Back to back, the Senate State Affairs Committee this morning passed two resolutions - one that the sponsor said tells the federal government to stop “enticing” the state with money, and one that asks the federal government to send money to Idaho to start an M.D. degree program. Sen. Kate Kelly, D-Boise, said, “I simply cannot let this moment go by without pointing out the irony.” Sen. Joe Stegner, R-Lewiston, said, “It’s a demonstration of the hypocrisy of the first resolution.” The first, HJM 4, from Rep. Dick Harwood, R-St. Maries, declares Idaho’s sovereignty from the federal government and orders the feds to “cease and desist” from violating that sovereignty, including by dangling federal money. “We’ve been enticed over the years,” Harwood told the Senate committee. “This memorial sends a message to Congress to quit enticing us.” It passed on a voice vote, with several “no” votes.
Rep. Jeff Thompson, R-Idaho Falls, then presented HJM 7, a memorial asking Congress to send Idaho federal money to offer a medical degree. Thompson said he prepared the resolution at the request of Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson, who serves on the House Appropriations Committee. “HJM 7 is a tool that will help in identifying and making available federal funding for an … M.D. program in the state of Idaho,” Thompson told the panel. That resolution cleared the committee on a unanimous vote.
Stegner, who backed the second resolution, said of the first, “There’s numerous statements in that resolution that I think are silly and I certainly disagree with, particularly blanket statements that say United States currency is somehow weak, and that the federal reserve system is a failure - those kinds of statements couldn’t be further from the truth, and how could anyone in good conscience support a resolution that makes false and inaccurate statements? It’s an embarrassment.”