Skip Navigation

Close and don't show again.

Your browser is out of date.

You may not get the full experience here on National Journal.

Please upgrade your browser to any of the following supported browsers:

James Risch James Risch

NEXT :
This ad will end in seconds
 
Close X

Want access to this content? Learn More »

Forget Your Password?

Don't have an account? Register »

Reveal Navigation
 

 

Almanac

Search

Enter your search query or use our Advanced People Search. Need Help? View our search tips

View Saved Lists
View Saved Lists
Republican

Sen. James Risch (R)

James Risch Contact
Back to top
Email: n/a
DC Contact Information

Phone: 202-224-2752

Address: 483 RSOB, DC 20510

State Office Contact Information

Phone: (208) 342-7985

Address: 350 North Ninth Street, Boise ID 83702-5470

Coeur d'Alene ID

Phone: (208) 667-6130

Fax: (208) 765-1743

Address: 610 Hubbard Street, Coeur d'Alene ID 83814-2286

Idaho Falls ID

Phone: (208) 523-5541

Fax: (208) 523-9373

Address: 901 Pier View Drive, Idaho Falls ID 83402

Lewiston ID

Phone: (208) 743-0792

Fax: (208) 746-7275

Address: 313 D Street, Lewiston ID 83501-1894

Pocatello ID

Phone: (208) 236-6817

Fax: (208) 236-6820

Address: 275 South Fifth Street, Pocatello ID 83201-6410

Twin Falls ID

Phone: (208) 734-6780

Address: 1411 Falls Avenue East, Twin Falls ID 83301-3455

James Risch Staff
Back to top
Sort by INTEREST NAME TITLE
Cotton, Rebecca
Legislative Assistant
Petty, Tim
Deputy Legislative Director; Correspondence Director
Cotton, Rebecca
Legislative Assistant
Parker, Darren
Deputy Legislative Director; Appropriations Director
Parker, Darren
Deputy Legislative Director; Appropriations Director
Petty, Tim
Deputy Legislative Director; Correspondence Director
Parker, Darren
Deputy Legislative Director; Appropriations Director
Davidson, Jason
Correspondence Specialist
Adams, Charles
Legislative Assistant
Adams, Charles
Legislative Assistant
Adams, Charles
Legislative Assistant
Cotton, Rebecca
Legislative Assistant
Cotton, Rebecca
Legislative Assistant
Murray, Dan
Senior Policy Advisor
Burkett, Rachel
Scheduler; Legislative Assistant
Cotton, Rebecca
Legislative Assistant
Adams, Charles
Legislative Assistant
Murray, Dan
Senior Policy Advisor
Parker, Darren
Deputy Legislative Director; Appropriations Director
Petty, Tim
Deputy Legislative Director; Correspondence Director
Hanisch, Kris
Administrative Director
Parker, Darren
Deputy Legislative Director; Appropriations Director
Murray, Dan
Senior Policy Advisor
Cotton, Rebecca
Legislative Assistant
Adams, Charles
Legislative Assistant
Parker, Darren
Deputy Legislative Director; Appropriations Director
Socha, Chris
Legislative Director
Adams, Charles
Legislative Assistant
Socha, Chris
Legislative Director
Adams, Charles
Legislative Assistant
Socha, Chris
Legislative Director
Burkett, Rachel
Scheduler; Legislative Assistant
Cotton, Rebecca
Legislative Assistant
Murray, Dan
Senior Policy Advisor
Adams, Charles
Legislative Assistant
Cotton, Rebecca
Legislative Assistant
Davidson, Jason
Correspondence Specialist
Murray, Dan
Senior Policy Advisor
Murray, Dan
Senior Policy Advisor
Socha, Chris
Legislative Director
Cotton, Rebecca
Legislative Assistant
Cotton, Rebecca
Legislative Assistant
Parker, Darren
Deputy Legislative Director; Appropriations Director
Petty, Tim
Deputy Legislative Director; Correspondence Director
Burkett, Rachel
Scheduler; Legislative Assistant
Burkett, Rachel
Scheduler; Legislative Assistant
Burkett, Rachel
Scheduler; Legislative Assistant
Murray, Dan
Senior Policy Advisor
Parker, Darren
Deputy Legislative Director; Appropriations Director
Murray, Dan
Senior Policy Advisor
Parker, Darren
Deputy Legislative Director; Appropriations Director
Parker, Darren
Deputy Legislative Director; Appropriations Director
Petty, Tim
Deputy Legislative Director; Correspondence Director
Parker, Darren
