Congressional committees are central to the legislative process. Committees provide oversight of federal governmental operations and identify issues suitable for legislative review. A committee can dig into the details of issues under its jurisdiction and advance legislation to be considered by the full U.S. Senate or House of Representatives. At the beginning of each Congress, committee assignments are determined. The breadth of our committee assignments for the 116th Congress, which have now been set, will help ensure issues of importance to Idahoans are covered in Congress.
At the start of the 116th Congress, Senator Mike Crapo was reelected to serve as Chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee. The Banking Committee has jurisdiction over matters regarding financial services, capital markets, mortgages, urban development, transit, international sanctions and reviewing foreign investment activity. Senator Crapo also remains a member of the Finance, Judiciary and Budget Committees. The Finance Committee’s jurisdiction includes the federal tax code, revenue generation, foreign trade and social and health care service programs, while the nominations to the U.S. Supreme Court and other federal judgeships, including the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, are among the Judiciary Committee’s responsibilities.
Senator Jim Risch was elected Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for the 116th Congress. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has jurisdiction over legislation concerning the conduct of U.S. foreign policy, including foreign assistance, declarations of war, and treaties. One treaty of significance to Idaho is the Columbia River Treaty, which is currently being renegotiated and will come before Senator Risch’s committee for final approval. The Committee also is responsible for oversight of the U.S. State Department and review of executive branch nominations that carry out U.S. diplomacy. Additionally, Senator Risch continues to serve as a member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, which he led as Chairman for the past two years, and as a member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, with responsibilities that include energy policy; nuclear waste policy; public lands that include those administered by the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service; groundwater resources and management; and hydroelectric power. He also serves on the Select Committee on Intelligence and the Select Committee on Ethics.
Representative Mike Simpson serves as Ranking Member of the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee after having been Chairman from 2013-2018. The Subcommittee has jurisdiction over funding for agencies and programs that include the Department of Energy, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Bureau of Reclamation, and other agencies involved in water projects. Representative Simpson is also a former Chairman and senior member of the House Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee that has jurisdiction over Department of Interior, Forest Service and Environmental Protection Agency funding and resources for many other federal agencies and programs.
Representative Russ Fulcher serves on the House Natural Resources Committee, with a jurisdiction that includes energy and mineral resources; national parks and public lands; wildlife and endangered species; water and hydropower; and tribal sovereignty. He serves on two of the Committee’s subcommittees: as Republican Deputy Leader of the Subcommittee on Water, Power, and Oceans; and as a member of the Subcommittee on Federal Lands. Representative Fulcher also serves on the House Education and Labor Committee that oversees education and workforce programs, including early learning, secondary education, job training and retirement. He serves on the Education Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Development and Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions.
We recognize the significant honor and responsibility we have to serve the great people of Idaho. Your input will continue to be essential as we work together with Governor Brad Little, other elected leaders throughout the state and Congress and the President to instill Idaho’s ingenuity, independence and good sense into federal policy. With your help and guidance, we will continue to make progress in advancing bipartisan solutions that will benefit Idahoans and the American people.
You may access contact information for each delegation member website through the following links: https://www.crapo.senate.gov/; https://www.risch.senate.gov/; https://simpson.house.gov/; and https://fulcher.house.gov/.
Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, has served in the U.S. Senate since 1999. The views and opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of the Independent-Enterprise.