Washington, D.C. - “75 years ago, on the beaches of Normandy, more than 160,000 Allied soldiers landed across a 50 mile stretch of French coastline. Allied forces battled rough and frigid water only to be met at the shore by German machine guns and coastal batteries that spewed deadly artillery fire. This would be the largest amphibious military operation in history.
“Just before they would embark on this daring mission, just before they would leave the safety of British waters and engage Nazi occupied Europe, General Eisenhower spoke to his troops. Those who didn’t receive a paper copy heard the message read by Eisenhower himself, over loudspeakers aboard the ships. He said "The tide has turned! The freemen of the world are marching together to victory.... We will accept nothing less than full victory!"
“Those words proved prophetic: the Allied Forces claimed full victory, but at a cost. While the exact number of casualties is unknown, it is estimated that around 10,000 Allied soldiers were killed or wounded during this operation. These were young men, with an average age of just 21 and their whole lives ahead of them. They sacrificed their futures so that freedom could know its own.
“Today marks the anniversary of Operation Neptune, but we know it simply by its code name, D-Day. The events of June 6, 1944 and the days that followed were a godsend as the war in Europe shifted. It is our duty and privilege to remember the souls who stormed the blood-stained beaches. We pause to remember those who fought and died so that generations would know freedom. But perhaps there is more we can do to pay tribute to the soldiers’ sacrifice.
“May I suggest that a particular shift in our national consciousness could truly honor the heroes of D-Day. I can only imagine the sense of comfort and pride that came to the soldier’s heart when he was told by his General that “the freemen of the world are marching together.” I believe our workplaces, our homes, and certainly our government would benefit from a renewed commitment to this sense of unity. Every day in Congress, I witness citizens championing worthy causes that could connect us and bills that could bring us together. However, too often I also see political disagreements that divide us and partisan games that seek to obstruct. It doesn’t feel like we are marching together very often.
“We don’t always agree, nor should we, but disagreement doesn’t have to be uncivil and divisive. Civility should be the rule, not the exception. Far too often we seem to forget that the American people are on the same team.
“As we commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day, it is my hope that each of us will look for opportunities to come together to collaborate, and to compromise when necessary. Thanks to the heroes of D-Day, the freemen and women of the world can march on together.”
Washington, D.C. - The House of Representatives voted Wednesday on H.R. 6, the so-called American Dream and Promise Act. Offered by Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), the bill does not secure the southern border or stem the flow of illegal immigration into the United States, but instead offers a partisan expansion of programs that are meant to assist a narrowly-tailored group of vulnerable residents.
“I am disappointed that Democrats turned a bipartisan goal--legal status for Dreamers--into a bill that only had Democratic input. Our nation is facing a serious immigration crisis. Offering a partisan bill that will not be considered by the Senate and will never become law is not an honest attempt at solving the problem,” said Simpson. “This bill even goes beyond President Obama’s executive action and hamstrings top officials at DHS in their ability to enforce current law and deny individuals who pose a public safety risk, like gang members, from entering the country.”
H.6., which passed out of the House Judiciary Committee with no Republican amendments, passed on the floor of the House on Wednesday evening by a heavily partisan margin of 237-187. The Trump Administration has issued a veto threat for H.R. 6, and it is not expected to be considered by the Senate during the 116th Congress.
“We need a comprehensive solution that protects our southern border, addresses the legal status of the undocumented population, provides protections for Dreamers, solves the agriculture workforce problem, and most importantly, gains bipartisan support in the House and Senate,” said Simpson. “Anything less than that is a messaging bill that offers critics the opportunity to slander a bipartisan issue and only further sets back the chance at a successful solution. The DACA population deserves better.”Read More
Washington, D.C. - Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson sent two letters to the White House and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) encouraging consideration of wheat, barley, and dairy in future trade mitigation assistance packages. The letters come at a pivotal time as the White House and USDA are considering a second trade assistance mitigation package.
