United States Senator Mike Crapo -
**Dropping In This Issue**
Convenes Hearing on Equifax Data Breach
Discussion with Agriculture Secretary to Fix Wildfire Funding
Sanctions on North Korea Reviewed in Banking Committee
Attorney Clears Senate Confirmation
Op-Ed Series: Tax
Reform for all Americans
From the Photo Album
*WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 11,
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.
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Dropping in 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
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.
hearing begins at the 18:00 minute mark.
Crapo questions former Equifax CEO Richard Smith*
Cybersecurity is one
of the most pressing issues facing companies, consumers and
governments alike, and is one of the biggest threats to our financial
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
Congress will be having meaningful discussions about how to protect and
limit access to it.
While 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 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
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
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
Private and public entities must prioritize maintaining strong
safeguards to protect any and all personally identifiable information of
Both must be held accountable for protecting and
limiting access to that information.
**CRAPO LEADS DISCUSSIONS WITH
AGRICULTURE SECRETARY TO FIX WILDFIRE FUNDING**
On 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
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 years.
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
Many 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
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.
congratulate Senator Davis on his confirmation to be Idaho's next United States
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
*IN CONGRESS NOW: TAX REFORM FOR ALL AMERICANS**
Senate and House, in conjunction with the President, have been discussing
a framework to reform our outdated, overly-complex tax code.
been 30 years since the last major revision of our tax code.
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.
a series of opinion pieces this month, I outline some of the reasons
why our tax code must be reformed [link 4], including its complexity
and how it is unfair to many American taxpayers and
Additional columns will be posted as Congress continues to debate tax reform
and you will be able to find those columns here on my website [link
**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 Defense
*Alice Ingham, seated, has coordinated reunions in Idaho for
survivors and families for 71 years, the last of which was held this
*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
Congress surplus books program [link 6].*
Crapo is pictured with CJ Buck (Post Falls) of Buck Knives, Inc., and
other members of the American Knife and Tool Institute.*
HAVE BEEN READING . . .**
*Western senators say fire-funding fix must
be 'on the next bill' Congress passes [link 7]*
*By Betsy Russell,
Spokesman-Review, September 28, 2017*
Western 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
*Congress can learn fiscal responsibility from Idaho [link
*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 cuts.
Idahoans say North Korea is the greatest global threat [link 9]*
Bob Bernick, Idaho Politics Weekly, September 24, 2017*
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
25 percent mentioned some "other" entity or
5 percent said Russia.
4 percent said Iran.
percent didn't know
*The U.S. West had a snowy winter, so why the
fiery summer? [link 10]*
*By Dan 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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