WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2017
The past several weeks have been busy in Washington, with
hearings on critical issues including North Korea sanctions and oversight
of the recent Equifax data breech. In this edition of the Mike
Drop, I highlight some of the work I have been involved with in recent
weeks. You are receiving this email because you may have signed
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this issue . . .
CRAPO CONVENES HEARING ON EQUIFAX DATA BREACH;
INFORMATION FOR IDAHO CONSUMERS
Equifax, one of the country’s three largest
credit reporting agencies, disclosed that more than 145 million people had
their names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and in
some cases driver’s license numbers compromised in a massive
data breach. As Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, which has
oversight of the credit bureaus, I called in former Equifax Chief
Executive Officer (CEO) Richard Smith to get answers to some of our many
questions, such as why it took Equifax six weeks to disclose the
breach publicly, why executives were trading during that time, what kind of
cybersecurity measures the company employs and how the company
intends to minimize harm to consumers and make them whole.
You can watch the full hearing with
Richard Smith by clicking on the image below. The hearing begins at
the 18:00 minute mark.
Sen. Crapo questions former Equifax CEO Richard
Cybersecurity is one of the most
pressing issues facing companies, consumers and governments alike, and
is one of the biggest threats to our financial system. The
amount of data that the private industry and the government collect and
store is very concerning. Collecting such massive amounts of
personal financial information creates an intrinsic vulnerability.
Congress will be having meaningful discussions about how to protect and
limit access to it.
those discussions are ongoing, Idahoans should take every precaution
to secure their data and protect themselves in the wake of a
breach. First, you should find out if your information has been
compromised by visiting the Equifax website. If you have been affected,
you can sign up for a fraud alert through Equifax. Equifax has
also announced free credit freezes through January, as well as a free
lifetime service that will allow customers to lock and unlock their
credit files. I encourage you to explore these options to determine
whether they are right for you, and continue to monitor your credit
reports and bank accounts for any unusual activity in the
I also encourage you to take
proactive steps toward protecting your privacy. The Federal
Trade Commission offers helpful tips on how to safeguard your personal
information. General advice includes knowing who you share
information with; storing and disposing of your personal information securely,
especially your Social Security number; asking questions before
deciding to share your personal information; and maintaining appropriate
security on your computers and other electronic devices.
In this digital age, it is almost
virtually impossible to prevent entities from collecting and storing massive
amounts of personal, private information. We have seen that no
one is immune when it comes to cyberattacks, and we all need to take
the necessary steps to prioritize cybersecurity and resiliency.
Equifax is just the latest in a series of massive data breaches at
major companies, demonstrating that more needs to be done to ensure
customer information is protected. Private and public entities must
prioritize maintaining strong safeguards to protect any and all
personally identifiable information of U.S. consumers. Both must be held
accountable for protecting and limiting access to that
CRAPO LEADS DISCUSSIONS WITH AGRICULTURE SECRETARY TO FIX WILDFIRE
September 26, I joined a bipartisan group of western senators in meeting
with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to push legislation I
am co-sponsoring with Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) to fix a practice
known as “fire borrowing." During the meeting, it was clear from
both the Secretary and fire experts from the U.S. Forest Service that
Congress should pass our bill to end fire borrowing.
The bill, known as the Wildfire
Disaster Funding Act, would treat wildfires as natural disasters and stop
the depletion of the Forest Service’s budget by reforming the
way the federal government funds wildfires. The legislation
would end “fire borrowing” by allowing agencies to fund any fire
fighting and suppression spending needed through disaster funding
just as other agencies do for tornadoes, hurricanes and floods. It would
also make room for wildfires in the disaster budget so other natural
disasters would not have to “compete” for disaster funds.
Making disaster funding available after the fire suppression funding is
spent would allow the Forest Service to use its fire prevention
funding for its intended purpose--completing hazardous fuels reduction
projects that have been shown to help break the cycle of increasingly
dangerous and costly fires. It would also prevent the Forest Service from
exhausting its budget, which is needed for other projects such
as forest restoration, habitat programs, trail maintenance and fire
prevention programs, such as thinning.
During our breifing, the Forest Service announced
all-time record spending of more than $2 billion to pay to fight
this year’s wildfires, which have destroyed
significant parts of the West. These fires have, once again, forced federal
agencies to empty non-fire accounts of more than a half-billion
dollars to pay for wildfires. More than 8.5 million acres have burned across
the country this year--a 47 percent increase from the 10-year average
of 5.8 million acres, according to the U.S. Forest Service. The
emergency preparedness levels for fire are at the highest point in five
We already know in the West about the devastation of these
wildfires on our habitat, our lungs, and on our heritage. Hopefully, now
our colleagues in the Senate will see the magnitude and immediacy of
this problem and end this "fire borrowing" so that we can focus on fire
prevention and saving lives, habitats and our favorite public lands
for the future.
You can see my exhcnage with Secretary Perdue by clicking
on the image below.
Click the image for video of Sen. Crapo's exchange
with Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.
Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue (at podium), is
joined by Sens. Crapo, Risch, Wyden (D-Oregon) and Bennet
NORTH KOREA SANCTIONS REVIEW BEFORE COMMITTEE
CHAIRED BY CRAPO
Idahoans have seen the recent news regarding North Korea’s aggressive
pursuit of nuclear weapons. North Korea has continued to draw
international rebuke for its firing a missile over Japan, and for conducting
another test of a nuclear device, this one possibly being an
atmospheric test of a type of hydrogen bomb. These actions only serve to
suggest that if North Korea were to become a nuclear-armed state, it
would present an existential threat to at least several of its Asian
neighbors, while posing a great danger to American citizens. Our President
has been working to stop further proliferation by increasing the
economic pressure on those who do business with the North Korean
regime. One way to apply such pressure is through the use of
Several weeks ago, the
committee heard from a panel of sanctions scholars and professionals who
agreed that economic and diplomatic pressure must be maintained against
North Korea. In a more recent hearing before the Senate Banking
Committee, we heard from Administration officials who spoke about the
actions taken by the Administration to deploy maximum pressure against
North Korea. Our witnesses from the Treasury and State
Departments discussed increased sanctions enforcement, as well as efforts to
encourage multilateral enforcement of sanctions. The committee also
assessed what additional sanctions, if any, the U.S. should impose in
light of North Korea’s continued missile testing and advancing
nuclear weapons capability.
