The Idaho Statesman asked the candidates in major statewide races to submit guest opinions explaining their stances and why they should earn your vote. Their columns will run throughout this week. Read opponent Aaron Swisher’s guest opinion here.
I’d like to take this opportunity to explain why I would appreciate your vote on Nov. 6.
I care deeply about Idaho. I work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to form bipartisan relationships that are crucial to helping our state. Those relationships help me protect the interests of farmers and ranchers in our nation’s trade negotiations and promote our state’s potato, sugar, wheat and dairy industries.
I’m extremely proud of the critical investments I’ve secured for the Idaho National Laboratory. The INL is the now the lead nuclear energy research facility and contributes significantly to our national security. Legislation I authored enhances INL’s work in advance reactor and fuel development, battery and bioenergy programs, and world-renowned efforts to protect the electric grid and other critical infrastructure from cyberattacks.
My bill also provided funding for cleanup activities associated with the Idaho Cleanup Project and the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project co-located on the Idaho desert with the INL. The funding level will allow the significant cleanup activities currently underway to continue.
I passed legislation that created the Boulder-White Clouds wilderness area. This area is now protected, in perpetuity, by the gold standard of preservation designations, and I’m proud that I accomplished this through a truly collaborative process that produced an Idaho solution.
Another significant bill I authored is the Wildfire Disaster Funding Act. We will now treat catastrophic wildfires like other natural disasters. No longer will “fire borrowing” be a common practice. I have long called for better management of our forests, and now adequate funding for both wildfire suppression and land management practices will be available.
I am leading the bipartisan effort to reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund, as well as addressing the backlog of maintenance in our national parks.
No issue is more important to me than education. I’m proud to say that my pro-education efforts have earned me the endorsement of Idaho’s teachers, and I’ll continue working hard to ensure their voices are heard.
Last, but not least, I’m pleased to support the most recent tax relief that has jump-started the economy by creating more jobs and increasing optimism on Main Street. Unemployment is the lowest it has been for almost 50 years, and wages are rising all around America.
I ask for your vote on Nov. 6, and pledge to continue working hard as your representative in the United States Congress.