Deputy Legislative Director; Appropriations Director
Petty, Tim
Deputy Legislative Director; Correspondence Director
Cotton, Rebecca
Legislative Assistant
Murray, Dan
Senior Policy Advisor
Cotton, Rebecca
Legislative Assistant
Adams, Charles
Legislative Assistant
Hanisch, Kris
Administrative Director
Burkett, Rachel
Scheduler; Legislative Assistant
Petty, Tim
Deputy Legislative Director; Correspondence Director
Cotton, Rebecca
Legislative Assistant
Adams, Charles
Legislative Assistant
Adams, Charles
Legislative Assistant
Cotton, Rebecca
Legislative Assistant
Adams, Charles
Legislative Assistant
Petty, Tim
Deputy Legislative Director; Correspondence Director
Adams, Charles
Legislative Assistant
Petty, Tim
Deputy Legislative Director; Correspondence Director
Petty, Tim
Deputy Legislative Director; Correspondence Director
Cotton, Rebecca
Legislative Assistant
Murray, Dan
Senior Policy Advisor
Murray, Dan
Senior Policy Advisor
Adams, Charles
Legislative Assistant
Murray, Dan
Senior Policy Advisor
Cotton, Rebecca
Legislative Assistant
Murray, Dan
Senior Policy Advisor
Parker, Darren
Deputy Legislative Director; Appropriations Director
Petty, Tim
Deputy Legislative Director; Correspondence Director
Adams, Charles
Legislative Assistant
Cotton, Rebecca
Legislative Assistant
Cotton, Rebecca
Legislative Assistant
Adams, Charles
Legislative Assistant
Burkett, Rachel
Scheduler; Legislative Assistant
Cooper, Rachel
Constituent Services Representative
Cotton, Rebecca
Legislative Assistant
Curd, Alexandra
Executive Assistant
Davidson, Jason
Correspondence Specialist
Dayley, Kathryn
Correspondence Management Specialist
Emond, Kari
Deputy Regional Director
Field, Jeremy
Regional Director
Forster, Zach
Field Director
Fulton, Vicki
Constituent Services Representative
Hanisch, Kris
Administrative Director
Hanna, Mike
Regional Director
Hasenoehrl, Frances
Constituent Services Representative
Mathews, Mike
State Director
Munroe, Jordan
Constituent Services Representative
Murray, Dan
Senior Policy Advisor
Niehenke, Amanda
Constituent Services Representative
Parker, Darren
Deputy Legislative Director; Appropriations Director
Petersen, Tim
Grants Coordinator
Petty, Tim
Deputy Legislative Director; Correspondence Director
Richardson, Renee
Constituent Services Director
Roach, Mike
Natural Resources Director
Sandy, John
Chief of Staff
Smith, Sidney
Regional Director
Smyser, Melinda
Regional Director
Socha, Chris
Legislative Director
Taylor, Amy
Regional Director
Murray, Dan
Senior Policy Advisor
Sandy, John
Chief of Staff
Petersen, Tim
Grants Coordinator
Emond, Kari
Deputy Regional Director
Field, Jeremy
Regional Director
Forster, Zach
Field Director
Hanisch, Kris
Administrative Director
Hanna, Mike
Regional Director
Mathews, Mike
State Director
Parker, Darren
Deputy Legislative Director; Appropriations Director
Petty, Tim
Deputy Legislative Director; Correspondence Director
Richardson, Renee
Constituent Services Director
Roach, Mike
Natural Resources Director
Smith, Sidney
Regional Director
Smyser, Melinda
Regional Director
Taylor, Amy
Regional Director
Curd, Alexandra
Executive Assistant
Adams, Charles
Legislative Assistant
Burkett, Rachel
Scheduler; Legislative Assistant
Cotton, Rebecca
Legislative Assistant
Parker, Darren
Deputy Legislative Director; Appropriations Director
Petty, Tim
Deputy Legislative Director; Correspondence Director
Socha, Chris
Legislative Director
Cooper, Rachel
Constituent Services Representative
Fulton, Vicki
Constituent Services Representative
Hasenoehrl, Frances
Constituent Services Representative
Munroe, Jordan
Constituent Services Representative
Niehenke, Amanda
Constituent Services Representative
Burkett, Rachel
Scheduler; Legislative Assistant
Davidson, Jason
Correspondence Specialist
Dayley, Kathryn
Correspondence Management Specialist
Note: You can only itemize lists in the Interests and Title sections
Save List
X

