Almanac A members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics

Sen. Mike Crapo (R)

Idaho

N/A

crapo.senate.gov

Biography

Elected: 1998, term expires 2016, 3rd term.

Born: May 20, 1951, Idaho Falls, ID

Home: Idaho Falls, ID

Education: Brigham Young U., B.A. 1973, Harvard U., J.D. 1977

Professional Career: Practicing atty., 1977–92.

Ethnicity: White/Caucasian

Religion: Mormon

Family: Married (Susan Diane Hasleton) , 5 children ; 5 grandchildren

Republican Mike Crapo was first elected to the House in 1992 and to the Senate in 1998 and is known as a bipartisan consensus-seeker. He has taken on a number of internal tasks for his party’s leadership, yet is well-regarded among Democrats; Majority Leader Harry Reid once suggested him as a suitable Supreme Court nominee.

Crapo (CRAY-po) grew up in Idaho Falls. His father ran the local post office, and his mother stayed home to care for their six children. The couple also farmed on 200 acres, growing potatoes and grain. He graduated from Brigham Young University and Harvard Law School. A devout Mormon, he was named a bishop in the church at age 31. A former congressional intern, he was elected to the state Senate at 33 in 1984, two years after leukemia took his older brother Terry’s life. Terry Crapo had been state House majority leader and a rising star in state politics. The two brothers were close, and Mike Crapo decided to follow his brother’s path to the legislature. He became state Senate leader in 1988. Four years later, he ran for Congress, campaigning against tax increases and in favor of spending cuts, a balanced-budget amendment, and the line-item veto. He won the primary 68%-32%. “Cowboy Democrat” J.D. Williams, the state controller, ran on a “Put America First” platform on industrial policy and trade. Crapo won 61%-35%.

With a self-professed “passion for reform,” Crapo became a Republican freshman class leader and championed institutional reforms, advocating more power for rank-and-file members to bring bills to the floor and calling for more open voting. Like many Republicans then, Crapo favored hard-and-fast rules in the budget process to force tough decisions: He favored a balanced budget and across-the-board discretionary spending cuts, excluding Social Security. His overall voting record in the House was very conservative, with some exceptions on economics. He opposed the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1993 but supported normalizing trade relations with China in 2000. He criticized some trade agreements for accepting limits on U.S. agricultural exports as leverage for opening up access for other products.

Crapo, who prides himself on returning to Idaho Falls to be with his family every weekend, faced a career choice in 1997. Republican Gov. Phil Batt announced his retirement, and GOP Sen. Dirk Kempthorne said he would run for governor. Within days, Crapo announced he would run for the Senate seat the following year, and he was unopposed in the Republican primary. His opponent in the fall was Bill Mauk, a former Democratic state chairman and Boise trial lawyer. Idaho, one-quarter Mormon, had never elected a Mormon to the Senate, but this time it did. Crapo led in polls by a wide margin and won 70%-28%, carrying every county.

At the outset of the 113th Congress (2013-14), the unassuming Crapo got some unwanted national attention when he pleaded guilty to drunken driving and received a suspended sentence of 180 days in jail. He acknowledged having had several vodka tonics at his Capitol Hill apartment on December 22, 2012, and then driving into suburban Alexandria, Va., where he scored a 0.11 blood-alcohol level on a breath test after running a red light. The legal limit in Virginia is .08. He asked for Idaho voters’ forgiveness. “It was a poor choice to use alcohol to relieve stress—and one at odds with my personally held religious beliefs.” Colleagues said he had been feeling overburdened by his responsibilities. The development bewildered Idahoans; an editorial in The Lewiston Morning Tribune was headlined, “Is This Mike Crapo the Same Guy We Knew?

Crapo sought to move past the incident, announcing several days later that he would serve as the chief deputy to new Minority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas. He was a logical choice: He is one of the Senate’s most right-leaning members, attaining the position of third most-conservative in National Journal’s 2011 rankings. He chaired a caucus panel charged with committee assignments, and in 2010 was a member of the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles debt reduction commission. He and fellow Republicans Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Judd Gregg of New Hampshire endorsed the plan, putting them at odds with other GOP panelists, including House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis. Despite calling the plan “flawed and incomplete,” Crapo and Coburn said in a joint statement that “the time for action is now.” Though he backed the subsequent New Year’s Day 2013 budget deal aimed at averting the so-called fiscal cliff, he called it a “missed opportunity to comprehensively address our nation’s economic crisis,” citing its lack of tax reform.

