Sen. Mike Crapo’s office has issued this statement, after he recently told “Tea Party Bob” Neugebauer in a radio interview that he had praise for the nine Idaho lawmakers who opposed the child support enforcement bill on the final day of this year’s regular session of the Idaho Legislature:
“In the radio interview currently being circulated, Senator Crapo acknowledged the legitimate frustrations of both the Idaho Senate and House regarding federal mandates, including those legislators who recently objected to this federal behavior in the state House committee. The legislative process should include the right to object and dissent, a right that must be respected. Senator Crapo trusts the Idaho Legislature, Governor Otter, and Idaho’s state agencies to work through this issue. This is a matter for the state to decide. During the radio interview, Senator Crapo explicitly did not comment on the state legislation and its merits, and he does not oppose it. He does support strong, coordinated child support enforcement, both domestic and international.”
On the radio show, on KIDO, Crapo said, “I think these nine legislators should be given credit for doing their jobs and for picking out problems with a piece of federal legislation that should not have been put into place. … They should be credited for doing a job well.” He said, “The fact that they needed to get this fixed and do it right and not to let the federal government coerce the state of Idaho or to let federal law coerce the state of Idaho is something commendable.” Crapo, on the radio, said the lawmakers were “doing the kind of thing we want our elected officials to do, and that is to identify problems and get them fixed.”
Neugebauer mentioned Crapo’s comments in his testimony to the House and Senate Judiciary committees today, prompting Chairwoman Patti Anne Lodge, R-Huston, to ask if he’d seen Crapo’s statement saying he doesn’t oppose the bill. Neugebauer said he hadn’t, but said he wasn’t claiming Crapo opposed the bill.