Mike Simpson

Mike Simpson

IDAHO's 2nd DISTRICT

Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson today released the following statement regarding House consideration of H.R. 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018.

2018/05/18

"The certainty a farm bill provides to Idaho's farmers and rural communities is critical," said Simpson. "I am disappointed by today's developments and hope that Congress can take steps toward passing a farm bill sooner rather than later. I am pleased H.R. 2 protected the no cost sugar program, which is vital for sugar beet growers in Idaho.  I stand ready to work with my colleagues to find a path forward to assembling a final Farm Bill that works for rural America.”

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Simpson Advances Key INL Funding in Energy Bill

2018/05/17




Washington, DC – Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson announced that the Fiscal Year 2019 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill protects funding for the Idaho National Laboratory (INL), the Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy, and cleanup activities in Idaho. Simpson is Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, which passed the bill through the full House Appropriations Committee this week, and had the lead role in deciding funding for all Department of Energy programs.

“The FY19 Energy and Water bill recognizes the leading national role that the Idaho National Laboratory plays in enhancing our national security and increasing American competitiveness,” said Chairman Simpson.  “I’m proud to support their groundbreaking research in advanced reactor and fuel development, battery and bioenergy programs, and protecting the electric grid from cyber-attacks, and I am pleased this bill fulfills their needs to continue this critical work.”

The FY 2019 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill sets funding for the DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy at $1.2 billion.  Nuclear energy research and development programs that receive funding within the overall $1.2 billion allocation include:

·         The Idaho Facilities Management account, which covers infrastructure maintenance and improvement at INL, is funded at $322 million – a $28 million increase over last year.

·         INL’s Safeguards and Security Program is funded at $146 million – an increase of $13 million over fiscal year 2018.

·         The Nuclear Energy Enabling Technologies program is funded at $164.3 million – an increase of $5.3 million above fiscal year 2018. 

·         The Light Water Reactor Sustainability program, which is managed by INL and promotes the continued safe operation of America’s existing nuclear reactors, is funded at $50 million, the same as last year.

·         The Reactor Concepts Research, Development, and Demonstration account is funded at $370 million – an increase of $133 million above last year. Within the overall level for this account, $34 million is allocated to fuel qualification for the High Temperature Gas Reactor, and $100 million is for Advanced Small Modular Reactor Research and Development to support technical, first-of-its-kind engineering and design and regulatory development of next generation light water and non-light water reactor technologies. 

·         Within the Fuel Cycle Research and Development program, the Advanced Fuels program is funded at $128.5 million; and Used Nuclear Fuel Disposition research and development is funded at $62.5 million.

Other vital priorities funded within the Energy and Water division include: 

·         Within the Office of Naval Reactors, the bill includes $85.5 million for the operation of the Advanced Test Reactor. 

·         Within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, $25 million is included for energy efficient mobility systems and over $27 million for the Lab’s bioenergy program, and $9 million for the integrated energy systems.

·         Provides significant investment in cyber security grid protection work that the Idaho National Laboratory leads. 

·         A provision to allow recharge of the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer during flood releases and high flow events at the Palisades Reservoir. 

The bill also provides $420 million for cleanup activities associated with the Idaho Cleanup Project and the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project co-located on the Idaho desert with INL.  The funding level will allow the significant cleanup activities currently underway to continue. The bill also includes an additional $5 million for the National Spent Fuel Program, putting the unique expertise of INL to work in order to provide solutions for managing the Department of Energy’s inventories of spent nuclear fuel. 

The bill also contains funding to support the continued adjudication of the Yucca Mountain license application, ensuring the federal government will meet its commitments to Idaho and other states and dispose of used nuclear fuel.
Overall, the Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill provides $44.7 billion for the functions of the Department of Energy, the Army Corps of Engineers, the Bureau of Reclamation and a number of independent agencies, including direction for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Bonneville Power Administration.

