October 12, 2014 – Betsy Z. Russell – The Spokesman Review –
BOISE – When he was Idaho’s governor for a scant seven months, Jim Risch was a whirlwind of activity, writing an unprecedented management plan for roadless areas, reforming the state Department of Health and Welfare and nursing education programs, and calling a special session of the Legislature to enact a sweeping and controversial shift of the state’s school funding system.
But in the past six years serving as Idaho’s junior senator in Washington, D.C., Risch’s legislative accomplishments have been slim. According to the official records of Congress, he’s been the lead sponsor on 11 bills, just two of which have become law, both dealing with specific, small water projects in Southern Idaho. In the current Congress, he’s co-sponsored 188 bills, with the largest group aimed at reducing environmental regulations. In the 90 votes he has cast in the Senate since June, he voted “no” nearly two-thirds of the time.