United States Senator Mike Crapo - Idaho
Welcome to my latest
edition of the E-Newsletter
In late March, Senate
Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) indicated he would bring gun control
legislation to the Senate Floor. In response, I joined several
colleagues in a letter to Leader Reid stating that I would oppose the
motion to proceed to legislation that will serve as a vehicle for
additional gun restrictions. The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution
guarantees the rights of law-abiding Americans to keep and bear arms.
This right was put in place by the founders and has been consistently
upheld in the U.S. Supreme Court. To read the release, click here.
On April 11, with a vote of 68-31, the U.S. Senate moved the firearms
package to the Floor for debate. I voted against moving forward with
this legislation, as it would further restrict Second Amendment rights
of law-abiding Idahoans. I adhere to my firm belief that the federal
government cannot deny a law-abiding citizen his or her Second
Amendment right. Additional gun control will not reduce violence and mass
shootings in this country. Safeguarding the public should begin with
enforcing and perfecting current laws while improving our mental health
standards and addressing our culture of violence. To read my
statement following the vote, click here.
The Senate debated for several
weeks and voted on a number of amendments. I supported amendments that
would strengthen Second Amendment rights and address shortfalls in
the current criminal justice system. Majority Leader Reid eventually
pulled the bill from consideration before a vote on final passage. Rest
assured, if further gun control legislation is brought before the U.S.
Senate, I will continue to protect Idahoan�s constitutional right to
�keep and bear arms�.
Veterans Administration Backlog
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is experiencing a backlog,
affecting more than 600,000 veterans' disability claims. Currently, 48.8
percent of Idaho's claims are over 125 days old, which translates to
1,892 Idahoans who have been waiting for more than 125 days to get the
help they need. Our veterans go above-and-beyond in serving our nation,
and we should do the same for them. I have seen the excitement and
relief when a solider comes home, and we cannot let their needs become
mired in a growing backlog of service and treatment.
More needs to be
done to address the critical shortcomings that result in the large
number of backlogged claims, which is why I joined several of my colleagues
in asking President Obama to become directly involved in the
situation at the VA. To read more, click here.
Administration Airport Tower Closures
On March 5, 2013, FAA Administrator
Michael Huerta sent a letter to just under 200 airports participating
in the FAA Federal Contract Tower Program, including airports in Idaho
Falls, Lewiston, Hailey and Pocatello, notifying them that they would
no longer receive such funding as part of the Agency�s $637 million
sequestration cuts. It is disappointing that the FAA had the authority
to make these cuts in a number of ways that would not have had such a
dramatic effect on rural communities, but chose to instead administer
them in this draconian way.
In response, I co-sponsored Senator
Jerry Moran�s (R-Kansas) bipartisan bill to keep contract towers
operational, S. 687, which he introduced on April 9, 2013. There are ways
to keep FAA towers open using unobligated research and capital funds
from prior appropriations bills. To learn more about this legislation,
On March 14, I also sent a letter, along with my
colleagues in the Idaho delegation, to Transportation Secretary Ray
LaHood, asking for a delay in any final decisions on the closure of contract
towers to allow for the opportunity to present our concerns about the
closures and to provide us with a list of other possible actions
considered to achieve the cuts required under sequestration. Our letter
remains unanswered. We are confident that a wide range of potential
actions were considered prior to settling on the disproportionate
impacts scheduled to be imposed on contract towers. The cuts necessitated
by the sequester will have profound impacts on many Idaho constituents,
but essential services should be spared where possible. That is why
Congress recently passed legislation to avert air traffic controller
furloughs and contract tower closures. I will continue to work to
address this issue to help prevent the loss of needed services.
I recently launched a newly-redesigned Senate website.
My goal is to stay in constant contact with Idahoans and provide them
with up-to-date information in an efficient way. With changing
technology, I recognized the need for an improved site. Throughout the
site, a person will find updated content and photos that highlight my
work in the U.S. Senate.