“This is a well-balanced bill that places emphasis where it is needed most: meeting critical national security needs and investing in our nation's infrastructure,” Chairman Simpson said.  “It prioritizes the maintenance and security of our nuclear weapons stockpile, while also supporting infrastructure projects and strategic research and development that will increase U.S. economic growth and competitiveness.”

The House Appropriations Committee also passed the fiscal year 2019 Agriculture Appropriations bill. The legislation includes important priorities to Idaho such as vital research and support for farmers and ranchers. Similar to previous years, Congressman Simpson authored language in the Agriculture Appropriations bill that blocks the proposed closure of the U.S. Sheep Experimental Station in Dubois, Idaho.

Also included in the Agriculture Appropriations bill are other important Idaho priorities such as potato and wheat research funding, support for pest eradication programs, and language directing the FDA to develop a standard identity for dairy based on existing standards, which is similar to Congressman Simpson’s bipartisan DAIRY Pride Act. The Committee also unanimously adopted a bipartisan amendment from Congressman Simpson that would roll back a rule from the Obama Administration which created a barrier for potatoes to be served in the school breakfast program.

“Potatoes are in important source of potassium and fiber, which are two nutrients identified as deficient in all U.S. populations by both the 2015 Dietary Guidelines and USDA,” said Simpson.  “I’m pleased the Committee adopted my bipartisan amendment to treat potatoes like other vegetables of need in the school breakfast program. This is important to Idaho and students who need healthy options.  The House Appropriations Committee has sent a strong message that rural America matters and this bill delivers for farmers and ranchers.”

The two bills are expected to be considered on the floor of the House of Representatives in the coming weeks.

 

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Secure Rural Schools Funding for Idaho Announced

2018/05/08

On Monday, the U.S. Forest Service announced Secure Rural Schools (SRS) payment distributions, which is critically important for Idaho’s rural counties. SRS funding fulfills the federal government’s responsibility to counties with tax-exempt federal lands, specifically counties with high percentages of national forests. The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018, which passed in March and was signed into law by President Trump, included two years of funding for SRS. Idaho received approximately $26,000,000 in SRS payments. Congressman Simpson supported this legislation to ensure Idaho counties receive both SRS and Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) funding.

“SRS payments are vital sources of funding for Idaho counties,” said Simpson. “I am pleased that the fiscal year 2018 appropriations bill honors the government’s responsibility to Idaho. These funds go to counties’ most critical services such as transportation infrastructure and education. I am also pleased my vote on this bill ensures full funding for PILT, another important funding stream for Idaho.”

Congressman Simpson was a cosponsor of H.R. 2340, a bill to reauthorize SRS. Also included in the fiscal year 2018 appropriations bill is full funding for PILT. Idaho received more than $30 million in PILT funding last year.

To see more details on SRS visit the following link:

https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd579319.pdf

For more details on Idaho wins in the fiscal year 2018 appropriations bill visit:

https://simpson.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=398641

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Simpson’s Statement on Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action

2018/05/08

“I’ve always been opposed to the Iran deal that the Obama Administration put forward,” said Congressman Simpson.  “I voted against it when it came before the House because of its deficiencies, and Iran’s behavior since the deal’s signing in 2013 has continued to cause great concern.  Now that President Trump has announced the United States’ withdrawal from the deal, I believe we need to work hand in hand with our allies to develop a more effective and comprehensive response to the threat of a nuclear Iran.”

 

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Statement on the Passing of Former First Lady Barbara Bush

2018/04/17

Statement on the Passing of Former First Lady Barbara Bush

Washington, D.C. – Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson issued the following statement:

“Kathy and I send our love and prayers to the Bush family. Barbara Bush was a leader, a grandmother, a mother, a wife, and one of the most important figures in modern American history. Her strong presence inspired a family of public servants, and her own service to this country will live on through her legacy of advancing family literacy. She was a role model for all Americans and will be greatly missed.”