Committee has received several pieces of legislation that would
impose even stronger sanctions against North Korea and those who facilitate
its pursuit of nuclear weapons. I am committed to working
closely with my colleagues to carefully assess the options available to the
Banking Committee to enhance pressure on North Korea. You can view the
hearing in its entirety by clicking on the image below. Note that the
video has quite a lengthy delay so to watch it, I recommend advancing
the video to the 15 minute mark to begin.
IDAHO STATE SENATOR BART DAVIS CONFIRMED BY U.S.
SENATE TO BE U.S. ATTORNEY FOR IDAHO
Recently, the nomination of Idaho State Senator Bart
Davis to serve as Idaho’s next United States Attorney was
confirmed by the full United States Senate. As a member of the Senate
Judiciary Committee, which was responsible for overseeing this
nomination, I worked with the rest of my Senate colleagues to move his
nomination to the full Senate. Bart Davis is a dedicated public servant
who will ensure all Idahoans receive equal justice under the
law. I congratulate Senator Davis on his confirmation to be Idaho’s
next United States Attorney.
Before his confirmation, Davis has represented the 33rd District
in the Idaho State Senate for the past 19 years, including as Majority
Leader for 15 years. In addition to his service in the Idaho State
Senate, Senator Davis is currently in private practice in Idaho Falls,
Idaho, where he focuses on commercial, regulatory and transactional
work. He is currently a commissioner to the Uniform Law Commission and a
past chairman of The Council of State Governments. He is a graduate of
Brigham Young University and the University of Idaho College of
CONGRESS NOW: TAX REFORM FOR ALL AMERICANS
The Senate and House, in conjunction with the President,
have been discussing a framework to reform our outdated,
overly-complex tax code. It has been 30 years since the last major revision
of our tax code. Its complexity is hindering the ability of our
economy to grow, small businesses to expand and thrive and, perhaps
most importantly, American families to keep more of what they
earn. To do tax reform right, we must go beyond
the simple traditional tax cut debate and instead comprehensively
address each of these problems within the tax code. Beginning
in a series of
opinion pieces this month, , including its complexity and
how it is unfair to many American taxpayers and businesses.
Additional columns will be posted as Congress continues to debate tax
reform and you will be able to find those columns .
FROM THE PHOTO ALBUM...
Included here are a few photos of
people who have come by to visit in recent weeks and a few photos from my
time at home.
Senator Crapo is pictured with Aziz Ouedraogo (Boise), 2017 John W. Harris
Leadership Award Winner through the National Beta Club.
Senator Crapo is pictured with
Cassidy Littleton (Twin Falls), a finalist for the National Boys and Girls
Clubs Youth of the Year.
Senator Crapo pictured with individuals at
East Idaho Public Health.
Senator Crapo with family members of survivors of the
December 1941 attack and imprisonment of Wake Island civilian Department of
Alice Ingham, seated, has
coordinated reunions in Idaho for survivors and families for 71 years, the
last of which was held this September.
Senator Crapo reads “Whistle for
Willie” to 4th grade students at Lincoln Elementary
School in Twin Falls during a book donation courtesy of the Library of
Senator Crapo is pictured with CJ Buck (Post
Falls) of Buck Knives, Inc., and other members of the American Knife
and Tool Institute.
WHAT I HAVE BEEN READING . .
By Betsy Russell, Spokesman-Review, September
senators, led by Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo and Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, are
launching a full-court press to get a fix for the nation’s
wildfire funding system through Congress now, while the nation is still
gasping from a record fire season and coping with disasters from Texas
to Florida to Puerto Rico.
By Alejandra Cerna Rios, Post Register,
October 4, 2017
Idaho, responsible budgeting and fiscal prudence have served us well.
Stable fiscal policies in recent years have generally supported
economic growth and produced critical revenues post-recession. While
additional investment is needed to fully fund a number of broadly shared
priorities (such as education, healthcare, transportation and public
defense), our state’s finances have been predictable. By contrast,
at least 30 other states are facing shortfalls and budget
By Bob Bernick, Idaho Politics Weekly, September 24,
A new Idaho Politics
Weekly poll shows that Idahoans say North Korea poses the greatest threat
to world peace today.
The Dan Jones & Associates survey in Idaho finds:
32 percent picked the
pre-selected choice of North Korea as the greatest threat – which
since GOP President Donald Trump’s speech at the United Nations
has engaged in renewed threats with the president.
27 percent said ISIS, or ISIL,
the Islamic terrorist organization now fighting in several areas of
the world and Middle East.
25 percent mentioned some “other” entity
5 percent said Russia.
4 percent said Iran.
And 6 percent didn’t know
Elliott, Idaho Statesman, September 8, 2017
Acrid yellow smoke clogs the skies of major
Western U.S. cities, a human-caused fire in the Columbia River Gorge
rains ash on Portland, Oregon, and a century-old backcountry chalet burns
to the ground in Montana's Glacier National Park. Wildfires are
chewing across dried-out Western forests and grassland, putting 2017
on track to be among the worst fire seasons in a decade.
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