Managing and Protecting Idaho’s Natural Resources
The federal government controls about 63% of the land within Idaho’s borders. I believe Idahoans can more effectively manage our lands than bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. I will not sit idle while those same bureaucrats tell us what to do with our land, forcing us to rely on reduced PILT payments (payment in lieu of taxes), and making us deal with larger and more damaging wildfires.
Since arriving in Congress, I have sponsored legislation to:
- Fully utilize geothermal energy by easing burdensome regulations by streamlining the permitting process.
- Get environmentally responsible mining operations up and running more quickly and safely in order to tap into domestic sources of minerals.
- Help local stakeholders access and better manage our diseased, dying forests more quickly through an arbitration process rather than traditional litigation.
- Allow tribes and counties to obtain proceeds from the sale of timber under Good Neighbor Authority.
These bills will not only improve the environment through wise land management, but they will bring high-paying jobs to our rural areas – thereby leveraging one of the key strengths of our beautiful state. In Idaho, we are proud of our natural resources, their industries, and the jobs that they create.
Keeping Our Dams
The lower four Snake River dams are essential to Idaho and the Pacific Northwest and I am vehemently opposed to breaching them. The dams supply more than just clean hydro energy, they provide tourism and recreational activities, irrigation and flood protection, and access to the Port of Lewiston. These dams allow barges to export 10% of our nation’s wheat and allow Idahoans to take advantage of our agriculture and natural resources. Idaho’s competitive edge on the world market depends on the infrastructure provided in part by this network of dams. Their removal would provide a crushing blow to the economy of Idaho and the pacific northwest.
National Debt / Budget / Inflation
2022 began with our national debt passing the $30 trillion mark, or approximately $91,000 for every man, woman, and child in America. Last year, Congress spent nearly $3 trillion more than it received in revenues! This is one of the reasons I have always supported a constitutional amendment for a balanced budget. American families don’t live like that and Congress shouldn’t either.
We must fix what is wrong in Washington, DC – with what is right in Idaho! Our national debt crisis is a symptom of a more significant issue – out-of-control spending and a broken legislative process. In the Idaho legislature, only one subject can be considered at any given time. This discourages earmarks and wasteful spending from sneaking into legislation while promoting accountability and transparency to constituents. Unfortunately, Congress is the opposite, and Members are forced to vote on multi-billion dollar “omnibus” packages, often with little or no time to debate. That is why, with just three months on the job, I introduced the One Subject at a Time Act.
Mismanaged budgets and an inept administration have led to our most recent crisis – inflation. We will continue to see the price of everyday goods explode until we get spending under control.
Defending Gun Rights
I, along with most Idahoans, believe in the full exercise of our 2nd Amendment rights. Sadly, there are people in Washington, DC that will stop at nothing to undermine and repeal any aspect of the 2nd Amendment. I have fought back every step of the way including their most recent attempt in July of 2022 with the passage of S.2938, and H.R. 1808. With these two bills, Democrats restricted the 2nd Amendment along with violating the 4th and 5th Amendments. I will work with my Republican colleagues to overturn this constitutional injustice.
Along with stopping the left’s constitutional overreach, I have pro-actively introduced or co-sponsored:
- The Second Amendment for Everyone (SAFE) Act incentivizes state and local leadership to fund law enforcement. If they choose to defund or decrease their law enforcement, barriers hindering residents from legally purchasing a firearm should be lifted. This would help citizens fill the void in protecting their families and property.
- The Firearm Due Process Protection Act would allow individuals the opportunity to appeal wrongful denials when purchasing a gun.
- The PISTOL Act prohibits the Biden Administration and the ATF from changing the classification of a pistol as a rifle.
- The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act allows individuals in one state to carry a concealed firearm to another state.
Effective border security in the United States is foundational to any good immigration policy. In my time in Congress, I have lobbied for and voted to fund building a border wall, and aggressively supported President Trump’s efforts. I have personally toured the border with congressional colleagues and witnessed first-hand the security, human, and moral concerns enabled by illegal border crossings.
I am working to put in place resources to make sure laws are enforced and we have an orderly, thorough, and controlled vetting process for anyone entering the United States. It is important that Americans have the first opportunity at jobs before they are made available to non-citizens. For those who want to come to America to start a business, get a job, obey American law, assimilate, and do so legally… welcome! Those unwilling to do so are not welcome.
I support merit-based immigration and am opposed to the visa lottery system. Those that immigrate to the United States should be qualified, and do so within the boundaries of the law (a lottery system may be the furthest from this concept). I am also strongly opposed to the issuance of driver’s licenses and provisional voting ballots to illegal aliens and the decriminalization of illegal immigration.
As a father of three young adults, I have always been ardently pro-life. I believe life begins at conception, and that every unborn child has the inherent right to life. These are just a few reasons why one of the first actions I took as a newly sworn-in Member of Congress was to co-sponsor the Life at Conception Act. If signed into law, this bill declares the right to life guaranteed by the Constitution is vested in each human being at all stages of life, including the moment of fertilization.
I have taken many actions to promote life. This includes co-sponsoring bills that block the use of taxpayer funds for abortions, requiring the CDC to report abortions performed, requiring doctors to care for a baby born alive due to a failed abortion, and reaffirming that life begins at conception.
I signed an amicus brief arguing to the U.S. Supreme Court that government cannot force churches or other religious organizations to include health plans that offer abortion-inducing drugs if it violates their religious beliefs. This was validated in a 7-2 decision (Little Sisters of the Poor v. Pennsylvania). I also signed onto an amicus brief to support the Trump Administration’s proposed rule that prohibits referrals for abortions and requires any provider of abortion services that receives Title X funds to maintain a physical separation from its financial dealings. This was upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals.
Additionally, I have co-signed letters requiring Planned Parenthood to return PPP (payroll protection plans) loan money it wrongly obtained, that people with disabilities should not be discriminated against when determining who to treat first for COVID-19; and for the Justice Department to step up its investigation of charges that Planned Parenthood Federation of America was willing to sell body parts of aborted babies. I have joined other letters that address Obamacare plans that impose surcharges for abortion services, forcing health plan owners to have to pay the surcharges, whether they have a policy that allows abortion services or not, and called on HHS and the FDA to limit the use of abortion-inducing drugs due to women’s health and safety concerns.