“I have talked to farmers throughout Idaho and I understand the hardships they are facing on trade,” said Congressman Simpson. “I also know that they would greatly prefer to compete in a fair global marketplace, but that just isn’t the current reality. That is why I support the White House and USDA including Idaho products in any trade mitigation assistance that have seen significant losses due to market uncertainty.”
Congressman Simpson joined the bipartisan House Dairy Caucus in sending a letter Secretary Perdue stressing the importance of including adequate dairy support in a trade assistance mitigation package. Congressman Simpson also sent a letter to Secretary Perdue which was delivered to the White House urging the inclusion of wheat and barley in a trade mitigation assistance package following the recent price drop in both commodities.
Washington, D.C. – Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson released the following statement addressing the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russia interference with the 2016 Presidential election:
“Today's release of the Mueller report marks the final day in a process that has dominated national discourse for two years. At last, the American people can know without a shadow of a doubt that the Trump campaign did not collude with foreign governments. While Democrats in Congress have eagerly fanned the flames of division, it's time they accept this good news: there was no collusion and while the 2016 elections faced foreign attacks, those attacks did not change any outcomes. I implore Democrats to put the completed investigation behind them and get down to business addressing the real challenges our country is facing. The day Democrats and liberal media outlets decide to drop their ludicrous impeachment campaign is the day our country begins to move forward together.”
Idaho Delegation Cheer DOI Sage-Grouse Plans
Collaborative effort receives bipartisan praise from governors
Washington, D.C. – Idaho’s congressional delegation applauded the collaborative effort of Acting Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt on the Record of Decision (ROD) for the amended land use plans that better align the Bureau of Land Management plans with the State of Idaho aimed at Greater Sage-Grouse conservation. The plans deliver on years of collaborative work between the Department of the Interior and western states that have significant acres of sage-grouse habitat.
“The Department of Interior’s decision announced today to better coordinate Bureau of Land Management plans for habitat protection of sage grouse with state conservation strategies is grounded in good science and practical considerations,” said Senator Mike Crapo. “Key elements in this resolution include a commitment to work with all relevant stakeholders, adaptive management that reflects inevitable changes in on-the-ground conditions, and respect for state and local economic considerations. This approach will have greater public support and participation and a more beneficial outcome for sage grouse and its habitat. Congressman Mike Simpson, Idaho House Speaker Scott Bedke, Idaho Governor Brad Little, and former Governor Butch Otter deserve special recognition for their dogged efforts to protect sage grouse in a manner that balances the interests of all involved.
“I am pleased the Department of Interior is taking the next step to bring sage grouse management back to the collaborative state model it was intended to be,” said Senator Jim Risch. “Idaho has a successful history of wildlife management and is best equipped to make decisions for our state’s unique landscape. I commend the efforts of Acting Secretary Bernhardt, Governor Otter, Governor Little and all the stakeholders in Idaho to make this happen.”
“For several years, I have authored language in annual appropriations bills to ensure sage-grouse were not listed under the Endangered Species Act, while appropriating nearly $300 million to the western states to aid in sage-grouse conservation measures. I’m more than pleased the many stakeholders involved in this collaborative process came to an agreement on this vital issue,” said Congressman Mike Simpson. “Acting Secretary Bernhardt, Governor Little, and former Governor Otter deserve substantial credit for their years of commitment to this collaborative process that has resulted in a balanced approach to conserving sage-grouse habitat and allowing local communities, ranchers, and other stakeholders to responsibly utilize public lands.”
“I am happy to see the federal government taking seriously the concerns and suggestions from state and local governments-- and improving their policies based on this feedback,” said Congressman Russ Fulcher. “Thank you to Acting Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt for creating this collaborative environment.”
Pinch Me – This must be a Nightmare
By Congressman Mike Simpson
Boise, ID – “St. Patrick’s Day bears some unique traditions. The idea that forgetting to wear green for the day could cause you to get pinched could be described by some as crazy or even loony. Yet, it’s all in good fun.
