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Senators Risch and Crapo: The Case for Term Limits

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.

9 replies on “Senators Risch and Crapo: The Case for Term Limits”

My thoughts exactly and I emailed them but of course a canned pro-me response with no real answers to my questions about what they were thinking and doing.

I am in total agreement and I contacted both Risch and Crapo with my disgust with them for support the infrastructure bill and have not heard a peep of a response. Apparently they no longer care about the “little folks of Idaho” and are now just another piece of the swamp. They will NEVER gat a vote from me again.

Crapo and Risch are RINO’s, meaning Democrats. They stopped working for the American people many years ago. Vote them out.

Very early on when I first became PR I had already written Crapo off. Lately, Risch appeared to have lied in emails I subscribed to and even wrote him. His site suddenly no more would include a contact form to submit one’s input and thoughts on what he is doing. It is more of a request form which seems more like are quest for him to speak or appear at some function. I had already read from a couple of my regular reliable websites for news. When they carry news from Idaho, it garners my immediate attention. Apparently, these 2 voted for the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill. On Risch website, therein it appears he lies the day after he voted for it. That is it for another Rino GOP – the numbers have swelled over time. It is a pity when they have served so long to descend to personal agendas not so much as to any pressure from the top. The lies start and keep coming. Sad, because Idaho seems to be the last bastion in preserving constitutional American values no matter the influx of woke or liberal denizens clamouring for change; when what made them leave their liberal bases in the first place are the same things they now want here.

Thanks for your work on documenting the slide of these two.
I understand their reasoning for voting to provide more support for Idaho infrastructure, but was shocked that they would go ahead and approve a bill that included vast amounts of funding for other questionable purposes.

Well, I certainly agree with the notion that both of them have perhaps overstayed their welcome, but why have they been there so long? It’s still true that voters put them in and voters can either keep them in or show them the door. What good is a Constitutional amendment when it takes away the powers of the process? Be thankful any US House-Senate member can be voted out. No so with the lobbyists and staffers who are, in my view, where the trouble starts. As long as we have a Senior Executive Service where all these staffers live and breathe, who all have virtual infintesemal tenure, regardless of their behavior, or whether these two Senators are in or out, the Senators are not the lead dogs in this instance, so the scenery never changes. Focusing on the people and groups who really run the show, call them whatever you like, is the first step to gaining back our original Federalist system of government. For example, a better Constitutional Amendment would be to repeal the Seventeenth amendment to the US Constitution. That amendment was meant to remove State soverign powers and further federalize our government. And while we’re at it, repeal the Sixteenth amendment as well. That’s the other side of the coin that enables our US Senators to create and enable to spend us into oblivion.

Thank you for sharing this info. I had them down as Rinos also. I email them about urgent matters concerning Biden, Afghanistan, presidential impeachment, etc. and always get a form letter acknowledging receipt of my email. Time for a change.

We had term limits under the Articles of Confederation and they did not work. Term limits gave us a perpetual lame duck Congress. Gem State has done a great job of publishing the voting records of Risch and Crapo. If these records are widely published, and Idaho voters keep electing the two hypocrites, we deserve the debt and socialist system they are giving us. Our founding fathers gave us our voting freedom: It’s called the Ballot Box. Term limits limits our freedom to vote.

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