Working for Idaho
The Dog Days of summer are upon us, and they've hit the U.S. Senate tooas reflected in a huge backlog of critical legislation stymied by the combination of election year politicking and institutional dysfunction.
Tax breaks are on the verge of expiring, schools in our rural communities are about to be hit by the loss of critical funding and 13 bills funding the operations of all the departments of the federal government are still awaiting consideration. It's all the more alarming considering the current plans of Democratic leadership have us adjourning on September 26 for the elections, and not reconvening.
Fortunately some progress benefiting Idaho was made before the Dog Days hit. I am pleased that my colleagues on the Senate Appropriations Committee approved funding for various priorities I had worked for including hundreds of millions of dollars for projects at the Idaho National Laboratory, agricultural research and various infrastructure improvements around the State.
Those Dog Days don't seem to be ending anytime soon, but I'll be working hard to complete other Idaho priorities for the duration of the 110th Congress.
House Leadership Turns the Lights Out on Energy Debate
The members of the 110th Congress packed up and headed home a couple weeks ago for the August State work period, but not everyone left town. Many of my party colleagues on the House side refused to leave without debate and a vote on legislation addressing the energy crisis our nation faces.
The Special Olympics recently marked its 40th anniversary. I had the opportunity to speak at the celebration and encourage those in attendance to come to the 2009 World Winter Games in Idaho.