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Washington, D.C.– Idaho will continue to have a voice on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee with the appointment of Senator Jim Risch announced today.

"There is a long history of Idaho Senators serving on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. The issues this committee deals with are important to Idaho and the nation," said Risch. "Besides the natural resources work, I look forward to working on energy issues, which will be key to getting Idaho and the rest of the nation’s economy growing again."

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee was created in 1816 as the Committee on Public Lands to oversee the settling of land acquired in the Louisiana Purchase. Since then, its jurisdiction has expanded to include nuclear, hydroelectric and other energy production; mining, grazing, and oil and gas leasing on public lands; water rights; National Parks and Indian Affairs.

Risch was also appointed to the Committee on Foreign Relations. One of the oldest committees in the Senate, committee members work on foreign policy legislation, provide oversight of the foreign policy agencies, confirm diplomatic nominations, and consider international treaties.

"Considering the state of our world, this will be a very busy committee. America is still looked to for leadership and involvement in the many challenges found around the globe. I will work very hard in carefully considering what our involvement should be on those issues," Risch said.

Risch also learned he was appointed to the Select Committee on Intelligence. The committee oversees intelligence activities and programs of the U.S. government. The committee is made up of two members of the Appropriations, Armed Services, Foreign Relations and Judiciary committees and seven members of the general body. Its primary duties are to make sure intelligence activities are in line with the Constitution and U.S. law, and to assure the appropriate government departments and agencies communicate intelligence information in a complete and timely fashion to the President and Congress.

Senator Risch was also named to the Select Committee on Ethics. The six-person committee is comprised of three Democrats and three Republicans. The committee investigates complaints and allegations of improper conduct and violations of the Senate Code of Official Conduct. The committee suggests new rules and regulations to see that the Code of Conduct is upheld and, when appropriate, can recommend disciplinary action.

Finally, Risch was named to the Joint Economic Committee. The bicameral committee is comprised of ten members each from the Senate and House of Representatives. The committee holds hearings, performs research, and advises Members of Congress on issues relating to the U.S. economy.

Risch understood it was unusual for a freshman Senator to be appointed to five committees, let alone several prestigious ones. "This will be a lot of work, but I am committed to doing my best to represent Idahoans on these committees. I am humbled to be selected for some committees where freshmen usually are not placed. I look forward to getting started," concluded Risch.


Idaho Senators who have served on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee

Fred Dubois (Chairman,1895-1897), Henry Heitfeld, Weldon Heyburn, James Brady, Frank Gooding, William Borah, John Thomas, Glen Taylor, Henry Dworshak, Bert Miller, Frank Church, Len Jordan, James McClure (Chairman, 1981-1987), Larry Craig

Idaho Senators who have served on the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations

William Borah (Chairman, 1924-1933), James Pope, Frank Church (Chairman, 1979-1981)