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Eye On Boise

Trump budget raises concerns for Crapo, Risch, Simpson…

Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo speaks during a Senate hearing on Capitol Hill on March 20, 2017. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP)
Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo speaks during a Senate hearing on Capitol Hill on March 20, 2017. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP)

Here's my full story from spokesman.com, followed by the full statements from Crapo, Risch and Simpson:

By Betsy Z. Russell

Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo said while there’s “significant agreement” that the nation needs to bring the federal budget into balance, the budget proposal released today by President Trump calls for “dramatic cuts to programs affecting Idahoans and its communities.”

“As a member of the Senate Budget Committee, I will work with my colleagues to strike a fair balance between funding necessary programs and the need to reduce ongoing deficit spending,” Crapo said in a statement.

Idaho Sen. Jim Risch said Trump’s budget proposal is “merely a blueprint of his administration’s priorities,” and said it’s “solely Congress’ responsibility to set our nation’s budget and appropriate funds.” As the House and Senate work through that process, Risch said, “I will continue to advocate for Idaho’s most pressing priorities.”

Asked what Risch meant by “Idaho’s most pressing priorities,” his press secretary, Kaylin Minton, said, “There are many ongoing issues in Idaho such as wildfire prevention and management, SRS (the Secure Rural Schools program), PILT (Payment In Lieu of Taxes), and INL (the Idaho National Laboratory), to name a few.” Trump is proposing big cuts in funding to all of those.

Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson, who serves on the key House Appropriations Committee, said he and his colleagues on the committee will “scrutinize the request and hold hearings with administration officials to inform our line-by-line funding decisions.” He added, “This is the responsibility entrusted to the Congress by the Constitution, and we take that obligation very seriously.”

Simpson also made it clear that he didn’t view the Trump proposal as the answer to the nation’s debt problem. “The Administration deserves credit for taking our nation’s fiscal crisis seriously,” he said, “but I hope that in the coming years we can begin the conversation on addressing the real drivers of our debt, which remain untouched by the yearly appropriations process. Mandatory programs remain on autopilot and continue to grow, dwarfing all other government programs in terms of spending. That is why I will continue to advocate for ‘going big’ with a package of spending cuts paired with tax and entitlement reform, as it is the only way we will truly put our country back on solid fiscal footing.”

Idaho 1st District Rep. Raul Labrador, who is running for governor in 2018, didn’t respond to a request for comment on the budget proposal.

All four members of Idaho’s congressional delegation are Republicans.

Full Statements

CRAPO:

“Today’s budget proposal from the President lays out his recommendations for funding the government for the next ten years.  There is significant agreement on Capitol Hill, among economists and budget watchdogs and from the American people across the country on the need to develop a plan to bring our federal budget into balance.  Moving forward, Congress will develop and debate its own budget. I am aware that portions of the President’s budget call for dramatic cuts to programs affecting Idahoans and its communities. As a member of the Senate Budget Committee, I will work with my colleagues to strike a fair balance between funding necessary programs and the need to reduce ongoing deficit spending.”

SIMPSON: 

“Now that Congress has received the Administration’s FY18 budget, my colleagues and I will give serious thought and discussion to the proposals that the President has put forward.  I look forward to carefully reviewing the President’s request in the coming weeks so that Congress can get to work on funding bills for fiscal year 2018, which begins in just a few short months. Although we are starting the process later than normal this year, our subcommittee will do what it does every year; scrutinize the request and hold hearings with administration officials to inform our line-by-line funding decisions. This is the responsibility entrusted to the Congress by the Constitution, and we take that obligation very seriously. 

“The Administration deserves credit for taking our nation’s fiscal crisis seriously, but I hope that in the coming years we can begin the conversation on addressing the real drivers of our debt, which remain untouched by the yearly appropriations process. Mandatory programs remain on autopilot and continue to grow, dwarfing all other government programs in terms of spending. That is why I will continue to advocate for ‘going big’ with a package of spending cuts paired with tax and entitlement reform, as it is the only way we will truly put our country back on solid fiscal footing.”

 RISCH:

“The President’s budget proposal is merely a blueprint of his Administration’s priorities. As outlined in our U.S. Constitution, it is solely Congress’ responsibility to set our nation’s budget and appropriate funds. The House and Senate must now work together to introduce, debate, and pass a final budget plan. Throughout this process, I will continue to advocate for Idaho’s most pressing priorities.”

Asked what Risch meant by “Idaho’s most pressing priorities,” his press secretary, Kaylin Minton, said, “There are many ongoing issues in Idaho such as wildfire prevention and management, SRS (the Secure Rural Schools program), PILT (Payment In Lieu of Taxes), and INL (the Idaho National Laboratory), to name a few.”




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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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