Politics & Goverment

Stories about politics, policy, and how government works.

Matt Guilhem / Boise State Public Radio

During Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue's visit to Idaho last week, the Trump administration official met with state leaders on a range of issues. He took a tour of the state Capitol in Boise alongside Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, and met with dairy producers and other agriculture leaders.

 

Perdue told reporters later on Friday the question of what to do about undocumented workers who fill agriculture jobs across the country is something he has talked with President Trump about often.

Zinke Perdue Agriculture Interior
Tom Michael / Boise State Public Radio

Friday morning two U.S. Cabinet members visited Boise: Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. 

In a conference room high about the Boise State University football stadium, Secretaries Perdue and Zinke spoke about land management.

They were introduced by Celia Gould, Idaho's Director of Agriculture, who observed that the Department of Interior and the Department of Agriculture cover a lot of ground in the state. "This is possibly the first time in Idaho's history," she quipped, "that we have had the two largest land-owners in the state."

Keith Ridler / AP

Friday morning, two U.S. Cabinet members made a visit to Boise. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke appeared at Boise State University. Tom Michael attended the event and sent this report.

For more local news, follow the KBSX newsroom on Twitter @KBSX915

Copyright 2017 Boise State Public Radio

Kyle Green / Idaho Statesman

Both of Idaho’s senators counseled President Donald Trump in his decision to leave the Paris Climate Accord. Senators Jim Risch and Mike Crapo both pushed for Trump to leave the international agreement.

Crapo and Risch were among 22 senators who wrote a letter to the Trump Administration ahead of yesterday’s decision urging the President to step away from the accord, which was ratified by 195 countries.

AP Photo

Last week, Terry Branstad of Iowa stepped down, ending more than 22 years in the Governor’s chair. Yes, we said Iowa, not Idaho, but that means Idaho’s governor moved up on a short list of the longest-serving heads of states.

The website Smart Politics keeps track of just how long top leaders in each state have been in office. Branstad takes the top spot, with 8,169 days as Governor.

AP

Four Republican candidates are vying to be Idaho's next governor, a race that's expected to be one of the state's most competitive in 2018.

According to voter participation records requested by The Associated Press, three of the candidates have a strong history of casting votes on Election Day.

The fourth voted, but not as often — and not in a primary until speculation about his own potential bid emerged.

Bureau of Land Management

President Donald Trump’s budget request, released this week, includes a provision changing how the Bureau of Land Management manages wild mustangs in the West.

Both the BLM and its detractors agree there are too many wild horses on the landscape. Erin Curtis is the Deputy State Director of Communications for BLM Idaho.

“We cannot keep up with what’s happening out on the range and overpopulation,” says Curtis.

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

The response to the President’s budget among Idaho’s political delegation in Washington, D.C. is tepid. The Trump Administration proposes cutting spending by $3.6 trillion over the next decade.

In a statement, GOP Senator Jim Risch reminded people that Congress, not the President, actually appropriates funds. Risch characterized the proposed budget as a blueprint of the Trump Administration’s priorities.

Toby Scott

Idaho lawmakers have billed state taxpayers roughly $107,000 so far this year for travel expenses accrued during the 2017 legislative session.

The Associated Press obtained the information through a public records request for this year's travel reimbursements for the 105 state lawmakers in the House and Senate. However, while many lawmakers have turned in their legislative travel reimbursement receipts, the Legislature doesn't have a deadline on when expenses need to be submitted.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

The Trump administration has proposed an 11 percent decrease in funding for the Interior Department.

If approved by Congress, the Interior Department would receive $11.7 billion for fiscal year 2018. That’s more than the president had originally outlined in an earlier budget draft, but still would be a hit to department funding.

Don Ryan / AP Photo

Tucked into President Donald Trump’s new budget, which was released Tuesday, is a proposal for the government to sell off power lines that deliver electricity to Idaho.

The budget summary says the government could make $4.9 billion by selling the Bonneville Power Administration’s transmission assets over a 10-year period. Around $1.8 billion of that could come in two years.

As Donald Trump continues on his first major foreign trip as President, statesmanship is in the spotlight. Today we speak with a former State Department official about this moment in U.S. diplomacy.

Steve Feldstein  is joining Boise State University to teach in the School of Public Service. In this audio clip, Tom Michael of KBSX News begins by asking him what he thinks of the new Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson.

Matt Guilhem / Boise State Public Radio

Poll data released by Idaho Politics Weekly shows a majority of Idahoans support re-designating Craters of the Moon National Monument a national park.

The poll finds 55 percent of state residents are in favor of bumping up Craters to the more prestigious and visible national park status; 32 percent don't want to see the vast lava fields changed from their current state.

Jamie Richmond

When news broke that President Trump revealed classified information to Russian officials visiting the White House last week, many in Washington expressed concern. Senator Jim Risch of Idaho, however, was one of the first to make public statements in defense of Trump. This afternoon, a small group of protesters, about 54 of them, gathered outside Risch’s Boise office in opposition.

Risch, a member of the Senate Intelligence and Foreign Relations committees, said Trump’s move to declassify state secrets was completely within his right as President, as he told PBS.

Scott Ki / Boise State Public Radio

U.S. Congressman Mike Simpson says he’s inclined to believe former FBI Director James Comey over President Donald Trump. The comments come in the wake of new details emerging about the investigation of Michael Flynn.

Speaking to reporters this week, Simpson says he’s afraid members of the GOP aren't doing enough to head off a possible crisis similar to Watergate.

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