Early in 2013, Crapo also became the ranking Republican on the Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, replacing the term-limited Richard Shelby of Alabama. Crapo won passage in 2006 of a bill that would ease outdated regulation of the banking industry. Four years later, he worked on the Dodd-Frank financial industry overhaul legislation but said he was disappointed with the result, citing its creation of a new consumer protection bureau and its requirement for commercial banks to spin off most of their derivatives trading operations. He also expressed frustration that the bill would not revamp troubled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. When President Obama’s 2012 reelection dashed Republican hopes that Dodd-Frank could be repealed, Crapo expressed hope that he could reshape parts of it, specifically a provision that was intended to shield most companies outside the financial sector from derivatives regulations. He said Congress intended the rules to apply to financial firms trading derivatives in search of a profit, but that regulators could mistakenly apply it to utilities and other industries that dabble in the derivatives market.

From his seat on the powerful Finance Committee, which he secured in 2005, Crapo has worked quietly and productively. He secured a permanent tax break for state colleges by attaching it to a pension bill, while separately heading off a proposed cut in food stamps. Crapo also urged the Internal Revenue Service to implement a tax break that would help the country’s short-line railroads, one of the largest of which is used by Idaho farmers to move crops and equipment. Crapo and Montana Democrat Max Baucus, the Finance Committee’s chairman, cosponsored bills to relax restrictions on agricultural sales to Cuba. During the 2009 health care debate, Crapo sought to amend the bill to prevent individuals making $200,000 annually and families earning $250,000 a year or less from being taxed to pay for the policy changes in the bill; it was defeated after Baucus called it a “killer amendment” that would deprive the legislation of needed revenue.

Despite a uniformly conservative voting record, Crapo has developed a reputation for diligence in trying to forge consensus legislation. He served on the bipartisan “Gang of Six” that repeatedly tried to forge a budget compromise in 2011 and 2012. Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden said, “He is not a showboat. He is somebody who, day in and day out, is always a constructive force for sensible public policy.” Reid in 2005 named Crapo as one of three GOP senators who would make “outstanding” Supreme Court justices. As a prostate cancer survivor, Crapo has been active in promoting screening for prostate and breast cancer; he introduced a bill in 2007 creating a new federal Office of Men’s Health.

Though he had expressed interest in a federal District Court judgeship, Crapo sought reelection in 2004. He had no Democratic opponent and won with 99% of the vote. In 2010, he won handily against Democratic financial consultant Tom Sullivan, 71%-25%.

