Washington, D.C. - Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson voted in favor of H.R. 2, the Agriculture Improvement Act which is the conference report for the Farm Bill. The legislation reauthorizes many important programs for industries in Idaho like potatoes, dairy, grain, and sugar beets.
“The Farm Bill represents one of the most vital pieces of legislation for Idaho,” said Congressman Simpson. “Whether it is the specialty crop programs for our potatoes or retaining the integrity of the no cost sugar program for beet producers, this bill touches on the most critical parts of Idaho’s agriculture economy. I was pleased to vote in favor of legislation that provides the certainty farmers and ranchers need to succeed.”
Specifically, the legislation includes important Idaho provisions such as:
H.R. 2 also includes forest management provisions which builds on the historic forestry reforms Congressman Simpson included in the 2018 Omnibus Appropriations bill.
The Senate passed the Farm Bill on Tuesday and Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue has stated he will recommend President Trump sign the bill into law. To learn more about the Farm Bill visit: https://agriculture.house.gov/farmbill/
Washington, D.C. - The Department of the Interior (DOI) announced the availability of the Final Environmental Impact Statement and proposed plan amendments addressing Greater Sage-Grouse conservation on public land in Idaho last week. The proposal seeks to align the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) resource management plans with Idaho’s state management plan.
“I am pleased to see the collaborative work produced by Governor Otter and DOI,” said Congressman Simpson. “Idaho worked hard on their state management plan which received high marks from the Fish and Wildlife Service. To see DOI recognizing the benefits of the state plan means we are putting Idaho based solutions on the ground which works to protect sage-grouse from their primary threats in our region. I thank Secretary Zinke, Deputy Secretary Bernhardt, and Governor Otter for their hard work on this proposed solution.”
The publication in the federal register will start a 30 day protest period for public comments to be submitted to the BLM. Congressman Simpson has long been a leader on the issue, having inserted language into the Interior Appropriations bill delaying the listing of sage-grouse which has allowed DOI the time to make sound scientific decisions – not an arbitrary deadline set by the courts.
Washington, D.C. - Today, the U.S. House passed the bipartisan Action for Dental Health Act. This bipartisan legislation, introduced by Congressman Mike Simpson, DMD (R-ID) and Congresswoman Robin Kelly (D-IL), will provide essential oral and dental health services to underserved communities. The Action for Dental Health Act targets federal funding to provide vulnerable populations, especially children, seniors and those living in rural and urban communities with dental care.
The legislation was originally passed the U.S. House in February with ninety percent of Members voting in favor of the legislation. A slightly amended version was introduced in the U.S. Senate and passed in October 2018. With today’s vote, the legislation advances to the President’s desk for his signature.
“With today’s passage of Action for Dental Health, we are sending a message that oral health is a priority for Congress,” Congressman Simpson said. “I would like to thank Congresswoman Kelly for her work on this legislation and I am excited to see this bill move to the President’s desk. Ultimately, the real winners are patients who need improved access to resources to enhance early diagnosis, intervention and preventive treatments which can stop the progress of oral diseases.”
“This bipartisan bill means that more families will have access to oral and dental healthcare. This increased access to care means that patients will receive early detection and intervention resulting in better outcomes, reduced costs and improved health,” said Congresswoman Kelly. “I’d especially like to thank Congressman Mike Simpson for his steadfast leadership, expertise and partnership.”
The Action for Dental Health Act won the endorsement of the American Dental Association, the National Dental Association, the American Dental Education Association, Academy of General Dentistry, Oral Health America, and many other organizations. During the House subcommittee hearing on the measure, Chicago dentist Dr. Cheryl Watson-Lowry testified on the importance of the bill.
Washington, D.C. – Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson voted this week for a series of bills aimed at protecting and expanding the historic wins accomplished by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017. Between the three bills, the “Tax Reform 2.0” package makes permanent the individual income tax provision of the TCJA and makes it easier for individuals to save for retirement, education, and other family expenses. The legislation package passed with bipartisan support.