“A reporter recently asked about how I felt about the Green New Deal and I called it ‘Crazy and Loony‘. Unlike a holiday tradition, this legislation is not all in good fun. Proposed as an economic and environmental transformation, the Green New Deal is an irresponsible ploy that should have our nation green with nausea rather than envy.
“Last week, we celebrated National Agriculture Week. In Idaho we understand the journey from farm to table. The crusade against “farting cows” might be considered noble or a bit funny by some in the Bronx, but to the ranchers who are up before the sun feeding cows, this isn’t a joke. The attempts of the Green New Deal to devastate the agriculture industry do not go unnoticed in Idaho.
“It isn’t just the attack on our agriculture community that makes this a bad deal. Architects of the Green New Deal fail to embrace the essential role that nuclear energy will have in the future of clean, renewable energy. Any serious attempt at promoting a carbon free solution would place a priority on the backbone of US carbon-free energy - nuclear power. It sounds like a visit to the Idaho National Lab to see the groundbreaking innovation would be of value to many of my colleagues who support this ‘new deal’.
“With a price tag that could be as much as 93 trillion dollars, yes that’s with a ‘t', you can start seeing where the term ‘Green’ comes from. At 93 trillion, the Green New Deal would cost more than the entire recorded spending of the US since the Constitution went into effect in 1789. Compare that to a more contemporary number, the World Bank estimates the global gross domestic product at 81 trillion. On top of that, this debt is built on a premise that insults hard working Americans by guaranteeing a living wage even if you are “unwilling” to work. If someone is getting a deal here, it is not the taxpayers.
“As I speak with constituents about this issue, I ensure them that I place a high priority in being a good steward over this land. I have and will continue to work across the aisle to protect our forests and to promote alternative energy research. But to sell out one of our most important industries, and to saddle ourselves with an insurmountable debt, well frankly that would be just crazy and loony.”
Washington, D.C. - Idaho Congressmen Mike Simpson and Russ Fulcher lauded Acting Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt’s announcement that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) will propose a rule to delist the gray wolf in the lower 48 states. This decision would build on the successful recovery of the species and the successful implementation of delisting in the State of Idaho which has responsibly managed the species.
“This is a smart, sound, scientific decision that recognizes the successful efforts of states and local partners who have dedicated time and resources to conserving and maintaining a healthy wolf population,” said Congressman Simpson. “No doubt this decision recognizes the State of Idaho and its effective management of the species following delisting in 2011. I applaud Acting Secretary Bernhardt for this decision which will return wolf management back to the states where it belongs.”
“The excess population of wolves in Idaho has proven detrimental to our economy, ranchers, and natural resources,” said Congressman Russ Fulcher. “I am extremely pleased with Acting Secretary Bernhardt’s decision to delist the gray wolf and I will continue to support efforts to undo federal government overreach.”
In 2011, Congressman Simpson inserted language into the annual appropriations bill which overturned the August 2010 decision by a district court in Montana to put wolves in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Utah back on the endangered species list, in spite of the fact that these populations had met and exceeded recovery goals. The language directed the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to reissue its 2009 decision to delist wolves in Idaho and Montana within 60 days of enactment.
During the Obama Administration, USFWS Director Dan Ashe told Congressman Simpson at a House Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee hearing, that states had responsible management plans, wolves met their recovery goals, and warranted delisting.
The proposed rule is anticipated to be published in the Federal Register which will initiate a public comment period.Read More
On Tuesday, Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson supported final passage of S. 47, the Natural Resources Management Act. The legislation includes over 100 individual bills which deliver local solutions to public lands issues, primarily in the west. The bill includes two bills authored by Congressman Simpson that resolve boundary adjustments and management of recreation facilities. S. 47 also permanently reauthorizes the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which supports conservation on public lands and state grant programs. The bill passed by a broad bipartisan vote of 363-62.
