Idaho Examiner - Sen. Larry Craig News Releases

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Achievements during the 108th Congress
On December 8, 2004, the 108th Congress adjourned. I am pleased to report that Congress was able to deliver on several of its promises, including the Medicare Modernization Act, the Healthy Forests bill, and continued tax relief.

Tsunami relief
In the wake of the terrible devastation in South Asia, Americans have responded with an overwhelming pledge of support. Several funds have been established to aid the tsunami victims throughout the region, and any assistance we can give will be put to good use.

Chairman of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee
After each Congress concludes, all Senators who will serve in the next Congress must choose the committees on which they would like to serve. That process triggered an opportunity for me to become chairman of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee in the 109th Congress. With 120,000 veterans living in Idaho, I felt this was a unique chance for me to enhance my service to Idahoans.

Two new Senate pages
I would like to welcome new Senate pages Jared Tate of Arco, and Olga “Mimi” Faller of Coeur d’Alene, to the U.S. Senate. Jared and Mimi are juniors at Butte County High School and Gonzaga Preparatory School, respectively. Only 30 students are chosen each semester for this challenging and rewarding program, so it is quite an honor. I am confident Jared and Mimi will represent Idaho well.

New Forest Service planning rule
I’m pleased to announce that the U.S. Forest Service has completed its long-awaited forest planning rule. The old planning rule, created over twenty years ago, had become outdated and unresponsive to the scientific demands of forestry in the 21st Century. The new rule will allow local land managers to respond to changed forest conditions in a more timely fashion than ever before. I am very happy to see the changes that the Forest Service has made to update its forest planning process.

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