“Tax Reform 2.0 builds on the success of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act from 2017,” said Simpson. “With the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, we jump-started the economy by creating more jobs and increasing optimism on Main Street. Consumer confidence is at a nearly twenty year high, businesses are investing in their employees, and GDP grew by over four percent last quarter. Tax Reform 2.0 expands on that success by giving American families long term certainty through making the individual tax cuts permanent. That means more money in the pockets of American families and individuals, so they can decide what is best for them. The bill also doubles the Child Tax Credit, establishes the Paid Family Leave Tax Credit, and makes the doubled exemption of the Death Tax from TCJA permanent.”
Tax Reform 2.0 also makes permanent the 20 percent deduction for pass-through business income, locking in significant tax relief to Main Street job creators.
Tax Reform 2.0 is comprised of the following bills:
H.R. 6760, the Protecting Family and Small Business Tax Cuts Act of 2018, would make the individual and small business tax cuts enacted in 2017 permanent. The Joint Committee on Taxation (JTC) estimates that this provision will increase long-run GDP by 2.2 percent and create 1.5 million new full-time jobs. Additionally, H.R. 6760 would extend the newly-expanded medical expense deduction through the 2020 tax year, allowing more individuals to deduct their medical expenses.
H.R. 6757, the Family Savings Act of 2018, would create new incentives for retirement savings as well as a new type of tax-deferred savings account. Individuals will be able to contribute up to $2,500 into the accounts on an annual basis, and any withdrawals are tax free. This bill would make it easier for Americans to save for retirement, education, and other family expenses, and;
H.R. 6756, the American Innovation Act of 2018, would help small businesses and encourages new entrepreneurs by allowing businesses to write off more of their initial start-up costs.
Simply put, Tax Reform 2.0 puts the focus on families and small businesses. “When American voters chose Republicans to control the House, Senate, and White House, we made a promise to our constituents that we would deliver historic tax reforms,” said Simpson. “The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 fulfilled that promise, and Tax Reform 2.0 only doubles down on that success. I am proud to support this legislation and urge the Senate to move quickly to send these bills to the President’s desk.”
Washington, D.C. - Significant progress was made Wednesday in Congressional Republicans’ efforts to return the annual federal appropriations process to regular order. Nearly one week before the end of the fiscal year, the House of Representatives approved the Conference Report for H.R. 6157, which includes the Department of Defense (DOD) and Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations bills for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019, as well as a short term “continuing resolution” to fund the government until all 12 appropriations bills for FY 2019 can be signed into law. “Regular order” is an appropriations process which results in full year appropriations bills being signed into law before the end of the fiscal year. Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson, a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, voted in favor of the legislation which passed by a bipartisan vote of 361-61.
The Defense Appropriations title of the bill contains a total of $674.4 billion in funding for defense and security agencies, consistent with the National Defense Authorization Act of 2019.
“H.R. 6157 represents a critical, positive step forward in rebuilding our military,” said Simpson. “The American people rely on our men and women in uniform to protect us at home and abroad, and it’s only right that we uphold our end of the bargain by ensuring that they have the resources they need to be ‘ready to fight tonight.’ For the first time in 20 years, the Department of Defense will have its full annual funding enacted before the end of the current fiscal year, and I am grateful to Defense Chairwoman Kay Granger and House Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen for leading this bill over the finish line. The importance of passing this bill under regular order and the certainty it provides our troops can’t be emphasized enough.”
The Defense title increases base discretionary funding at the DOD by $17 billion over FY 2018. The highlights from the bill include:
The largest pay raise for our troops in nine years at 2.6%;
$34 billion for the Defense Health Program, which funds cancer research, traumatic brain injury, psychological health research and more;
$65 million to upgrade the critical A-10 aircraft fleet, based in part at Gowen Field in Boise;
$2.3 billion to recruit and train more airmen and aircraft mechanics; and more.
The Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education title of the bill takes into account the unique challenges of federally impacted Americans by providing a much-needed funding increase to Federal Impact Aid.
“Impact Aid is a vital program in Idaho where federally impacted school districts depend on its support to continue delivering a high-quality education to young Idahoans,” said Simpson. “This bill also includes lifesaving research funding for the National Institutes of Health and truly historic levels of funding to combat the opioid crisis. I have often said that NIH is the best kept secret, and the American people need to know that their tax dollars are going towards research that leads to cures for the most complex diseases we face.”