 

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Federal Legislation Delivers Big Wins for Idaho Agriculture

2018/04/13

Federal Legislation Delivers Big Wins for Idaho Agriculture

By Congressman Mike Simpson

 

Washington, D.C. – “Idaho’s history of agriculture excellence is critical to our economy, accounting for 20% the state’s gross state product. With over 25,000 farms and ranches and 185 different commodities, it isn’t just Idaho that we are feeding – it is the world.

“No doubt that ideal climate conditions, irrigation systems, and generations of family farmers are responsible for this agriculture dominance. However, the state also needs cutting edge research and fair cooperation on reasonable rules and regulations for farmers and ranchers to succeed. The recently passed appropriations bill for fiscal year 2018 included big wins for Idaho agriculture. I was proud to champion many of these efforts so Idaho can continue to lead in agriculture production.   

“We don’t have to look any farther than our license plates to know the potatoes are world famous. The key to continuing this tradition is ensuring adequate funding for research that protects Idaho crops from disease. Included in the agriculture section of the appropriations bill is targeted funding to accomplish just that. Specifically there is increased funding for potato breeding research, plus additional money for a geneticist that accelerates the process for finding resistant potato varieties to combat some of the worst diseases that threaten not only annual harvests, but trade access with global partners.

“The bill also contains money for advancing wheat research that will assist farmers in updating the falling numbers test that has cost growers millions of dollars in discounts. The research will help us better understand the various causes of low falling numbers and how it impacts end-use products that almost every Idaho consumer buys at the grocery store.

“The livestock industry is also well represented through a vitally important bipartisan provision that exempts ranchers and dairy farmers from EPA reporting requirements. The provision clarifies that Congress did not intend for a law aimed at regulating toxic waste and superfund sites, to apply to agriculture operations. The bill also recognizes challenges livestock farmers and ranchers face through money to compensate losses due to livestock killed by wolves.

“Idaho’s dairy farmers also benefit from this bill through language that directs the FDA to develop a standard identity for dairy based products. The language is a good first step to solving the recent surge in mislabeled imitation products and compliments legislation I support known as the DAIRY Pride Act, which also has the backing of Idaho Senators Risch and Crapo.

“This is just a snapshot of the benefits to Idaho, but these provisions are important and helpful to Idaho’s agriculture future.”

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Simpson Delivers Historic Wins for Idaho – Including Renaming the White Clouds Wilderness after former Governor Cecil Andrus

2018/03/22

Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson today applauded the House passage of H.R. 1625, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018, which included monumental benefits for Idaho and Western States. 

“This is a comprehensive and responsible package that contains so many important provisions for Idaho and Western States,” said Simpson. “It is the product of this past year’s worth of thoughtful deliberation and line-by-line analysis of every program in the federal budget.  Funding our government through short term Continuing Resolutions is unsustainable, inefficient, and an irresponsible way to govern. Through this agreement, Congress has fulfilled its duty of keeping our government open, and while no one got everything they wanted in the final package, we have paved the way back to regular order in the weeks and months to come.”As Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development and a senior member and former Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and Environment, Simpson had a key role in deciding funding levels for Department of Energy and Department of Interior programs, including the following highlights:   

Energy and Water Development

“The Energy and Water section of this bill reaffirms our nation’s commitment to nuclear energy and the Idaho National Laboratory,” said Chairman Simpson.  “It makes critical investments in advanced reactor and nuclear fuel R&D programs at the nation’s lead nuclear lab and funds much needed infrastructure improvements that will allow the world class researchers at the lab to continue their ground breaking work. This bill also makes significant investments in nonproliferation and grid security programs, where INL plays a leading role keeping our nation safe.”

The fiscal year (FY) 2018 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill sets funding for the DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy at $1.2 billion, an increase of $188 million above fiscal year 2017.  Nuclear energy research and development programs that receive funding within the overall $1.2 billion allocation include:

·         The Idaho Facilities Management account, which covers infrastructure maintenance and improvement at INL, is funded at $294 million – an increase of $56.3 million above fiscal year 2017 and $90 million above the budget request. 

