo's office

After months of self-examination following last year's election losses, the Republican National Committee released a self-assessment this week.  The R-N-C issued a 100-page report that outlines dozens of recommendations to make the GOP a more welcoming and inclusive party.

The report says Republicans "must embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform," and reach out to Hispanics.

Mike Crapo

Sequestration is looming, with the across-the-board $85 billion federal budget cuts now less than a day away.  Among those watching closely to see what happens is Idaho Senator Mike Crapo.

As the deadline gets closer, Crapo expects several attempts to hold off sequestration.  He’s heard of at least three bills that will come up for a vote. “One will be on the President’s proposal to avoid the sequestration by raising taxes and setting off some of the sequestration by agreeing not to do it.” 

Mike Crapo
U.S. Senate

U.S. Senator Mike Crapo apologized profusely Friday after pleading guilty to drunk driving. A judge outside Washington, D.C. ordered the Republican from Idaho to pay a $250 fine and take an alcohol safety class. Crapo will also lose his driver's license for a year.

Crapo was arrested two days before Christmas in Alexandria, Va. In a statement after his court appearance, Crapo said politicians should be held to a higher standard:

Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) - U.S. Sen. Michael Crapo pleaded guilty Friday to a charge of driving while intoxicated and then apologized for his actions and asked forgiveness from his constituents.

Courtesy of Sen. Mike Crapo's office

Idaho Republican Sen. Mike Crapo apologized for his actions after pleading guilty Friday morning to a misdemeanor first-offense drunken driving charge in a Virginia court.

In exchange for his plea Friday, prosecutors dropped a charge of failing to obey a traffic signal.  Crapo received a $250 fine and a 12-month suspension of his driver's license and must complete an alcohol safety program.

Police said Crapo was pulled over Dec. 23 for running a red light and registered a blood alcohol level above the legal limit.

Pages