Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA), left, and Jim Risch (R-ID), right, watch a demonstration of an industrial cutter by Ben Toews of Bullet Tools in Hayden Friday. Toews' company makes a line of cutting tools for siding and flooring and half of sales are exported overseas. Bullet has benefited from grants that helped them venture into new markets. (SR photo: Jesse Tinsley)
Idaho’s Jim Risch is ranked the country’s most conservative senator by the National Journal. The same magazine ranked Washington’s Maria Cantwell as the fifth most liberal senator. The two sit next to each other on the Senate Small Business Committee – Cantwell is chairwoman, Risch is the top Republican – but are miles apart politically. Still, “we get along really well,” Risch said Friday. “We have philosophical debates, which is fair, but a lot of this stuff is overblown.” The senators were in North Idaho to tour Bullet Tools, a Hayden company that makes a line of industrial cutters from raw metal stock. They also announced plans to introduce bipartisan legislation to renew a trade promotion program called STEP that expired in 2013/Matt Kalish, SR. More here.
Question: Are you surprised that uberconservative Risch and uberliberal Cantwell are working together on local issues?