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 224-6142

(202) 228-1375

DSOB- Dirksen Senate Office Building Room 239
Washington, DC 20510-1205

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 224-6142

(202) 228-1375

DSOB- Dirksen Senate Office Building Room 239
Washington, DC 20510-1205

DISTRICT OFFICE

(208) 334-1776

(208) 334-9044

251 East Front Street Suite 205
Boise, ID 83702-7312

DISTRICT OFFICE

(208) 334-1776

(208) 334-9044

251 East Front Street Suite 205
Boise, ID 83702-7312

DISTRICT OFFICE

(208) 522-9779

(208) 529-8367

410 Memorial Drive Suite 204
Idaho Falls, ID 83402-3600

DISTRICT OFFICE

(208) 522-9779

(208) 529-8367

410 Memorial Drive Suite 204
Idaho Falls, ID 83402-3600

DISTRICT OFFICE

(208) 743-1492

(208) 743-6484

313 D Street Suite 105
Lewiston, ID 83501-1894

DISTRICT OFFICE

(208) 743-1492

(208) 743-6484

313 D Street Suite 105
Lewiston, ID 83501-1894

DISTRICT OFFICE

(208) 664-5490

(208) 664-0889

610 West Hubbard Street Suite 209
Coeur D'Alene, ID 83814-2287

DISTRICT OFFICE

(208) 664-5490

(208) 664-0889

610 West Hubbard Street Suite 209
Coeur D'Alene, ID 83814-2287

DISTRICT OFFICE

(208) 236-6775

(208) 236-6935

275 South Fifth Avenue Suite 225
Pocatello, ID 83201-6420

DISTRICT OFFICE

(208) 236-6775

(208) 236-6935

275 South Fifth Avenue Suite 225
Pocatello, ID 83201-6420

DISTRICT OFFICE

(208) 734-2515

(208) 733-0414

202 Falls Avenue Suite 2
Twin Falls, ID 83301-3372

DISTRICT OFFICE

(208) 734-2515

(208) 733-0414

202 Falls Avenue Suite 2
Twin Falls, ID 83301-3372

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

239 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-0001

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

239 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-0001

EXPORT CONTACTS » *

Staff

Sort by: Interest Name Title

Abortion

Kellie McConnell
Legislative Assistant

Amanda Newton
Legislative Correspondent

Aerospace

Mike Quickel
Senior Policy Advisor

Sierra Robinson
Legislative Assistant

Agriculture

Casey Attebery
Legislative Assistant

Layne Bangerter
State Director for Natural Resources and Agriculture

Animal Rights

Casey Attebery
Legislative Assistant

Appropriations

Ken Flanz
Legislative Director

Banking

Gregg Richard
Senior Policy Advisor

Colin St. Maxens
Legislative Correspondent

Budget

Ken Flanz
Legislative Director

Mike Quickel
Senior Policy Advisor

Campaign

Ken Flanz
Legislative Director

Commerce

Mike Quickel
Senior Policy Advisor

Communication

Mike Quickel
Senior Policy Advisor

Disaster

Casey Attebery
Legislative Assistant

Energy

Sierra Robinson
Legislative Assistant

Andrew Earl
Legislative Correspondent

Environment

Casey Attebery
Legislative Assistant

Peter Stegner
Legislative Assistant

Andrew Earl
Legislative Correspondent

Layne Bangerter
State Director for Natural Resources and Agriculture

Finance

Ken Flanz
Legislative Director

Gregg Richard
Senior Policy Advisor

Foreign

Ken Flanz
Legislative Director

Melanie Baucom
Legislative Correspondent

Govt Ops

Ken Flanz
Legislative Director

Casey Attebery
Legislative Assistant

Melanie Baucom
Legislative Correspondent

Gun Issues

Peter Stegner
Legislative Assistant

Health

Kellie McConnell
Legislative Assistant

Amanda Newton
Legislative Correspondent

Homeland Security

Ken Flanz
Legislative Director

Housing

Gregg Richard
Senior Policy Advisor

Human Rights

Ken Flanz
Legislative Director

Immigration

Casey Attebery
Legislative Assistant

Intergovernmental

Mitch Silvers
State Director of Intergovernmental Affairs and Environment

Internet

Mike Quickel
Senior Policy Advisor

Judiciary

Mike Quickel
Senior Policy Advisor

Labor

Kellie McConnell
Legislative Assistant

Amanda Newton
Legislative Correspondent

Land Use

Peter Stegner
Legislative Assistant

Medicare

Kellie McConnell
Legislative Assistant

Amanda Newton
Legislative Correspondent

Military

Sierra Robinson
Legislative Assistant

Melanie Baucom
Legislative Correspondent

Native Americans

Casey Attebery
Legislative Assistant

Andrew Earl
Legislative Correspondent

Public Works

Peter Stegner
Legislative Assistant

Recreation

Casey Attebery
Legislative Assistant

Peter Stegner
Legislative Assistant

Rural Affairs

Casey Attebery
Legislative Assistant

Science

Kellie McConnell
Legislative Assistant

Mike Quickel
Senior Policy Advisor

Amanda Newton
Legislative Correspondent

Seniors

Kellie McConnell
Legislative Assistant

Amanda Newton
Legislative Correspondent

Social Security

Kellie McConnell
Legislative Assistant

Amanda Newton
Legislative Correspondent

Tax

Mike Quickel
Senior Policy Advisor

Technology

Mike Quickel
Senior Policy Advisor

Telecommunications

Mike Quickel
Senior Policy Advisor

Colin St. Maxens
Legislative Correspondent

Amanda Newton
Legislative Correspondent

Trade

Ken Flanz
Legislative Director

Melanie Baucom
Legislative Correspondent

Veterans

Melanie Baucom
Legislative Correspondent

Welfare

Kellie McConnell
Legislative Assistant

Amanda Newton
Legislative Correspondent

Women

Kellie McConnell
Legislative Assistant

Amanda Newton
Legislative Correspondent

Election Results

2010 GENERAL
Mike Crapo
Votes: 319,953
Percent: 71.18%
P. Tom Sullivan
Votes: 112,057
Percent: 24.93%
2010 PRIMARY
Mike Crapo
Votes: 127,332
Percent: 79.34%
Claude Davis
Votes: 33,150
Percent: 20.66%
2004 GENERAL
Mike Crapo
Votes: 499,796
Percent: 99.0%
2004 PRIMARY
Mike Crapo
Unopposed
Prior Winning Percentages
2004 (99%); 1998 (70%); House: 1996 (69%); 1994 (75%); 1992 (61%)

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