Senator Jim Risch (R-ID) was elected to the United States Senate in November of 2008, after serving as Idaho State senator, lieutenant governor and governor. Sen. Risch serves on five Senate committees, include the Select Committee on Intelligence. He joined Neal Larson on KID Newsradio to talk about the recent government shutdown, what the budget looks like going forward and allegations of a secret society in the FBI.
Listen to the full interview below:
IDAHO FALLS, Idaho –Republicans are celebrating after a recent government shutdown prompting Democrats to doubleback on promises to not sign any budget resolutions without agreements on immigration reform.
“It’s nice to have a win one occasionally,” Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho) told KID Newsradio.
The federal government shut down on Friday, January 19 after Congress failed to pass a budget or a continuing resolution amid debate over immigration reform and defense spending. Unlike the last government shutdown in 2013 which lasted two weeks and was largely blamed on Republicans, Democrats took a hit this time around.
“[The Democrats] misjudged where the public was on it,” Sen. Risch said. “[Shutting down the government] is not a good way to do things and they had seen all this polling where a high percentage of people in America think that we ought to do something from a humanitarian basis for the people who are here illegally, that is that were brought in as children through no fault of their own and…so they were convinced that they way to do this is to shut down the government.”
Sen. Risch says Congressial members on both sides of the isle agree mass deportations are not the answer and want to find a solution to the “dreamer” issue spurred by President Donald Trump’s reversal of former President Barack Obama’s Defferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA).
“The devil’s in the details, of course” Sen. Risch said. “The Democrats just want to hand citizenship to them and we’re not ready to go there. We want to attack the problem, not the symptom.”
The current population of illegal immigrants are the symptom of the larger issue of insufficient border protections, Sen. Risch says.
“We owe the American people as their elected officials, as their representatives, I owe Idahoans, I owe American people a secure border period,” Sen. Risch said. “The people that are here illegally, from a humanitarian basis, yeah, I’d like to help. But, first I want to discharge my obligation to Idahoans and the American people and that is to secure the borders.”
But, border security and budget issues aren’t the only thing Sen. Risch is having to tackle. Recent revelations about an alleged secret society within the FBI dedicated to underminding President Trump’s election have dominated headlines.
“People know that there is a problem here,” Sen. Risch said. “This is why people have issues with their governement. This is why people are afraid of their government. This is why people don’t like government.”
Sen. Risch confirmed there are people in federal law enforcement who have allowed their personal political convictions to influence their behavior.
“There are individuals who are supposed to be in charge of justice who have an ax to grind against somebody,” Sen. Risch said. “They are being influenced by their feelings in that regard. Anybody who’s in law enforcement, who’s in justice enforcement and who feels that way, should be disqualified. They should disqualify themselves and certainly, if they don’t disqualify themselves and there’s even an inkling of that, they need to be taken out of that investigation.”
Sen. Risch added more information about the scandal is going to come out in the near future and emphasized the role Americans have in keeping the federal government in check.
“Everday, everyday, Americans have to be vigilant to keep the government from running over the top of them,” Sen. Risch said. “If they don’t, these are the kinds of things that are going to happen. But, we’re on this and there’s going to be some more shoes falling.”