May 2013 E-Newsletter

Senator Mike Crapo
2013-06-10 10:51:12
United States Senator Mike Crapo - Idaho
June 10, 2013

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Dear Friends, 

Welcome to my latest edition of the E-Newsletter

Memorial Day State Work Period

It was great to see so many of you in Idaho during my travels throughout the state over the Memorial Day work period.  I enjoyed the numerous conversations about the many issues of importance to you and your families.  I was able to travel to my hometown of Idaho Falls, Pocatello, Twin Falls, Hailey, Ketchum, Boise, Riggins, Post Falls, Pinehurst and Coeur d�Alene, with many stops along the way.  While I had the opportunity to participate in many great events, I have highlighted a few below.

Eastern Idaho

I am extremely proud of and humbled by our service men and womens� contribution to our nation and Idaho, which is why it was a great privilege to pay tribute to these inspiring people at the Field of Heroes ceremony in Pocatello on Memorial Day.  We cannot thank those who have made the ultimate sacrifice enough, their valor and commitment to the preservation of the United States has kept the vision and future of America alive and well for all Idahoans.

 

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to participate in a Traumatic Brian Injury (TBI) Summit on the beautiful campus of Idaho State University.  I joined with the Idaho Doctors Hospital, the Aegis Research Institute, Bingham Memorial Hospital, the Institute of Rural Health at Idaho State University and many Idaho physicians to participate in Idaho�s first major forum on TBI injuries and treatment.  According to the physicians at the Idaho Doctors Hospital in Blackfoot, statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that traumatic brain injury is at near-epidemic proportions in the United States.  Despite the prevalence of TBI, there remains a critical need for improved diagnosis and treatment in order to increase survival rates and improve quality of life for TBI patients.  To learn more, click

Southern Idaho

I had the privilege of joining Jim Mconeghy, Chief Financial Officer for Chobani, and Halil Ulukaya, Chief Operations Officer for Chobani, for a discussion on the future of the Greek yogurt industry in Idaho and across the country.  Chobani currently employs more than 600 people at its one million-square-foot Twin Falls facility, the largest yogurt production plant in the world.  Previously, Senator Charles Schumer (D-New York) and I encouraged the U.S. Department of Agriculture to incorporate Greek yogurt into school lunch menus.  Besides giving our kids a healthy, protein-filled option, the inclusion of Greek yogurt will mean great things for Idaho�s economy and agriculture industry.  Not only will Twin Falls continue to benefit from the Chobani plant, Idaho�s dairy producers will play a large role in yogurt production.

 

During a stop in Burley, I addressed members of the Mini-Cassia Chamber of Commerce.  It was great to dine with residents of Burley and hear Idahoan�s common sense solutions for the serious problems facing our nation. 

   

Treasure Valley

I stopped in Boise to join Idaho State Representative Christy Perry and Idaho State Senator Marv Hagerdone at Perry�s Buckhorn and Gun Shop to discuss new legislation in Congress that would address federal crime by improving treatment standards for mental illness.  We cannot continue to further restrict the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.  Safeguarding the public should begin with enforcing and perfecting current laws while improving our mental health standards and addressing our culture of violence.

North Idaho

I had the opportunity to meet with residents of Riggins during my tour of northern Idaho, where we had a very productive discussion about environmental regulations.

 

While in north Idaho, I satdown with the South Fork District stakeholders, which includes: Shoshone County Commissioners and Mayors from Kellogg, Mullan, Osburn and Wallace to discuss federal regulations and the need for improvements to their facilities.

To view all the photos from my state work period, click Internal Revenue Service Targeting Conservative Groups

The recently-revealed targeting of conservative groups by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for additional tax scrutiny is outrageous and goes against the freedoms on which our nation was founded.  The federal government is supposed to work for the American people and help strengthen our nation, not tear down our freedoms from within.  That is why we must do everything we can to hold the IRS accountable for these inexcusable attempts to silence political dissent, and strong reforms must be implemented to ensure that these actions do not ever happen again.

As a member of both the Senate Finance and Senate Banking committees, I had the opportunity to question high level officials on the matter.  On May 21, I questioned the Inspector General for Tax Administration, J. Russell George, about the political motivations behind targeting conservatives.  I posed similar questions to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew the same day at a Banking Committee hearing.  To view the full exchanges, click the photos below.

To view this video, click

To view this video, click

Additionally, I, along with several of my colleagues, wrote the President expressing our grave concerns and deep disappointment about the IRS�s activities.  Our letter highlights the danger posed by using government resources to curb Constitutional liberties:

 �We are deeply disturbed that agents of the government were directed to give greater scrutiny to groups engaged in conduct questioning the actions of their government.  This type of purely political scrutiny being conducted by an Executive Branch Agency is yet another completely inexcusable attempt to chill the speech of political opponents and those who would question their government, consistent with a broader pattern of intimidation by arms of the administration to silence political dissent.

 I will continue to press for answers, accountability and actions to eliminate this intolerable practice. 

 Farm Bill

As the Senate works through the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2013, or more commonly known as the Farm Bill, I have introduced and co-sponsored amendments that will ultimately help Idaho�s agriculture industry, economy and families.

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