Your saved lists will appear under My Saved Lists on The Almanac's landing page.

James Risch Committees
Back to top
James Risch Biography
Back to top
  • Elected: 2008, term expires 2020, 2nd term.
  • State: Idaho
  • Born: May. 03, 1943, Milwaukee, WI
  • Home: Boise
  • Education:

    U. of ID, B.S. 1965, J.D., 1968.

  • Professional Career:

    Partner, Risch, Goss, Insinger, 1975-08; Rancher.

  • Political Career:

    Ada Co. prosecuting atty., 1970-74; ID Senate, 1974-89, 1995-2003; ID lt. gov., 2003-2006, 2007-09; ID gov., 2006.

  • Ethnicity: White/Caucasian
  • Religion:

    Catholic

  • Family: Married (Vicki); 3 children

Republican James Risch was elected to the Senate in 2008 after serving as Idaho’s lieutenant governor and governor. He has been active on the Foreign Relations and Intelligence committees in establishing himself as a conservative counterweight to the Obama administration on foreign policy. Read More

Republican James Risch was elected to the Senate in 2008 after serving as Idaho’s lieutenant governor and governor. He has been active on the Foreign Relations and Intelligence committees in establishing himself as a conservative counterweight to the Obama administration on foreign policy.

Risch (RISH, like wish) grew up in Wisconsin and moved to the West to study forestry. He earned a law degree at the University of Idaho. In 1970, at age 27, Risch was elected Ada County prosecutor—a high-profile position in the state’s capital and largest city, Boise. He went after the illicit drug trade so aggressively that his enemies tried to plant a bomb in his car. After that incident, Risch and his wife and political confidant, Vicki, put a piece of tape on the hood of their car every night so they could detect any tampering.

In 1974, Risch was elected to the state Senate, where he served longer than anyone else in Idaho history. He earned a reputation as an ambitious and determined legislator. He always carried an index card in his back pocket, one side listing bills that he wanted to pass and the other listing bills he was determined to kill. Immediately gunning for a leadership position, he became majority leader after the 1976 election, defeating a young colleague named Larry Craig for the position. Although popular with some of his colleagues, Risch was known as a bully to a number of the younger senators whom he pressured to vote his way.

He was brought back down to earth by a Democratic challenger who beat him in the 1988 election. He ran again in 1990, but this time he was defeated in the GOP primary. Five years later, he was appointed to fill a state Senate vacancy. Less confrontational this time around, Risch moved back into the ranks of leadership as assistant Republican floor leader. He became one of the driving forces in the Idaho Republican Party even as the state elected a string of Democratic governors. In 2002, Risch ran for lieutenant governor and won by a comfortable margin. He served in the shadow of Republican Gov. Dirk Kempthorne for three years and finally assumed the top job when Kempthorne became President George W. Bush’s Interior secretary.