·         INL’s Safeguards and Security Program is funded at $133 million – an increase of $3.7 million over fiscal year 2017.

·         The Nuclear Energy Enabling Technologies program is funded at $159 million – an increase of $44 million above fiscal year 2017. 

·         The Reactor Concepts Research, Development, and Demonstration account is funded at $237 million – an increase of $105 million above last year. Within the overall $237 million level for this account, $30 million is allocated to fuel qualification for the High Temperature Gas Reactor, and $60 million is for a solicitation to support technical, first-of-its-kind engineering and design and regulatory development of next generation light water and non-light water reactor technologies, including small modular reactors. 

·          The Light Water Reactor Sustainability program, which is managed by INL and promotes the continued safe operation of America’s existing nuclear reactors, is funded at $47 million – an increase of $7 million over last year.

·         Within the Fuel Cycle Research and Development program, the Advanced Fuels program is funded at $125 million—a $57 million increase from fiscal year 2017; and Used Nuclear Fuel Disposition research and development is funded at $86.4 million.

Other vital priorities funded within the Energy and Water division include: 

·         Within the Office of Naval Reactors, the bill includes $85.5 million for the operation of the Advanced Test Reactor to accelerate planned reliability-related infrastructure upgrades, and $198 million is included for the Spent Fuel Handling Recapitalization Project.·         Within the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, the bill includes $10 million to complete the development of an industry-scale Electric Grid Test Bed program to enhance existing full-scale electric grid testing capabilities like those at Idaho National Laboratory.

·         Within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, $25 million is included for energy efficient mobility systems and over $15 million for the Lab’s bioenergy program, and $9 million for the integrated energy systems.

·         Provides significant investment in cyber security grid protection work that the Idaho National Laboratory leads. 

·         A provision to allow recharge of the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer during flood releases and high flow events at the Palisades Reservoir. 

The bill also provides $434 million for cleanup activities associated with the Idaho Cleanup Project and the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project co-located on the Idaho desert with INL, an increase of $52 million over fiscal year 2017.  The funding level of $434 million will allow the significant cleanup activities currently underway to continue and includes $10 million to demolish excess facilities and infrastructure in order to reduce overall maintenance costs. In addition, the bill includes language in the House mark directing the Department to fully investigate alternatives for new missions at the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project.  Finally, the bill includes an additional $5 million for the National Spent Fuel Program, putting the unique expertise of INL to work in order to provide solutions for managing the Department of Energy’s inventories of spent nuclear fuel. 

Interior and Environment

“The Interior portion of the Omnibus contains provisions that are critical to Idaho,” said Simpson. “I am thrilled to see a fix to fire borrowing included. I have been working on this issue since 2013 and it is long past due that fires are treated like other natural disasters. I am also pleased to see vital funding for PILT and SRS which our rural counties need. Notably, this bill recognizes the late Governor Andrus by naming the White Clouds Wilderness after him. A well-deserved honor for a man who dedicate his life to public service.”

·         Includes a fix to fire borrowing which Congressman Simpson has championed since 2013. It also includes forest management reforms that are also critical to preventing catastrophic wildfires.
·         Includes Congressman Simpson’s bill to rename the White Clouds Wilderness after former Idaho Governor Cecil D. Andrus.
·         Provides $3.8 billion in wildfire fighting and prevention programs which fully funds the 10 year average for wildfire suppression costs at the Forest Service and Department of the Interior. There is also an additional $500 million for the Forest Service suppression operations.
·         Includes full funding of the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program, which compensates counties for the losses in property tax as a result of a high percentage of federal land.  Idaho counties received $30,054,704 in PILT funding for FY17.
·         Reauthorizes Secure Rural Schools (SRS) which, similar to PILT, provides an alternative source of education funding for counties with a high percentage of national forests.  This program also fulfills the federal government’s responsibility to counties with tax-exempt federal lands.
·         Provides $614 million for hazardous fuels reduction activities—a $50 million increase over FY17.

