March 2013 E-Newsletter

Senator Mike Crapo
2013-03-29 16:00:08
United States Senator Mike Crapo - Idaho *Welcome to my latest edition of the E-Newsletter* *Budget Month* In mid-March, the Senate Budget Committee, of which I am a member, marked up a budget for the first time in four years.� The budget proposal brought forth by the Senate�s majority party fails to recognize the significant worsening of our economy and fiscal outlook. Mosttroubling is that this budget ignores the reality that our entitlement programs are on a path to insolvency. Medicare trustees have stated that absent structural reforms now, the programs will be insolvent in just ten years.� We must begin serious work to enact pro-growth tax reforms and structural reforms to these important entitlement programs to ensure the sustainability of Social Security and Medicare for future generations.� To read my statement following the release of the resolution, click here [link 1]. To view my opening remarks at the Budget Committee mark-up, click the picture below. While I did not vote to send the final budget resolution to the Senate Floor, I was successful in offering an amendment during the mark-up to protect the Crime Victims Fund, which assists with domestic violence crimes and other cases, from being continually raided by the Administration and Congress. This fund does not add to our deficit and operates at no taxpayer expense, while assisting over 3.7 million victims of crime. This change to the resolution will end this budget gimmick and protect this essential fund. To read the release, click here [link 3]. Click the image below to watch the introduction of the amendment. On the Senate Floor, after 50 hours of debate and over 100 amendments, I voted against the Senate version of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 Budget Resolution.� The final product had few changes from the blueprint that I voted against in committee. However, the Senate approved the budget resolution by a vote of 50 to 49.� Four Democrats joined all Republicans in voting against the Senate budget. Though the Senate took a positive step in bringing a budget to the Floor for the first time in nearly four years, the majority�s proposal ignores the dire fiscal situation facing our country. Americans everywhere continue to experience a slow economic recovery, magnified by the continued tax-and-spend policies coming out of Washington.� By introducing a budget, the Senate had an opportunity to control spending and put the nation on a responsible financial course. Instead, this budget increases spending by 62 percent over the next decade, raises taxes up to $1.5 trillion and does nothing to reform unsustainable entitlement programs that, if left unchanged, will soon be insolvent.� The bottom line is that this budget adds $7.3 trillion to our debt and, as was discovered in the markup, offers zero deficit reduction in the first year. Further, if Congress continues its habit of neglecting to adhere to the budget it adopts, the deficit reduction claimed in the out years will never be achieved. To read my statement following the final vote on the Floor, click here. [link 5] *Idaho Celebrates Sesquicentennial * President Abraham Lincoln helped establish Idaho by signing into law, on March 4, 1863, legislation [link 6]�creating the Idaho Territory. �This 150-year anniversary of the Idaho Territory lets us reflect on our state�s remarkable history and accomplishments. Idaho�s motto, �esto perpetua,� meaning �let it endure forever,� exemplifies Idaho�s history of strength and endurance. �The Idahoans who established our communities relied on values such as responsibility and perseverance to establish a base from which we could build our great state and the platform for a bright future. Idaho has had many successes over the past 150 years, and I look forward to the achievements ahead in our state�s future. To read my guest column, click here [link 7]. Senator Jim Risch and I celebrated the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Idaho Act by viewing the original document in the room where President Lincoln signed it in the U.S. Capitol. Click the photo below to watch. *Obamacare: Three Years of Broken Promises* On March 22, during the budget debate, I offered an amendment that would have prevented tax increases on lower-and middle-income Americans contained in Obamacare (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act).� Although this amendment failed on a party-line vote of 45-to-54, I will continue to push for recognition of the tax increases that violate the President�s earlier pledge that middle class Americans would see �not one dime� of tax increases. This past Saturday marked the third anniversary of Obamacare becoming law. ����Idahoans continue to see that this legislation is filled with tax hikes that place large burdens on families and small businesses.� The law fails on the promises to make health coverage more affordable and to lower premiums for working families.� Individuals are continuing to see drops in coverage despite being told that �if you liked your plan, you could keep it.� This law threatens our country�s financial strength and the American way of life. To read the release, click here. [link 9] To view remarks made on the Senate Floor about the amendment, click the picture below. *Hot Topics* �*Agriculture* - I joined my colleague Senator Charles Schumer (D-New York) in introducing The Dairy Augmentation for Increased Retail in Yogurt (DAIRY) Act.� This legislation would give dairy producers a new tool to manage increasing demand while providing a safety net for volatile market downturns. �To read the release, click here [link 11]. *Banking* - Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-South Dakota) and I introduced an amendment that would help prevent Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac being used as piggy banks to offset the costs associated with unrelated policies that increase the deficit.� The legislation passed with overwhelming bipartisan support from the full Senate by voice vote during the budget debate. *Energy* - I joined Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) in introducing the Hydropower Improvement Act of 2013. �Hydropower efficiently and cleanly provides about seven percent of the nation�s electricity. This legislation helps to increase that capacity without increasing the country�s out-of-control deficit. �To read the release, click here [link 12]. *Environment* - Senators Frank Lautenberg (D-New Jersey), Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) and Tom Udall (D-New Mexico) and I introduced bipartisan legislation to modernize and improve key elements of the Environmental Protection Agency�s (EPA) Brownsfield Program. �To read the release, click here [link 13]. - I joined a group of bipartisan Senators to introduce the Forest Products Fairness Act. �It is vital to ensure Idaho�s industries are not at a competitive disadvantage. �This legislation will help the forest industry compete on a global stage to bring economic growth and jobs to Idaho.��To read the release, clickhere [link 14]. *Finance* - I offered an amendment to the budget resolution that would have required that the Democrats� promised level of health entitlement savings be included in their reconciliation instructions. �The Majority party�s budget assumes more than $1 trillion in tax increases with $975 billion of that increase coming from a reconciliation instruction. In addition, the budget assumes $275 billion in health care entitlement savings, but does not include a reconciliation instruction for those health savings. �Had this amendment been agreed to, the instruction to health savings would have been included and, therefore, a top priority. To view remarks about the amendment offered on the Senate Floor, click here [link 15]. �*Health Care* - I joined several colleagues as an original co-sponsor of the Jobs and Premium Protection Act. This bill would eliminate the health insurance tax (HIT) included in the President�s law that is causing insurance premiums to rise, proving costly to businesses and families. To read the release, click here [link 16]. �*Public Lands* - We need to insert common sense into federal discussions about sage grouse protection. Language in the Owyhee Initiative, now part of federal law, promotes grazing as part of the multiple use of federal lands.� Yet, federal agencies seem to be arbitrarily moving to reduce grazing on federal lands without the science to back up those decisions, which is why I joined Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and Dean Heller (R-Nevada) in introducing an amendment to ensure collaboration in sage grouse recovery. To read the release, click here [link 17].� *Recent Photos *
March 29, 2013
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Dear Friends,