“I am thrilled to see so many pieces of local legislation honored in the public lands package,” said Congressman Simpson. “Many of these bills are local issues that require an act of Congress to fix and I am happy to report that two Idaho bills were included in the package. It is also important that LWCF is reauthorized because it has a history of conserving, protecting, and constructing public lands and local parks. We have so many examples in our own backyard, whether you are hiking in the SNRA or recreating in the Boise foothills, this program has improved access to the outdoors in Idaho.”
Included in S. 47, is H.R. 482 and H.R. 483, two bills authored by Congressman Mike Simpson and introduced on the Senate side by Senator Jim Risch. H.R. 482 authorizes the Forest Service to allow routine maintenance of a recreation facility in Central Idaho and update outdated and fire-prone energy equipment with renewable sources. H.R. 483 allows for a minor boundary adjustment in Henry’s Lake Wilderness Study Area to correct a property line on federal land.
The LWCF reauthorization is nearly identical to Congressman Simpson’s LAND Act, which includes the LWCF reauthorization and funding to address the backlog in our National Park system. President Trump is expected to sign the bill into law as the Senate passed the bill 92-8 on February 12th.
Washington, D.C. - Today, the Idaho Congressional Delegation voted to pass H.J. Res. 31, which funds the rest of government through the end of fiscal year 2019. The legislation contains many important priorities that will directly benefit Idaho and provide funding for border security. Specifically, the legislation funds the Agriculture; Commerce, Justice, Science; Interior and Environment; Financial Services; State and Foreign Operations; Transportation, Housing and Urban Development; and Homeland Security and Related Agencies appropriations bills for fiscal year 2019.
“I supported today’s measure because it takes a step toward making our communities safer. Bicameral, bipartisan appropriators diligently advanced a compromise proposal that addresses urgent priorities in the seven outstanding appropriations packages. For homeland security, this agreement provides more than $1.3 billion for physical security barriers along portions of our border that have been designated as the highest priority by our Border Patrol. Additionally, it provides an unprecedented $22.5 billion for overall border security initiatives that includes law enforcement personnel and drug trafficking prevention. Locally, this bill will also fund the Payment in Lieu of Taxes program, which provides funding to Idaho’s counties to make up for lost revenues from federal ownership of lands,” said Senator Mike Crapo. “The President has also indicated he intends to declare a national emergency to use specific powers to secure our border. We need additional physical barriers securing our border. In the coming days, I will work closely with my Senate colleagues and with the White House to learn the details of the President’s intentions and how they will be implemented.”
“We need significantly more than 55 miles of wall to fully protect our southern border, but this bill makes a down-payment on the wall while future funding is negotiated. Plus, I absolutely did not want to see another government shutdown. Shutdowns are bad for our economy and bad for the American people. We will keep working until the entire border wall is funded,” said Senator James E. Risch.
“I’m very pleased that the Congress has fulfilled its most basic of obligations through this agreement to keep the government open. As in all compromises, neither side got everything they wanted. But at the end of the day, this legislation provides Idaho with the necessary funding and policy provisions to help rural counties, prevent and fight wildfires, and includes important research for our agricultural economy,” said Congressman Mike Simpson. “It moves the ball forward in our border security efforts and will allow the Administration to continue its successful and necessary efforts to roll back regulations and deliver the tax cuts which were passed during the last Congress.”
“This is a less than perfect bill and a less than perfect process, but here is what it came down to for me: H.J. Res. 31 provides about $22 Bi in funding for border security and nearly $1.4 Bi directly for a physical barrier -- both critical for security and humanitarian purposes. Other components include support for Israel and the blocking of federal funds used for abortions,” said Congressman Russ Fulcher. “The bill also funds two efforts affecting Idaho that cannot afford to be neglected: Wildfire suppression and the PILT program (payment in lieu of taxes) -- lifelines for our counties that are predominantly comprised of federal lands. It is unfortunate that bills like this contain such broad content. I am working hard to introduce a single-subject clause in Congress to avoid situations like this in the future.”