The Labor-H title also provides:
$1.06 billion for Federal TRIO programs to support college-bound veterans and first-generation and low-income students;
$1.4 billion for Federal Impact Aid to provide support and relief for school districts affected by the presence of tax-exempt federal lands or federally-connected students;
$39 billion to support the lifesaving research work of the National Institutes of Health, a $2 billion increase over fiscal year 2018. This includes funding for key initiatives such as finding cures for cancer, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes, and;
An unprecedented $6.7 billion to help combat the opioid crisis through treatment and prevention efforts. Much of this funding is directed towards the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to improve addiction and recovery programs.
H.R. 6157 passed in the Senate on September 18, 2018, and will now head to President Trump’s desk to be signed into law. His signature will mark the completion of five appropriations bills on time which accounts for roughly 80% of total discretionary spending. The first three, Energy and Water Development (authored by Congressman Simpson), Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Legislative Branch appropriations were signed into law on September 21, 2018.
“While Congress certainly does not deserve trophies for doing our job, I am pleased that Republicans are leading a return to regular order and achieving the most progress in regards to annual appropriations in over a decade,” Simpson said. “The power of the purse is one of Congress’ most important Constitutional duties, and the completion of these five bills on time underscores Republicans’ commitment to transparency and responsible governance.”
Washington, D.C. – The House Committee on Natural Resources passed H.R. 6510, the Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act and H.R. 502 today, which permanently reauthorizes the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson has been a leader on both issues having introduced legislation to reauthorize LWCF and address deferred maintenance on our public lands.
“I am encouraged to see movement on both these important public lands issues,” said Simpson. “The positive momentum in the committee of jurisdiction demonstrate that both issues are priorities that need to be addressed by the end of this Congress. I look forward to working with Chairman Bishop and Ranking Member Grijalva to make these critical bills become law.”
Congressman Simpson introduced, H.R. 5210, the National Park Restoration Act which would create a designated fund from energy revenues to address deferred maintenance in our National Parks. Congressman Simpson is also a lead cosponsor of H.R. 6510. In 2017, Congressman Simpson introduced H.R. 2863, the LAND Act, which would fund deferred maintenance projects in the National Park System, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Forest Service. The bill also funds and reauthorizes LWCF.
Washington, D.C. – Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson praised the passage of H.R. 5895, which includes the Fiscal Year 2019 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill. The U.S. House of Representatives approved the legislation, which also includes legislation to fund the Veterans Administration, Military Construction projects and the Legislative branch, by a vote count of 377-20. H.R. 5895 provides 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 and had the lead role negotiating funding decisions for Department of Energy, Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation, and other agencies. The three-bill package is the first time in more than a decade that more than one Appropriations bill reached the President’s desk before the end of the fiscal year.
“I am proud of the fiscal year 2019 Energy and Water bill and the critical investments it makes at the Idaho National Laboratory,” said Chairman Simpson. “This bill reaffirms INL’s leadership in nuclear energy research, and also expands capabilities at the lab to bolster national security. Passing this legislation today
The FY 2019 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill sets record funding for the DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy at $1.326 billion. The bill directs funding to the following INL priorities:
The Idaho Facilities Management account, which covers infrastructure maintenance and improvement at INL, is funded at $318 million – a $24 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 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, the same as last year.
The Reactor Concepts Research, Development, and Demonstration account is funded at $324 million – an increase of $87 million above last year. Within the overall level for this account, $100 million is for Advanced Small Modular Reactor Research and Development, $65 million is to design a new “fast” test reactor at INL, $34 million is allocated to fuel qualification for an advanced gas reactor, and $20 million is provided for new program to develop very small “micro reactors” for deployment at remote locations and Department of Defense facilities.
Within the Fuel Cycle Research and Development program, the Advanced Fuels program is funded at $125 million with $20 million directed toward development of new high assay low enriched fuel for advanced reactors. The bill directs $63.9 million for Used Nuclear Fuel Disposition research and development.