·         Retains cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and specifically reduces the regulatory programs by over $20 million and prioritizes funding for the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Loan fund, which states and local governments use for water infrastructure projects.

·         Relieves livestock operations of EPA permitting requirements similar to bipartisan legislation Congressman Simpson cosponsored.
·         Prohibits the EPA from making changes to certain agricultural exemptions under the Clean Water Act.
·         Provides $1 million to compensate ranchers for livestock killed by wolves.
·         Language which prevents listing of sage grouse as an endangered species and adequate funding for sage grouse conservation.
·         Directs EPA, U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA), and DOE to establish clear policies regarding the carbon neutrality of biomass which is an important energy source and part of an all of the above energy strategy.
·         Continues language making litigation costs more transparent and extending requirements that litigants exhaust administrative review before litigating grazing issues in Federal court.
·         Provides a $185 million increase for the National Park Service to help reduce the deferred maintenance backlog. This is one of the largest increases NPS has received to address the $11.6 billion maintenance backlog. Congressman Simpson also introduced standalone legislation to address this issue.
·         Includes funding for Native American communities to help improve infrastructure and health care needs.
·         Language that directs the Bureau of Land Management to work with the State of Idaho regarding aquifer recharge.

Agriculture

“Whether it is resources for our farmers and ranchers or research that guarantees a safe and efficient food supply, USDA plays a vital role in Idaho,” said Congressman Simpson. “The bill also includes language that allows for the Dubois Sheep Station to remain open and work in a collaborative manner on a long term plan for future research.”
·         Provides funding for the USDA Rural Utilities Service Circuit Rider program which helps fund rural communities to provide safe and affordable drinking water.
·         Provides funding for National Institutes of Food and Agriculture potato and wheat research.
·         Continues previous years’ language authored by Congressman Simpson that blocks the President’s proposed closure of the U.S. Sheep Experimental Station in Dubois, Idaho.
·         Language directing the FDA to develop a standard identity for dairy based on existing standards which is similar to Congressman Simpson’s bipartisan DAIRY Pride Act.

Defense

“For years we have heard from our military leaders that defense spending is not keeping pace with increased demands on our military,” said Simpson.  “As lawmakers, it is our responsibility to ensure that our troops have the resources they need to complete every mission and anticipate new threats.  At $654.6 billion for defense spending, this bill does the work towards making critical investments in our nation’s military and safeguarding our American way of life.”

This is the biggest year-to-year increase in defense funding in 15 years.
·         Fully funds a 2.4% pay raise for our troops.
·         Includes an additional $221.7M above the request for additional end strength.
·         Directs $103M for A-10 wing replacements.

Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education

“Impact Aid is vitally important across the state of Idaho, providing support for schools and tax relief for local communities.  I am pleased that this bill honors our commitment to federally-impacted schools by increasing funds for Impact Aid programs,” said Congressman Simpson. “The Labor H bill contains life-saving research funding by substantially increasing NIH to continue their important initiatives. Most of this money flows out to universities like Boise State, Idaho State, and University of Idaho, who conducts the biomedical research that ultimately saves lives.”

·         Includes $1.41 billion for Impact Aid, an $85 million increase for education programs that benefit Idaho schools and counties.
·         Provides for a $3 billion increase to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to continue lifesaving research initiatives
·         Provides funding to address the nation’s opioid addiction crisis through prevention and treatment initiatives.  

The House passed H.R. 1625 by a vote of 256-167, and it will be considered by the U.S. Senate tomorrow.  Links to the full bill text and reports can be found here.

