BOISE — U.S. Rep. Russ Fulcher spoke to the Idaho House and Senate on Friday, sharing some of his thoughts about his first seven weeks in Congress and criticizing Robert Mueller’s investigation into President Trump.
Fulcher, a Republican who used to represent Meridian and Kuna in the state Senate, was elected to represent Idaho’s 1st District last November, succeeding outgoing Rep. Raul Labrador, who didn’t run for another term in Congress so he could run for governor.
Fulcher made the same speech to both bodies with some minor tweaks. He said two things have surprised him in Congress so far. The first is that many members of Congress from the East and Midwest don’t understand how the fact that so much land in Idaho and other western states is federally owned impacts local budgets and policy decisions.
“The second thing was learning just how real and how intense the level of vitriol is by certain members of the media, agencies and senior officials against the president,” Fulcher said.
“Whether you are a supporter of the president or not that is very concerning,” Fulcher continued in his speech to the Senate. “If unelected bureaucrats can oust a president, then they can oust anyone they choose to target and go after. And that has the potential to turn our republic into a system of bureaucratic rule. To that end, after two years of so-called investigations, the special counsel and accusing agency members need to either report their findings and evidence or move on.”
Fulcher said the partisan atmosphere in Washington makes it tough to negotiate in good faith or make progress on major issues such as the national debt. Despite that, he said, “there are things right in Washington,” namely that the gridlock and the deliberately cumbersome process blocks some things from becoming law. In his speech to the Senate, he alluded to the “Green New Deal” being proposed by some progressive Democrats and freshman Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s proposal to raise taxes on the rich significantly.
“That same environment blocks a lot of crazy things, and we’ve had some of that lately,” he said. “That environment cuts both ways. It was never designed to be easy. It’s a struggle.”