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, $7 million is for advanced battery analytics at the Lab, $30 million is for the Lab’s bioenergy program, and $11 million is 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.
A provision to extend the authority for the Bureau of Reclamation to conduct feasibility studies on projects that address water shortages within the Snake, Boise, and Payette River systems.
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 and $10 million to decommission and disposition INL facilities and infrastructure.
The bill also provides $397 million for the Waste Isolation Pilot Project that continues to receive record shipments of transuranic waste from INL, including $85 million for necessary safety-related infrastructure upgrades.
Simpson also praised the inclusion of the crucial Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies (MilCon-VA) Appropriations bill in the package.
“The MilCon-VA title provides a much-needed $5.4 billion increase for Veterans and military construction programs,” said Simpson. “I am pleased to support this title which addresses the most critical issues facing our Veterans, including funds for increased mental health services and addressing the claims backlog at the Department of Veterans Affairs.”
The MilCon-VA title, which includes the highest dollar level ever for the Department of Veterans Affairs, also includes increases for military base housing and facilities and upgrades to infrastructure for deterrence operations.
By supporting H.R. 5895, the House voted to provide:
$8.6 billion for mental health care services,
$206 million for suicide prevention outreach,
$270 million for rural Veterans health initiatives,
Rigorous reporting requirements on the status of VA claims processing, and
Full funding for on-base housing for service-members and their families.
“Beyond the important funding for Idaho, the three-bill package marks an important return to regular order. I have long pressed for Congress to fulfill its responsibility and provide budget certainty by passing appropriations bills on time. I am pleased my Energy and Water legislation fulfills that responsibility and I look forward to passing more appropriations bills by the end of fiscal year 2018.”
The Senate passed H.R. 5895 on Wednesday and the President is expected to sign the bill into law.
Washington, D.C. - Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson joined a bipartisan coalition of members of Congress to introduce the Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act. The bill would create a dedicated fund to address the $12 billion maintenance backlog in the National Parks (NPS) and multibillion-dollar backlog that exists at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE). The proposal is consensus legislation that combines Congressman Simpson’s National Park Restoration Act and LAND ACT, and Congressman Will Hurd’s National Park Service Legacy Act.
“This is an exciting day for public lands and national park advocates,” said Simpson. “Growing up in Yellowstone’s backyard, I was afforded the opportunity to enjoy our nation’s first national park. That is why I feel it is important to pay it forward to future visitors that deserve the same quality experience as past generations. I look forward to working with all the stakeholders to advance legislation that will help restore our parks and public lands.”
Specifically, the Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act would create a dedicated fund of money to fix the backlog maintenance at the NPS, USFWS, BLM, and BIE. The money would come from onshore and offshore energy revenues that are currently not obligated to other purposes. The bill is estimated to raise roughly $6.5 billion over the course of five years.
The legislation was introduced with over 50 bipartisan cosponsors and has bicameral support with a Senate version that was introduced in June. The legislation also has the support of President Trump and Interior Secretary Zinke, the National Parks Conservation Association, the Pew Charitable Trusts’ restore America’s parks campaign, and the Outdoor Industry Association.
Washington, D.C. - The House of Representatives passed the fiscal year 2019 Interior and Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations bill by a vote of 217-199. Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson authored several of the provisions in the bill that directly benefit Idaho. This legislation also continues many important provisions from the 2018 Omnibus, such as rolling back onerous rules and regulations, providing funding for the Payment in Lieu of Taxes Program (PILT), and fully funding wildfire suppression to ensure western states have the resources to battle catastrophic wildfires.
“Land managers have a duty to be good neighbors to Idahoans,” said Simpson. “That is why Congress needs to adequately fund these agencies to ensure that they have the resources to carry out their missions. The legislation passed by the House does that by funding PILT, wildfire prevention and suppression programs, and providing a check on the executive branch from past rules and regulations that have been a burden to communities across Idaho.”
The bill will now move to the Senate for further consideration. To read about more Idaho provisions in the bill visit: https://simpson.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=398651
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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INL and Fluor Idaho employees are once again grateful to "adopt" more than 250 children through the Salvation Army'… https://t.co/cTlvBSadEI
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