The legislation specifically delivers $1.375 billion for 55 miles of wall or physical barriers in addition to increased technology to combat human and drug trafficking. The bill also contains numerous provisions which directly benefit Idaho.
The legislation was passed by a large bipartisan vote in both the House and Senate and will now head to the President’s desk to be signed into law.Read More
Simpson and Kilmer Introduce LAND Act to Enhance Federal Investment in Public Lands
Conservation bill would permanently reauthorize LWCF and create new dedicated funding to address the maintenance backlog at National Parks and other public lands
Today, Congressman Mike Simpson (R-ID) and Congressman Derek Kilmer (D-WA) introduced the Land and National Park Deferred Maintenance (LAND) Act. The legislation would permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), create a new dedicated fund to address the Department of the Interior’s deferred maintenance backlog, and provide ten years of mandatory funding derived from energy revenues for both programs.
“Conserving land and water is vitally important to ensuring access to our public lands,” said Congressman Mike Simpson. “However, ensuring we take care of public lands is equally important. That is why I am proposing a solution that honors the commitment to the Land and Water Conservation Fund while creating a new fund to help our National Parks, and other land managers, address the maintenance backlog. These lands belong to all Americans and we owe it to ourselves to take care of them. This reasonable approach ensures we have the resources to conserve and maintain our treasured landscapes.”
“Growing up on the Olympic Peninsula, I’ve seen firsthand how our National Park and public lands have captivated visitors and created generations of jobs,” said Congressman Derek Kilmer. “But unfortunately, many of our most iconic landscapes and visitor experiences are falling into disrepair. I’m proud to join this bipartisan effort that will be an economic boost to rural communities and keep our public lands accessible for future generations.”
“There’s overwhelming bipartisan support for making this long-overdue investment in the aging infrastructure within our national parks and public lands,” said Marcia Argust, director of The Pew Charitable Trusts’ project to restore America’s parks. “The legislation will help preserve historic treasures, protect visitor access, and sustain local economies and jobs.”
“Hunters and anglers are proud to support the bipartisan LAND Act, which sets aside funding to increase public access for outdoor recreation,” said Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “This bill supports the permanent authorization of the successful Land and Water Conservation Fund and begins to address the massive maintenance backlog in our national parks. We want to thank Congressmen Simpson and Kilmer for their commitment to sportsmen and women across this country, and we look forward to advancing these priorities.”
“The Land and Water Conservation Fund is our most effective, successful program for conserving important lands and waters and providing public access great places to hunt, fish and recreate,” said Land Tawney, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers President and CEO. “The bipartisan bill introduced by Representatives Simpson and Kilmer not only reauthorizes LWCF; it also increases to 3 percent funding earmarked for enhancing hunting and fishing opportunities on public lands. It’s consistent with other LWCF-focused legislation being considered, and Representatives Simpson and Kilmer deserve thanks for their leadership in addressing LWCF and the public land agencies’ maintenance backlog in a productive way.”
The LWCF was established in 1964 to reinvest a small percentage of offshore oil and gas royalty payments in conservation projects to enhance access to our nation’s iconic outdoor spaces. Since it was first created, the LWCF has invested more than $18 billion in projects that support environmental stewardship, outdoor recreation, and historic preservation. The LAND Act would permanently reauthorize LWCF, which expired last year, and authorize $450 million annually in mandatory expenditures for the next decade.
The bill would also authorize $450 million in mandatory expenditures annually for ten years to fund the National Park Service and Related Agencies Maintenance and Revitalization Conservation Fund. The current Department of Interior maintenance backlog, which includes National Parks, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Refuges, Bureau of Land Management, and Bureau of Indian Education school construction, totals more than $18 billion.
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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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My staff and I toured the facilities at Gowen Field and the Orchard Combat Training Center, home to the… https://t.co/K5T7b6ibCy
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It’s a big day in the Simpson home, those who know Kathy and I know that we love our little poodle Charley. Today h… https://t.co/k2e5IZ4rwh