WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho) highlighted the accomplishments and victories he helped secure for Idahoans during 2019.
“I’m proud of the hard work and successes we’ve been able to achieve for Idahoans thanks to strong united Republican leadership in the Senate,” said Senator Risch. “2019 has been full of significant legislative victories, and in 2020 I’ll continue advancing conservative legislation that reduces the federal deficit, upholds the Constitution, and builds on the great economic success we have achieved under the Trump administration.”
1. Risch Brings a Women’s Business Center to Idaho
After several years work, Senator Risch partnered successfully with the Trump administration to establish a Women’s Business Center (WBC) in Idaho. The WBC will provide resources, education, and services to Idaho’s women entrepreneurs and small business owners. Hosted by the University of Idaho and the Idaho Hispanic Foundation, the Idaho WBC has locations in Nampa and Twin Falls, and offers services tailored to serve our rural communities too. To learn more, click here.
2. Trump Signs Risch Bill to Defend Critical Infrastructure Into Law
At the end of 2019, the President signed Senator Risch’s bill, the Securing Energy Infrastructure Act, into law as a provision of the National Defense Authorization Act. The Act has been a 4-year-long effort by Senators Risch and King to establish a pilot program with our national labs, including the Idaho National Lab, and ensure that U.S. critical infrastructure is safe from catastrophic cyberattacks. Its signature into law represents a significant milestone in the effort to defend our critical infrastructure and stay a step ahead of U.S. foreign adversaries. To learn more, click here.
3. Risch Bill to Update Pittman-Robertson Fund Becomes Law
In December, President Trump signed Senator Risch’s bill to modernize the Pittman-Robertson Fund into law. Under the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act of 1937, tax revenue from the sale of shooting and archery equipment generates funding for hunter education and wildlife conservation. Senator Risch’s bill will update the law to ensure the continued successful funding of wildlife conservation through the purchase of hunting and recreational shooting equipment. To learn more, click here.
4. Risch Urges Congress to Protect the SRS and PILT Programs
The Secure Rural Schools (SRS) and Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) programs provide rural counties with much-needed financial certainty in the event they are unable to collect revenue on tax-exempt federal lands. Senator Risch has long been a supporter of SRS and PILT and the obligation we owe to our rural communities while continuing to push for an increase in active forest management. Senator Risch’s work in support of SRS and PILT included co-sponsoring legislation, working with Senate Energy and Natural Resource Committee members, and sending letters to the administration and congressional leadership in support of funding and reauthorization. These activities helped ensure the inclusion of SRS and PILT in the year-end appropriations bill that President Trump signed into law. To learn more, click here.
5. Risch Stands Up for Idaho’s Dairy Farmers
To combat the sharp increase of mislabeled imitation dairy products on sale in grocery stores and supermarkets, Senator Risch and Senator Baldwin introduced the bipartisan DAIRY PRIDE Act. As one of the largest milk and cheese producing states, imitation dairy products made with nuts, seeds and plants hurt Idaho dairy farmers as well as consumers. Senator Risch will continue to encourage the FDA to uphold existing labeling regulations and counter mislabeling that hurts Idaho farmers and America’s heartland. To learn more, click here.
6. Risch Leads Effort to Protect Idaho’s Interest in a New Columbia River Treaty
The U.S. and Canada are currently renegotiating the decades-old Columbia River Treaty. This treaty has focused on flood control and power generation for the Pacific Northwest. However, some are trying to include new issues into the treaty that could be detrimental to Idaho water users. As chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Risch is working closely with the Trump administration and Columbia River Treaty Negotiator Jill Smail to ensure Idaho’s interests are properly protected in any new treaty.
7. Idaho Senators Lead Effort to Lower Prescription Drug Prices
A recent study found that in 2017, 37 percent of Idaho residents stopped taking medication as prescribed due to cost. To address this issue and improve health care affordability, Senators Crapo and Risch introduced the Lower Costs, More Cures Act to lower prescription drug prices, bring increased transparency to the prescription drug industry and encourage innovation in the development of new treatments and cures. To learn more, click here.
8. Risch Approves Vital Funding for U.S. Military, Border Wall
One of Congress’ chief duties outlined in the U.S. Constitution is to provide for the common defense. In December, Senator Risch voted in favor of the National Defense Authorization Act which will strengthen our military readiness and provide vital resources for Mountain Home Air Force Base, Bayview’s Acoustic Research Detachment and the Idaho National Guard. Senator Risch also approved funding for the border wall with Mexico and other measures important to U.S. homeland security. To learn more, click here.
9. Risch Advances Conservative Judges
Since President Trump came to office, Senator Risch and his Republican colleagues in the Senate have confirmed 2 Supreme Court justices, 2 judges to the U.S. Court of International Trade, 50 circuit court judges, and well over 100 judges to district courts all across the U.S. This monumental effort will strengthen the judicial branch of the government and furnish courts with well-respected conservative judges that will honor and uphold the Constitution.
10. Risch Creates Greater Opportunity for Idaho Small Businesses
Small businesses in rural states like Idaho often are not afforded the same opportunities as those in more populous states. To address this inequality, Senator Risch introduced the bipartisan FAST Fix Act to encourage federal economic development grants be awarded to small businesses and universities in states that have historically lacked awards, and the bipartisan, bicameral Small Business Investment Improvement Act to encourage more access to early stage capital to Idaho’s small businesses. To learn more about these bills, click here and here.
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