Social media continues to shift the way
Members of Congress stay connected with their constituents. This update
offers Idahoans a way to quickly scroll through my videos, photos,
Facebook updates and Twitter feed. Visitors will also notice an Action
Center on the right side of the homepage. This center offers a quick
route to email me, sign up for tele-townhalls, view the e-newsletter,
access my voting record, request flags, place tour requests and solicit
help with federal agencies. I encourage Idahoans to explore the site
and continue to provide comments and suggestions on how my website can
better serve them. To visit my new website, click here.
A broad group of Idahoans most affected by the
Gateway West power lines worked in good faith and underwent a strenuous
process to develop a route that everyone could agree on, only to have
their efforts disregarded by the Bureau of Land Management. I joined
fellow members of the Idaho Congressional Delegation in encouraging
Idahoans to voice their opinion about the agency�s new plan at the many
public hearings scheduled throughout Idaho. To read the release and see
the schedule of public hearings, click here.
joined several colleagues in co-sponsoring the Sensible Environmental
Protection Act of 2013. This legislation seeks to eliminate an unnecessary
and costly Environmental Protection Agency regulation on pesticides.
Unneeded regulations only stifle an already struggling economy.
Congress must provide relief to our local communities in order to
kick-start job growth and economic prosperity. To learn more, click here.
Idaho communities and individuals who have been adversely affected by
our nation�s weapons programs must be justly and sufficiently
compensated by the federal government, which is why I joined several
colleagues in co-sponsoring the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act Amendments
of 2013. This legislation seeks to expand restitution for Idahoans
living downwind of atomic weapons tests or working in uranium mines.
To read the release, click here.
I joined a bipartisan
group of senators in introducing the North American Wetlands
Conservation Extension Act. The five year extension would renew the
authorization that expired at the end of fiscal year 2012. NAWCA grants are
used to protect and restore the quality wetlands and associated upland
habitats in all 50 states, Canada and Mexico. To learn more about the
legislation, click here .
I recently reintroduced the Polar Bear
Conservation and Fairness Act of 2013. Harvesting of polar bears was
banned on May 14, 2008 when the species was listed as threatened;
however, this ban prevented hunters who had legally killed a polar bear in
Canada prior to this date from importing their trophy hide. This
measure would allow those hunters impacted to import the trophies that
belong to them. To read the release, click here.
you see the editorial in the Wall Street Journal from Senator Max
Baucus (D-Montana) and Congressman Dave Camp (R-Michigan)? These men
chair the two committees in the Senate and House of Representatives that
have federal tax policy oversight responsibility. Our tax code is one
of the most complex, anti-competitive and difficult to comply with
codes in the world. I look forward to continuing to work with Chairmen
Baucus and Camp to reform our tax code to make it fairer for families
and spark economic growth. To read the editorial, click here.
April 1, 2013: Irresponsible Budgeting
April 8, 2013:
Cleanup, Redevelopment and Jobs
April 15, 2013: The Impacts of EPA
April 22, 2013: Conservation That Counts
April 29, 2013:
Additional Cost-Saving Steps Needed
Staying in Touch
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Please visit the Issues and Legislation section of my website
for information that addresses many issues important to all of us. As
always, I highly value the opinions and concerns of my fellow
Idahoans. With that in mind, we continue to work to improve my
Please do not reply directly to this e-newsletter. We are set up to
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239 Dirksen Senate Building
Washington D.C., 20510
410 Memorial Drive
Idaho Falls, ID
Phone: (208) 522-9779
251 East Front
Boise, ID 83702
Phone: (208) 334-1776
Lewiston, ID 83501
Phone: (208) 743-1492
524 East Cleveland Blvd.
Caldwell, ID 83605
Phone: (208) 455-0360
275 South 5th Avenue
Pocatello, ID 83201
Phone: (208) 236-6775
Coeur d' Alene
Coeur d' Alene, ID 83814
202 Falls Avenue
Twin Falls, ID
Phone: (208) 734-2515