For bill-by-bill summaries, please visit:

Agriculture Appropriations Bill

https://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/03.21.18_fy18_omnibus_-_agriculture_-_summary.pdf

Commerce/Justice/Science Appropriations Bill

https://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/03.21.18_fy18_omnibus_-_commerce_justice_science_-_summary.pdf

Department of Defense Appropriations Bill

https://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/03.21.18_fy18_omnibus_-_defense_-_summary.pdf

Energy and Water Appropriations Bill

https://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/03.21.18_fy18_omnibus_-_energy_and_water_-_summary.pdf

Financial Services Appropriations Bill

https://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/03.21.18_fy18_omnibus_-_financial_services_-_summary.pdf

Homeland Security Appropriations Bill

https://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/03.21.18_fy18_omnibus_-_homeland_security_-_summary.pdf

Interior/Environment Appropriations Bill

https://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/03.21.18_fy18_omnibus_-_interior_-_summary.pdf

Labor/Health and Human Services/Education Appropriations Bill

https://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/03.21.18_fy18_omnibus_-_labor_health_and_human_services_-_summary.pdf

Legislative Branch Appropriations Bill

https://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/03.21.18_fy18_omnibus_-_legislative_branch_-_summary.pdf

Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Bill-

https://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/03.21.18_fy18_omnibus_-_milcon_va_-_summary.pdf

State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill

https://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/03.21.18_fy18_omnibus_-_state_foreign_operations_-_summary.pdf

Transportation/Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Bill

https://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/03.21.18_fy18_omnibus_-_THUD_-_summary.pdf

 

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Simpson Secures Fire Borrowing Fix and Forestry Reforms in the Omnibus

2018/03/21

Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson applauded inclusion of a fire borrowing fix and forestry reforms in the Omnibus Appropriations bill. Simpson has long championed a fix to fire borrowing having authored the Wildfire Disaster Funding Act which would treat wildfires like other natural disasters. The Omnibus includes the core principles of this bill by addressing the rising cost of fire suppression and a budget mechanism to provide parity with other natural disasters like hurricanes, floods, and tornadoes.

“The FY18 Omnibus spending bill might be one of the most critical pieces of legislation for western members I have seen since coming to Congress,” said Congressman Simpson. “I am thrilled this Omnibus provides a solution to fire borrowing. It has been my top legislative priority for years and by including this in the Omnibus, the Forest Service will be able to complete their maintenance and prevention work without fear of losing those dollars to suppression. It is long past due that wildfires in the west receive equal treatment with other natural disasters and this bill delivers the necessary budget changes to stop the dangerous practice of fire borrowing that has led to catastrophic wildfires in Idaho and throughout the west. I would like to thank Chairman Calvert and his counterparts on Interior Appropriations for prioritizing these important provisions. I would also like to thank Congressman Schrader and Senators Crapo and Wyden who have been champions of the Wildfire Disaster Funding Act since I began this effort in 2013.”

The legislation also includes several important forest management reforms that will allow the Forest Service and Department of the Interior to accomplish more prevention and management, which also helps reduce wildfires. Specifically, the Omnibus includes a fix to the disastrous court ruling known as the Cottonwood decision that has resulted in vegetative management projects and millions of board feet being put on hold. Congressman Simpson introduced the Litigation Relief for Forest Management Act last year, which is bipartisan legislation that would resolve the Cottonwood case. Similar language was included in the Omnibus spending bill.

“The forest management reforms in this bill will give land managers the tools they need to get the job done,” added Simpson. “The Cottonwood decision is a concern I heard from the local Forest Service on the ground, all the way up the Secretary of Agriculture as a barrier that stands in the way of improving the health of our federal forests. This is a serious problem that needed to be addressed, and this bill solves that issue as well.”

The Omnibus also addresses support for rural counties by fully funding Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) and reauthorizing Secure Rural Schools (SRS). This vital funding supports county budgets for the most critical of needs such as roads and schools.

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Simpson Joins Members of Congress to Introduce Bipartisan, Bicameral Legislation to Help Restore and Rebuild Our National Parks

2018/03/08


A group of eight senators and two representatives introduced a bipartisan, bicameral bill that will use revenues from energy production on federal lands to help pay for the over $11 billion maintenance backlog at our national parks.

