Opinion | Politics

Mark Trahant: Counting on tribes to bail out the government

"The Idaho congressional delegation represents the divide that is the Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Rep. Mike Simpson, from Blackfoot, is a traditional conservative. He could be counted as a “no” on just about any spending initiative. But at the same time Simpson recognizes that impact of federal spending in Indian Country. He said this about the 2012 budget: “I have no doubt that you share our concerns about the 2012 budget request, as those of us here today are painfully aware of the unmet needs in Indian Country. While our collective attention on international affairs is aimed squarely at current events overseas, here at home we continue to have people who live in third-world conditions. If you want to see real poverty in this country, go visit a reservation.”

Simpson is exactly the kind of Republican who could be part of a deal. He says the sequester “must not be allowed to come into effect. I have long opposed making across-the-board cuts to all government programs, and I also have concerns about the effect the required defense cuts would have on our military and national security.”

On the other hand, Simpson would not do away with the sequestration without making other choices, including revenue.

Idaho’s other representative in Congress sees the world very differently. "

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