Risch had just seven months in what he considered his dream job, and he was determined to make the most of it. Within two weeks of taking office, Gov. Risch ordered a reorganization of Idaho’s Health and Welfare Department. He created the position of state drug czar to counter the growth in the illicit methamphetamine market in the state. Displeased that the legislature failed to provide property tax relief in its regular session, he called the first special session in 14 years. One day in August, the heavily Republican legislature obediently passed bills cutting local property taxes by $260 million, raising the sales tax from 5% to 6%, and cutting state spending by $50 million. The voters approved the tax changes 72%-28%. After wide consultation, he prepared a roadless-areas plan for 9 million acres of national forest that was approved by U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns and was generally accepted by environmental groups.

When November rolled around, Risch beat former Democratic Rep. Larry LaRocco for lieutenant governor 58%-39%. But another goal beckoned: the U.S. Senate seat first won by his old rival Craig in 1990. Craig was arrested in a Minneapolis airport men’s room in 2007 for soliciting sex from an undercover police officer and pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct. He resisted immense pressure from his Senate colleagues to resign immediately, but then decided against seeking reelection in 2008. Risch announced his intention to run.

He had little competition for the Republican nomination. His Democratic opponent was, once again, LaRocco, who had been elected to the House in 1990 and 1992, but was defeated in the Republican sweep of 1994. Another opponent was Democrat Rex Rammell, a rancher who ran as an independent. Risch raised more than twice as much money as LaRocco, and the national Democratic Party never targeted the race. He won the election 58%-34%, with 5% for Rammell.

Risch entered the Senate at age 65, after an extensive political career as well as years in business as owner of a trailer company and property management firm, which made him one of the Senate’s wealthiest members. He has been an aggressive conservative ally of his more mild-mannered Idaho Senate colleague Mike Crapo.

He and Crapo were among 16 senators backing Kentucky GOP Sen. Rand Paul’s unsuccessful and ambitious amendment in March 2012 to dramatically slash federal spending. Risch has opposed most of President Barack Obama’s spending initiatives. “I ran for this office as a deficit hawk, and now that I am here, I have moved even further in that direction,” he told The Idaho Statesman. When the Obama administration sought to regulate the for-profit college industry through “gainful employment” regulations—which would withdraw federal money from higher education programs if graduates have high rates of student loan default—Risch led a group of GOP senators in introducing legislation to block the move. The liberal Center for American Progress accused him of parroting what it said were the for-profit industry’s exaggerated claims about how many health care workers it trains. During the 2009 debate over Obama’s economic stimulus bill, Risch accused Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of taking $50 million from the bill to save a species of mouse found only in her district, a claim that turned out to be wrong.

Risch has repeatedly criticized Obama’s foreign policy. He said in August 2012 that the Law of the Sea Treaty defining nations’ ocean usage and another administration-backed effort to conclude a United Nations treaty on reducing firearms “would push the U.S. away from our constitutional foundations and supplement its authority with judgments from international courts and U.N. bureaucracies.” When the Foreign Relations panel sought to take up the New START arms control treaty with Russia in September 2010, Risch tried to stop the vote, citing new intelligence that he said he couldn’t reveal in open session that led him to question Russia’s intentions. And when the full Senate took up the pact in December 2010, he again unsuccessfully demanded a delay, noting that Russian troops reportedly had stolen five U.S. Humvees used in military exercises. When the 2012 film Zero Dark Thirty came under criticism for making it seem as if waterboarding helped find Osama bin Laden, he distanced himself from other senators and said the controversial interrogation technique provided “a scintilla of evidence” in locating the al-Qaida leader.

On the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, he worked to add provisions increasing the roles for biomass and geothermal energy in the 2009 energy bill. He wound up voting against the final bill because, he said, it didn’t go far enough to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil and did too little to encourage expansion of nuclear power. He told the Twin Falls Times-News in August 2011 he thought it was possible to have clean air and water “without sending out the Gestapo to enforce the thing.”