Welcome to my latest edition of the E-Newsletter

Budget Month

In mid-March, the Senate Budget Committee, of which I am a member, marked up a budget for the first time in four years.  The budget proposal brought forth by the Senate�s majority party fails to recognize the significant worsening of our economy and fiscal outlook.  Most troubling is that this budget ignores the reality that our entitlement programs are on a path to insolvency.  Medicare trustees have stated that absent structural reforms now, the programs will be insolvent in just ten years.  We must begin serious work to enact pro-growth tax reforms and structural reforms to these important entitlement programs to ensure the sustainability of Social Security and Medicare for future generations.  To read my statement following the release of the resolution, click To view my opening remarks at the Budget Committee mark-up, click the picture below.

While I did not vote to send the final budget resolution to the Senate Floor, I was successful in offering an amendment during the mark-up to protect the Crime Victims Fund, which assists with domestic violence crimes and other cases, from being continually raided by the Administration and Congress.  This fund does not add to our deficit and operates at no taxpayer expense, while assisting over 3.7 million victims of crime.  This change to the resolution will end this budget gimmick and protect this essential fund.  To read the release, click Click the image below to watch the introduction of the amendment.

On the Senate Floor, after 50 hours of debate and over 100 amendments, I voted against the Senate version of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 Budget Resolution.  The final product had few changes from the blueprint that I voted against in committee.  However, the Senate approved the budget resolution by a vote of 50 to 49.  Four Democrats joined all Republicans in voting against the Senate budget.

Though the Senate took a positive step in bringing a budget to the Floor for the first time in nearly four years, the majority�s proposal ignores the dire fiscal situation facing our country.  Americans everywhere continue to experience a slow economic recovery, magnified by the continued tax-and-spend policies coming out of Washington.  By introducing a budget, the Senate had an opportunity to control spending and put the nation on a responsible financial course.  Instead, this budget increases spending by 62 percent over the next decade, raises taxes up to $1.5 trillion and does nothing to reform unsustainable entitlement programs that, if left unchanged, will soon be insolvent.  The bottom line is that this budget adds $7.3 trillion to our debt and, as was discovered in the markup, offers zero deficit reduction in the first year.  Further, if Congress continues its habit of neglecting to adhere to the budget it adopts, the deficit reduction claimed in the out years will never be achieved.

To read my statement following the final vote on the Floor, click Idaho Celebrates Sesquicentennial

President Abraham Lincoln helped establish Idaho by signing into law, on March 4, 1863,

Idaho�s motto, �esto perpetua,� meaning �let it endure forever,� exemplifies Idaho�s history of strength and endurance.  The Idahoans who established our communities relied on values such as responsibility and perseverance to establish a base from which we could build our great state and the platform for a bright future.  Idaho has had many successes over the past 150 years, and I look forward to the achievements ahead in our state�s future.

To read my guest column, click Senator Jim Risch and I celebrated the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Idaho Act by viewing the original document in the room where President Lincoln signed it in the U.S. Capitol. Click the photo below to watch.

Obamacare: Three Years of Broken Promises

On March 22, during the budget debate, I offered an amendment that would have prevented tax increases on lower-and middle-income Americans contained in Obamacare (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act).  Although this amendment failed on a party-line vote of 45-to-54, I will continue to push for recognition of the tax increases that violate the President�s earlier pledge that middle class Americans would see �not one dime� of tax increases.

This past Saturday marked the third anniversary of Obamacare becoming law.  Idahoans continue to see that this legislation is filled with tax hikes that place large burdens on families and small businesses.  The law fails on the promises to make health coverage more affordable and to lower premiums for working families.  Individuals are continuing to see drops in coverage despite being told that �if you liked your plan, you could keep it.�  This law threatens our country�s financial strength and the American way of life.  To read the release, click To view remarks made on the Senate Floor about the amendment, click the picture below.

Hot Topics

 Agriculture

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