U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo told the Idaho Senate that despite the partisan nature of the debates in Washington, D.C., there is growing consensus in the Congress around energy policy.
“There’s a very significant look across this country, pushed by the people of this country, to have a meaningful effort for us to find bipartisanship and common effort to solve these problems,” Crapo said.
Crapo said he welcomed President Obama’s push for nuclear power. He said the cap-and-trade legislation is unlikely to be passed at this point. Crapo pushed for more diversification in our energy policy, a need to tap oil in this country at the same time as the nation focuses on renewable energy sources and conversation.
“We’re working hard to find areas where we can build common ground,” Crapo said.
Crapo, like Sen. Jim Risch who spoke to the Senate and House on Tuesday, worried about the national deficit and what it is doing to the country.
“We’re in a spending free fall. I said last time I was here that the era of big government is back. I didn’t even realize then how true that was,” said Crapo, who added that discretionary spending by the federal government has risen 20 percent in the last two budget cycles.
“We cannot sustain that growth.”
Crapo suggested that Idaho’s Legislature focus on reducing spending as opposed to raising taxes to get out of the current fiscal crunch.
“Tough decisions need to be made on paring back on the size of our government — very, very tough decisions. I applaud you for being willing to step into that arena and make those tough decisions. And maintain Idaho’s fiscal strength,” Crapo said.