Show Less
James Risch Election Results
Back to top
2008 General
James Risch (R)
Votes: 371,744
Percent: 57.65%
Spent: $3,114,815
Larry LaRocco
Votes: 219,903
Percent: 34.11%
Spent: $1,424,818
Rex Rammell
Votes: 34,510
Percent: 5.35%
2008 Primary
James Risch (R)
Votes: 80,743
Percent: 65.34%
Scott Syme
Votes: 16,660
Percent: 13.48%
Richard Phenneger
Votes: 6,532
Percent: 5.29%
James Risch Votes and Bills
Back to top NJ Vote Ratings

National Journal’s rating system is an objective method of analyzing voting. The liberal score means that the lawmaker’s votes were more liberal than that percentage of his colleagues’ votes. The conservative score means his votes were more conservative than that percentage of his colleagues’ votes. The composite score is an average of a lawmaker’s six issue-based scores. See all NJ Voting

More Liberal
More Conservative
2013 2012 2011
Economic - (L) : 95 (C) 8 (L) : 91 (C) 9 (L) : 90 (C)
Social - (L) : 92 (C) 1 (L) : 96 (C) - (L) : 88 (C)
Foreign 2 (L) : 96 (C) 1 (L) : 98 (C) 16 (L) : 79 (C)
Composite 3.2 (L) : 96.8 (C) 4.2 (L) : 95.8 (C) 11.3 (L) : 88.7 (C)
Interest Group Ratings

The vote ratings by 10 special interest groups provide insight into a lawmaker’s general ideology and the degree to which he or she agrees with the group’s point of view. Two organizations provide just one combined rating for 2011 and 2012, the two sessions of the 112th Congress. They are the ACLU and the ITIC. About the interest groups.

20112012
FRC10085
LCV97
CFG8686
ITIC-75
NTU9087
20112012
COC100-
ACLU-25
ACU9596
ADA105
AFSCME0-
Key Senate Votes

The key votes show how a member of Congress voted on the major bills of the year. N indicates a "no" vote; Y a "yes" vote. If a member voted "present" or was absent, the bill caption is not shown. For a complete description of the bills included in key votes, see the Almanac's Guide to Usage.

    • End fiscal cliff
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Block faith exemptions
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Approve gas pipeline
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Approve farm bill
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Let cyber bill proceed
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Block Gitmo transfers
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Raise debt limit
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Pass balanced budget amendment
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Stop EPA climate regulations
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Proceed to Cordray vote
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Require talking filibuster
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Limit Fannie/Freddie
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Regulate financial firms
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2010
    • Pass tax cuts for some
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2010
    • Legalize immigrants' kids
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2010
    • Ratify New START
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2010
    • Confirm Elena Kagan
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2010
    • Stop EPA climate regs
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Repeal don't ask, tell
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2010
    • Overturn Ledbetter
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Block release of TARP funds
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass $787 billion stimulus
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Repeal DC gun laws
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Confirm Sonia Sotomayor
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass health care bill
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Bar budget rules for climate bill
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass 2010 budget resolution
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Let judges adjust mortgages
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Allow FDA to regulate tobacco
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Protect gays from hate crimes
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Cut F-22 funds
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Label North Korea terrorist state
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Build Guantanamo replacement
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Allow federal funds for abortion
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
Read More
 
Browse The Almanac
Congressional Leadership
and Committees

House Committees
Senate Committees
Joint Committees
Leadership Roster
About Almanac
almanac cover
The Almanac is a members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics. Comprehensive online profiles include biographical and political summaries of elected officials, campaign expenditures, voting records, interest-group ratings, and congressional staff look-ups. In-depth overviews of each state and house district are included as well, along with demographic data, analysis of voting trends, and political histories.
Members: Buy the book at 25% off retail.
Order Now
Need Help?

Contact Us:

202.266.7900 | membership@nationaljournal.com