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Eye On Boise

Labrador, Simpson clash, criticize each other

Idaho GOP Congressman Raul Labrador is sharply criticizing fellow Idaho GOP Congressman Mike Simpson, after Simpson said a congressman would “have to look long and hard to find a reason to vote no” on legislation that passed the House late last week to reauthorize the Secure Rural Schools program, which was tucked into a larger bill on Medicare payments. Simpson voted for the measure; timber-dependent Idaho counties receive millions under the SRS program. Labrador voted no.

“Mike Simpson has been part of the establishment in Washington D.C. for 12 years,” Labrador told Boise State Public Radio in an interview. “He loves to go out drinking and smoking with the Speaker [John Boehner]. He loves to have these relationships where it’s all about making false promises to his constituents and then going back there to Washington D.C. to compromise.”

You can read an Associated Press account of the clash between the two Idaho Republicans online here; and find the full Boise State Public Radio report online here, including audio from the interview. Labrador told the radio station SRS reauthorization would have passed on its own later. “There was never any danger of this legislation not passing,” he said.

"We're different kinds of politicians," Labrador said. "I will not lie to my constituents.” Simpson’s communications director, Nikki Wallace, told the radio station in a statement, “This isn't the first time Congressman Labrador has uttered this nonsense and I'm sure it won't be the last."

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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