The senators – U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Angus King (I-Maine), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) Joe Manchin (D- W.Va.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) and Representatives Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) and Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) have been working with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on the National Park Restoration Act, which will help restore and rebuild roads, buildings, campgrounds, trails and water systems in the country’s national parks for the next generation of visitors.

“As someone who loves public lands and our National Parks, I am thrilled to be joining Senator Alexander, Senator King, Congressman Schrader, and Secretary Zinke to propose a solution to fixing the backlog maintenance,” said Representative Simpson. “Growing up in Yellowstone’s backyard, it is important that we pay it forward to future visitors that deserve the same quality experience as past generations.  There are many people who deserve credit for bringing this issue to the forefront and I look forward to working with them to advance legislation that fixes our Parks.”

“This legislation will help address the over $11 billion maintenance backlog at our national parks, including the $215 million backlog of projects in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park,” Senator Alexander said. “The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of America’s greatest treasures – and it has a tremendous economic impact in East Tennessee, attracting nearly twice the visitors of any other national park. Addressing the maintenance backlog will help attract even more visitors and create more jobs for Tennesseans. We must continue to work together to find solutions to the many challenges facing our public lands, and this legislation takes an important step toward doing that.”

National Parks and recreation areas,” said Representative Kurt Schrader. “Our ability to enjoy and appreciate that natural beauty is limited when upkeep on our federal lands isn’t sufficiently funded allowing critical maintenance to fall by the wayside. Not only does that impact our enjoyment of the land, but it poses serious risks to the protection of these areas and hurts our communities that rely on the economic benefit from visitors. Currently, our national parks are in dire need of maintenance with a more than ten billion dollar backlog. Our bill provides an innovative solution by creating the National Park Restoration Fund which will provide mandatory funding from unutilized resources already available to us, to bring that backlog down and ensure our National Park System is well and safely kept for generations to come.”

“For more than a century, our national parks have inspired and amazed countless visitors,” said Senator King. “Unfortunately, these parks don’t take care of themselves – they need maintenance to ensure that future generations can experience the same wonder that so many Americans already have. This bill is a practical step to help clear the existing maintenance backlog, and protect these treasured lands for years to come.”

The National Park Restoration Act:

·         Creates the National Park Restoration Fund to provide mandatory funding for the high-priority deferred maintenance needs that support critical infrastructure and visitor services at our national parks.

·         Provides mandatory funding for the maintenance backlog on top of annual appropriations for operations and construction at the National Park Service.

·         The fund receives 50 percent of onshore and offshore revenues from energy production on federal lands over expected amounts that are not already allocated to other purposes.

·         Protects payments to states, the Land and Water Conservation Fund, the Reclamation Fund, and all other existing uses of onshore and offshore revenues. These existing uses will receive all of their funding before the National Park Restoration Fund receives any funding.

The backlog of infrastructure projects at our national parks can limit access and impair visitor experiences and recreation opportunities, and without additional funding, the backlog could continue to grow. The National Park Service (NPS) maintenance backlog is nearly four times what NPS receives in annual appropriations. In Fiscal Year 2017 the NPS’ deferred maintenance needs were $11.6 billion – that same fiscal year, NPS received $2.9 million in annual appropriations.

President Trump and Secretary Zinke have made addressing the growing maintenance backlog a top priority. 

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House Passes Bipartisan Action for Dental Health Act

2018/02/27

Last night, the House overwhelmingly passed the bipartisan Action for Dental Health Act (H.R. 2422), co-authored by Congressional Black Caucus Health Braintrust Chair, Congresswoman Robin Kelly (D-IL), and Congressman and dentist Mike Simpson (R-ID). It received 387 yes votes.

This legislation targets crucial federal dollars to organizations that provide oral health care to underserved populations, especially seniors, children and those living in rural and urban communities. Without spending additional dollars, the bill increases oral health care access by strengthening the impact of existing resources.

