GOP takeover gives Idaho's Rep. Mike Simpson clout on environmental policy

The Republican takeover of the U.S. House makes Rep. Mike Simpson chairman of Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and Related Agencies and the second-ranking Republican on the Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development. The two committees are in charge of funding the federal agencies that control 64 percent of Idaho’s land area.

Simpson also was an early supporter of House Speaker-in-waiting John Boehner. The Idahoan is one of six Republican congressman in Boehner’s inner circle.

Agencies like the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management and the Environmental Protection Agency will have to go through Simpson’s committee for their budgets. “He’s very well-positioned on much of the environmental nonsense pushed by the EPA and other agencies,” said state GOP chairman Norm Semanko.

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