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Op-Ed: Senators Risch and Crapo: The Case for Term Limits

By • August 22, 2021

United States Senators Jim Risch and Mike Crapo recently joined 17 other Senate Republicans and all 50 Senate Democrats to pass Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill. Risch and Crapo joined the likes of Mitt Romney, Susan Collins, and Lisa Murkowski in supporting the infrastructure bill. This bill was not offset with any spending cuts, which means $1.2 trillion will be added to the national debt for our grandchildren to pay with interest.

Less than one half of the $1.2 trillion actually goes to infrastructure spending. For example, the infrastructure bill raises the price of future new vehicles that must have passive monitoring devices to detect drug and alcohol overuse in the vehicle. The infrastructure bill also includes a pilot program for a vehicle mileage tax that charges motorists a fee based on how many miles they drive. The more you drive, the more you pay. And the infrastructure bill requires more stringent reporting of cryptocurrency transactions.

I remember a time when Crapo voted against stuff like the $700 billion bank bailout, opposed deficit spending, and opposed needless government regulations. Back in 2008, Crapo said, “Congress simply has to control its unrestrained appetite for deficit spending.” I’ve attended many Republican Lincoln Days where Risch announced he was once again recognized “by the National Journal as the ‘most conservative’ senator in the United States Senate,” a statement Risch publishes to this day in his official Senate Biography.

The day after Risch and Crapo voted for the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, I received a joint press release from Crapo and Risch stating, “Republicans will not Raise Debt Ceiling to Fuel Reckless Spending.” What? Obviously, the Risch and Crapo of old are not the same guys who just voted for the Democrats’ $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill to be paid for with deficit spending. So, what has happened to the “most conservative senator” and his deficit hawk seatmate?

I decided to find a conservative index that rates U.S. Senators and see how Risch and Crapo have fared over the years. I found the New American “Freedom Index.” It “rates congressmen based on their adherence to constitutional principles of limited government, fiscal responsibility, national sovereignty, and avoiding foreign entanglements.” No self-respecting “most conservative” U.S. Senate Republican could possibly complain about that as a standard. Here’s how the Freedom Index has rated Crapo and Risch since 2012:

Year       Crapo    Risch
2012      95%       95%
2013      95%       93%
2014      75%       80%
2015      80%        80%
2016      60%       60%
2017       65%       65%
2018       50%       50%
2019      23%       46%
2020      30%       35%

I’d bet the farm Risch was thrilled with scores of 95% and 93% back in 2012 and 2013 when at Republican Lincoln Days he announced time and again he was the “most conservative” U.S. Senator.  Crapo also scored a 95% in 2012 and even got a higher score than Risch in 2013. But since 2013 their Freedom Index scores have plummeted to about one third of what they once were.  In fact, Crapo and Risch’s current Freedom Index scores of 30% and 35%, respectively, are unbelievably even lower than the 38% currently scored by self-proclaimed democratic socialist Bernie Sanders.  Just let that sink in.

The fact is that the longer Risch and Crapo serve in Washington, the more they become like the liberal swamp they claim they are fighting against. Now, in addition to serving the people of Idaho, they also serve as good examples of why we need terms limits for federal office holders.

Bryan Smith serves as the fourth vice chair of the Bonneville County Republican Central Committee.


Tags: Bryan Smith, Jim Risch, Mike Crapo, New American

11 thoughts on “Op-Ed: Senators Risch and Crapo: The Case for Term Limits

  1. Yes, absolutely Term Limits.

    The Idaho Republican Party needs to CENSURE Crapo and Risch NOW.

    We will closely follow Simpson’s and Fulcher’s votes this week.

    The People of Idaho will definitely support and vote for a Conservative, Honest Primary Challenger to “rid” Crapo of his senate seat.

    One of the few potential strong challengers would be Ed Humphreys.

  2. The entire Idaho delegation Follows this trajectory…

    The longer you hang out in the swamp (no matter how good your intentions were when you started) the longer you start to smell like it.

    Mike Simpson an Russ Fulcher are following this path as well.

    Things like blackmail, corruption, greed, and arrogance all cause someone to abandon their principles like this.

    The SAD thing though?

    Most elections are decided by low information voters, and they usually vote for the person who raises the most money about 91% of the time.

    So unless there’s a major revival of nationalism, patriotism, and commonsense… people just keep voting for the same guys over and over again..

    Ask someone who votes for Simpson, Crapo, Fulcher, or Risch “why” they did it. Most people actually have any reasons.

    Power corrupts. And idiocracy fuels it.

  3. I don’t believe in term limits, but rather performance. It never made any sense to have someone doing a great job and yanking him out and turning another untried maybe loose in the jungle unless they are better than a good bet. The problem is conservative leadership. Are you saying we were presented these guys for re-election and leadership didn’t know their record? Or the fact that dems register as republicans to kill off our primaries and take out the good ones chances. Anyone hear about anything they are trying to do to stop that? How about the local business co-op THANKING them for signing the bill on all the radio stations. Most people are too disgusted to even post comments, but when we snap out of it we better quit beating around the bush.

  4. They are also posterchildren for the complete Idaho GOP. The entire GOP is hopelessly corrupt and totally irredeemable.

  5. Look at the damage Crapo and Risch have caused, this evening the 3.5 spending bill heads back to the senate. If they’d have voted no on the infrastructure bill along with 17 other turn coats, this never would have seen the light of day.

    Their stupidity must be met with Censure.

  6. If you look at the Freedom Index web site, then the pattern of consistent decrease Smith claims falls apart. In 2011Crapo scored 65%, and Risch scored 63%. Also (after Smith’s article was published) the latest 2021 scores were posted, with both Crapo and Risch back up at 90%!

    Look at my Joyful Public Speaking blog post on August 26 titled Why is Bryan Smith whining about term limits and Idaho Senators? What is this primarily about?

  7. My wife and I moved here from California to get away from liberal politics and oppression. Now that we have been here awhile, we see that our two senators are not conservative at all but are part of the establishment. Immigrants from other state do not necessarily bring liberal politics; the so called conservative really are liberal swamp creatures! What a shame.

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