“Unfortunately, too many Americans lack access to oral health care because of cost or a lack of dentists in their area. This bill starts to change that by making oral health care more accessible,” Congresswoman Kelly said. “In a time of a deeply divided Congress, I’m glad that Congressman Simpson and I could put forward a bipartisan bill that would win the support of hundreds of our colleagues.”

“I am thrilled with the overwhelming bipartisan support for the Action for Dental Health Act,” Rep. Simpson said. “With House passage today, we are advancing a solution to better utilize resources to improve early diagnosis, intervention and preventive treatments which can stop the progress of oral diseases. I would like to thank Congresswoman Kelly for her work on this legislation and I look forward to seeing this advance in the Senate.”

In practice, the legislation will reduce the number of oral health emergency room visits, which are often expensive, not comprehensive and only address dental conditions in late stages. By increasing access to care, issues can be addressed more efficiently and before extensive damage to overall health.

The Action for Dental Health Act has received the endorsement of the American Dental Association, the National Dental Association, the American Dental Education Association and many other organizations. The legislation now advanced to the Senate.


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Chairman Simpson Opening Statement for FY15 Energy & Water Appropriations Bill

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Congressman Simpson Advocates for Potatoes in WIC

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2014-05-29 18:33:14


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2014-05-09 12:51:15


Simpson Defends Wolf Delisting

2014-04-04 17:39:22


Congressman Simpson Questions EPA on Overreaching Water Rule

2014-03-27 18:50:16


Congressman Simpson Questions EPA on Overreaching Water Rule

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Congressman Simpson Objects to Jihad Comments on House Floor

2013-10-03 17:45:34


Congressman Simpson Speaks in Favor of the Open Our National Parks and Museums Act

2013-10-02 22:29:44


Congressman Simpson introduces Open Our National Parks

2013-10-02 00:39:27


Congressman Simpson Responds to Criticism of Cuts to the FY14 Interior Bill

2013-07-23 20:22:39


Congressman Mike Simpson Opposes Expanding Federal Jurisdiction Over Water Rights

2013-07-09 22:57:13


Congressman Mike Simpson Speaks in Favor of H.R. 876

2013-06-17 23:00:14


Congressman Mike Simpson Offers Potato Amendment to the FY14 Agriculture Appropriations Bill

2013-06-13 21:29:05


Congressman Simpson spoke in favor of an amendment offered by Rep. Cynthia Lummis

2012-06-29 16:30:55


Contact Information

2312 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-5531
Fax 202-225-8216
simpson.house.gov/

Michael (Mike) K. Simpson is serving his eighth term in the House of Representatives for Idaho’s Second Congressional District.

Mike serves on the House Appropriations Committee. He is the Chairman for the Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development. He also serves on the Interior and Environment Subcommittee and the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Subcommittee. These committees have jurisdiction over funding for a number of programs critical to Idaho, including the Department of Energy, the Department of the Interior, the Forest Service, our National Parks, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Smithsonian Institute.

Simpson is one of the House’s leading advocates for a new energy policy and a renewed commitment to research and development of improved nuclear energy technologies. Mike has also gained national attention for his bill to split the massive, overburdened 9th Circuit Court of Appeals as well as his bill, the Central Idaho Economic Development and Recreation Act which addresses the concerns of economic growth and stability for rural Idaho and resolves long time wilderness debate over the Boulder-White Clouds.

His political career began in 1980, when he was elected to the Blackfoot City Council. In 1984, he was elected to the Idaho Legislature where he served until 1998, the last six years serving as Speaker. Simpson was born in Burley, Idaho and raised in Blackfoot. He graduated from Utah State University and earned his DMD from Washington University School of Dental Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. After graduation, he joined his father and uncle at the Simpson Family Dental Practice in Blackfoot.

Mike is an avid golfer and enjoys painting. He has been married to his wife Kathy for over 40 years and they live in Idaho Falls.


Serving With

Raul Labrador

IDAHO's 1st DISTRICT

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