When we invest in the building blocks of a strong economy, Idahoans win. Democrats’ Investing in America Agenda — including historic legislation like the Inflation Reduction Act, the CHIPS and Science Act, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and the American Rescue Plan — is delivering results for our state. These investments are unleashing domestic manufacturing, funding infrastructure projects, and spurring record small business growth. In short, the Democrats’ economic plan is getting our economy back on track.
For decades, Idaho has been losing manufacturing jobs, in critical sectors like semiconductors, to overseas competitors. Last year, Democrats in Congress led the effort to pass the CHIPS and Science Act – legislation to create jobs in Idaho and secure our domestic supply chains. This bill led to a historic $15 billion investment by Micron to construct a new facility here, creating an expected 2,000 jobs. Republicans Russ Fulcher, Mike Simpson, Jim Risch, and Mike Crapo voted against the Act, despite the positive impacts on Idaho’s economy.
Democrats are also rebuilding Idaho’s long-neglected infrastructure. Over five years, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will provide $2 billion to improve highways and $225 million for bridge replacement and repairs in Idaho. Already, $1.2 billion in funding has already been announced for 139 infrastructure projects across the Gem State. Projects include much-needed upgrades at Dworshack Dam and Reservoir, improvements to the terminal building at the Idaho Falls Regional Airport, and wildfire risk reduction. Again, Idaho’s Republican Congressman opposed these important investments.
Thanks to strong Democratic leadership, we are also getting Idaho back to work and supporting small businesses. Idaho’s unemployment rate has dropped to 2.6% with 67,000 jobs created since President Biden took office. And the number of new Idaho business filings has broken records, with 58,000 new business applications filed over 2021 and 2022. Through the American Rescue Plan, emergency relief helped keep 303 restaurants and bars and 830 childcare operators open across Idaho. Unsurprisingly, no Idaho Republican in Congress supported this crucial lifeline to our small businesses.
Our congressional Republicans consistently choose partisan obstruction and the desires of far-right interests over Idahoans. But that doesn’t stop them from trying to take credit when Democrats deliver. At groundbreaking ceremonies and on social media, they can be seen regularly touting the benefits of legislation they opposed.
Democrats will continue focusing on bolstering the middle class and creating good jobs. Meanwhile, Republican lawmakers are now threatening a government shutdown that would destabilize our economy – a prolonged shutdown would kill an estimated 44,000 private sector jobs in Idaho. It’s time our congressmen stop playing politics with our economy.
Idahoans deserve lawmakers who will fight for them.
Lauren Necochea, Idaho Democratic Party Chair