Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson praised the passage of H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act today in the House of Representatives. H.R. 1 is the first comprehensive tax reform legislation to pass the House since 1986.
“Since coming to Congress, I’ve talked to farmers, ranchers and businesses throughout Idaho and I consistently hear about the burden that our overly complex, outdated, and unfair tax code puts on families and small businesses,” said Simpson. “This bill will relieve much of that burden and allow more people to see a greater share of their paychecks in their wallet. This will empower families in Idaho to make the decisions that they believe are best for their family, as opposed to sending their hard earned money to Washington.”
H.R. 1 will lower tax rates on individuals and businesses of all sizes. It will nearly double the standard deduction, so the first $12,000 earned by an individual and $24,000 earned by a married couple is completely tax-free. It will also lower individual tax rates, significantly increase the child tax credit, and create a new $300 tax credit for families caring for non-child dependents. It retains tax incentives that benefit individuals and families such as the home mortgage interest, charitable contributions, higher education, adoption, and retirement security. The bill also repeals the estate tax, also known as the “death tax” which is a top concern for family owned farms across Idaho.
“The United States has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world, so taking that rate down to 20% is going to benefit our entire economy,” said Simpson. “We need to stop incentivizing companies from leaving America to go create jobs elsewhere. Not only will they stay and create more jobs, but the wages for American workers will be higher and our businesses will be more competitive on a global stage. Simply put, this legislation is about creating economic growth in the United States by unleashing American small businesses and unburdening middle class families so they make better financial decisions with their own money.”
In addition to lowering the corporate tax to 20%, H.R. 1 will reduce the tax rate on business income to no more than 25%; establish safeguards to distinguish individual wage income and “pass through” business income; modernize our international tax system; and eliminates incentives that currently reward companies from shifting jobs, profits, and manufacturing plants abroad.
H.R. 1 passed by a vote of 227-205. The Senate is working on their own version of H.R. 1 and is expected to conference that version with the House legislation in December.
The House of Representatives today passed the conference report to H.R. 2810, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2018. Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson supported this legislation which fulfills Congress’ constitutional responsibility to provide for the common defense in addition to authorizing many important programs that support our military, including a pay increase and benefits to military members and their families.
“The overwhelmingly support of the conference report to the NDAA by the House of Representatives sends a strong signal of support to our troops,” said Simpson. “It is imperative that our military has the necessary tools to protect us from ever-changing threats.”
The conference report also includes important Idaho priorities such as language that streamlines the conveyance of an unused Air Force-owned rail spur near the Mountain Home Air Force Base (MHAFB) to the City of Mountain Home. The city plans to leverage this rail for economic development to attract businesses to the city, leading to job growth for its residents and for military dependents. Simpson was first to include conveyance language in the House version of the NDAA.
“I am thrilled that the conveyance language was included in the conference report, and I look forward to the economic opportunities that it will bring to the city of Mountain Home and Idaho,” said Simpson. “Both city officials and base leaders are excited that it will not only be an impetus to bring new businesses and jobs to the city, but also improve quality of life for local residents and military families.”
The conference report also authorizes full funding for the A-10 Thunderbolt II to continue its operation. An A-10 squadron currently operates at Gowen Field in Boise, and is essential to the mission there.
Funding for new trainee barracks for the Idaho Army National Guard and a digital air ground range at the Orchard Combat Training Center, high priorities for the Army to improve Guard readiness, are also authorized in this bill.
This bill provides for a 2.4% pay raise for over 1.3 million active-duty and 810,000 Guard and Reserve troops.
The conference report to H.R. 2810 passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 356-70.
As Veterans Day approaches, Congressman Simpson reflects on the exceptional commitment to service demonstrated by veterans and active members of the military every day. “This Veterans Day, we honor and thank our nation’s veterans and their families for the sacrifices they have made to keep us safe. These heroes have dedicated their lives to protecting our American way of life, and it is because they serve that we may live freely and without fear,” said Simpson. “I consider it one of my greatest honors and responsibilities to give back to these citizens who have given so much of themselves. For this reason, I am proud to have joined with my colleagues in Congress in sending more than half a dozen veterans related bills to the President’s desk for signature during the 115th Congress, and to have supported many more on the floor of the House of Representatives throughout my career. From H.R. 3218, the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017, to H.R. 244, the HIRE Vets Act, Congress is deeply committed to advocating for our nation’s veterans and their families. On behalf of a grateful nation, I again thank our veterans for their courageous commitment to duty, and the sacrifices they have made to protect our freedoms.”
For more information regarding legislation related to our veterans signed into law during the 115th Congress, please visit the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs website.
If you are an Idaho veteran in need of assistance navigating a federal agency, please visit my website to learn more and to submit an authorization form.
Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson issued the following on the news that former Congressman Orval Hansen passed away on Thursday evening.
“Kathy and I are saddened to hear of the passing of Congressman Hansen,” said Simpson. “He saw the potential that existed in our state for world class nuclear energy research and because of that vision, Idaho National Laboratory is a respected leader in energy research. We are greatly indebted to Congressman Hansen for his service to Idaho and our nation.”
Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson voted in favor of legislation that would advance effective forest management and address the issue of fire-borrowing. H.R. 2936, the Resilient Federal Forests Act would promote collaborative forest management, reduce frivolous litigation, and modernize the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self Determination Act. Included in the package is Congressman Simpson’s bipartisan H.R. 1483, the Litigation Relief for Forest Management Projects Act which would reverse a disastrous court ruling that has created duplicative steps in projects intended for conservation and forest health. H.R. 2936 passed the House by a vote of 232-188.
“Idahoans know all too well about the devastating impacts of catastrophic wildfires,” said Congressman Simpson. “The air quality in the summer, the evacuations from our communities, and the resources it takes to fight fires are all serious problems in Idaho. That is why Congress needs to act. I am pleased this legislation addresses the litigation issues that have halted far too many projects and promotes collaborative forest management provisions that seek to improve the health of our forests.”
“We also need to fix fire-borrowing,” said Simpson. “The rolling-ten year average, which is used to calculate the cost of wildfires, has decimated the Forest Service budget. Wildfire funding is anticipated to consume two-thirds of the total Forest Service budget by 2021 if we don’t change the current budgeting process. The status quo leaves little room to fund programs that actually prevent wildfires and reduce overall costs. That is why I proposed a solution to fix this problem.”
Congressman Simpson introduced H.R 2862, the Wildfire Disaster Funding Act (WDFA) which is bipartisan legislation that had 150 cosponsors in the 114th Congress. The bill would treat wildfires like other natural disasters and eliminate the need for fire-borrowing.
“I look forward to working with my colleagues to advance the needed reforms in both my Wildfire Disaster Funding Act and H.R. 2936 so we can curb the cost of wildfire suppression funding and protect our landscapes and communities from the catastrophic fires we have sadly grown accustomed to in the west.”
Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson released the following statement in response to the Department of the Interior’s announcement that they will take public comments in an effort to improve the current Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land use plans.
“Today’s announcement from the Department of the Interior regarding BLM’s sage-grouse management plans is welcome news in Idaho,” said Congressman Simpson. “Secretary Zinke and his team should be applauded for taking this important step which is needed to restore the collaborative process between federal and state partners and to realign the federal plans in Idaho with that of the state’s. I look forward to working with Governor Otter to refocus these plans on their original intent - which is conserving species through common sense measures that work for Idaho’s landscape.”
On Thursday, Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson supported passage of full year fiscal year 2018 funding. While a continuing resolution funds the government until December 2017, full year appropriations must still be passed for the remainder of the fiscal year. The bill was passed by a vote of 211-198 and includes legislation previously passed by the House including Chairman Simpson’s Energy and Water bill which has critical funding for Idaho National Laboratory.
“Today’s legislation is an important step towards finishing fiscal year 2018 appropriations,” said Congressman Simpson. “This bill is an important marker for many Idaho priorities such as PILT, wildfire funding, and provisions that rein in burdensome regulations from the previous Administration. I look forward to working with my colleagues to see that these policies ultimately are signed into law so we can ensure federal agencies can fulfill their missions as quickly and efficiently as possible.”
Interior and Environment
“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 Sheep Station in Dubois is important to Idaho, and language in the bill gives stakeholders and ARS the opportunity to come together to work on a viable, long-term future.”
Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education
“In Idaho, Impact Aid is important to the counties and school districts that are impacted by federal activities and I’m glad this bill honors that responsibility,” said Congressman Simpson. “I’m also extremely pleased with the funding increase for NIH. Simply put, this money saves lives and improves the health of Americans.”
The House passed bills will now be conferenced with their Senate companions to finalize fiscal year 2018 funding by the December 8th expiration of the continuing resolution.Read More
Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson issued this statement on the news that former Governor and Secretary of the Interior Cecil Andrus died Thursday.
“Idaho and our nation have lost a truly great statesman and conservationist today. Kathy and I send our prayers and thoughts to his family for their loss.
Governor Andrus will rightly be remembered as a legend in the conservation field. It was fitting that he cut his political teeth protecting Castle Peak as I think they both have a lot in common. They are giants in Idaho and icons to those who believe conservation is a necessity and not a luxury.
We will truly miss Cece, but we will always be reminded of how great he was as we are surrounded by his legacy of conservation.”
To view an Idaho Statesman video of Congressman Simpson honoring former Governor Cecil Andrus, please click here.
Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson issued the following statement regarding the Forest Service announcement to begin a trail from Redfish Lake to Stanley, ID.
“Building a Redfish to Stanley Trail was an important piece in the Boulder-White Clouds compromise. I am pleased that individuals and families with children of all ages will be able to safely hike and bike from Redfish Lake to Stanley where they will be able to enjoy the stores, restaurants and bakery. This is a great development for recreation on our federal lands, tourism and the local economy.
I would like to commend USFS Chief Tom Tidwell, Forest Supervisor, Sawtooth National Forest Kit Mullen and the staff of the SNRA along with the Federal Highway Administration for moving forward with the Redfish Lake to Stanley Trail. Their dedication and commitment to this project is greatly appreciated.”
2312 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
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.
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Congratulations to the South Central Community Action Center for their contributions to the Magic Valley for the la… https://t.co/BD6CsMEbp2
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Wildfires out West are burning millions of acres and blanketing cities in smoke. It's time to pass H.R. 2862 to fix fire funding problems.
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The only time I'll get the last word with Cecil. Goodbye, my friend. https://t.co/Xix8Ytzc4h