April 13 was Thomas Jefferson's Birthday. In his honor, I respectfully ask my members of Congress to support legislation to make the president's tax returns public and legislation to create an independent, nonpartisan commission to investigate the current president's ties to Russia and Russia's interference into our sacred election process.
In his first inaugural address, Thomas Jefferson said, "Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none." How are the American people supposed to know whether or not our president has entangling alliances with a foreign power without transparency into his financial ties?
Why is Congress not demanding that he show Americans his tax returns and that he separate himself from his current business entanglements so he can concentrate on doing the people's business?
Thomas Jefferson was suspicious about banks involving themselves in the business of government, but here we have a president who is not transparently revealing which global banking institutions he owes.
"Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom," Jefferson said, speaking of a remedy for "swindlers and shavers, who are too close to their career of piracies by fraudulent bankruptcies."
We need the wisdom of honesty that will come from an independent, nonpartisan investigation of Trump and his ties to Russia.
I am not a raving, tin foil hat-wearing conspiracy theorist, and I cannot describe my deep discomfort about having to continue coming to your offices to beg for this investigation. Believe me, I would prefer a discussion of substantive policy points. But until we can get past this dark cloud hovering over the executive, we will not be able to move on and have the important conversations about how to keep this nation great.
Thomas Jefferson wrote, "It is the manners and spirit of a people which preserve a republic in vigor. A degeneracy in these is a canker which soon eats to the heart of its laws and constitution."
As a patriot, it is my duty to call upon you to check the power of the executive and to ensure the executive is following the law of the land.
In 1814, Jefferson wrote to Thomas Cooper, "I was bold in the pursuit of knowledge, never fearing to follow truth and reason to whatever results they led, and bearding every authority which stood in their way."
Be bold in pursuit of the truth. Co-sponsor the legislation that will bring President Donald Trump's dealings into the light where they can be examined.
—Lori Burelle, Boise
A Painful Plan
The congressional Republican health care plan will be a disaster for working families. Their plan will take health care away from 24 million people across the country and impose painful taxes on working people.
Budget experts predict that out-of-pocket expenses will skyrocket because companies will shift prices to their employees. That means thousands of dollars less in the pockets of working people.
The proposed cuts to Medicaid will wreck our state budget and hurt people in our community who already are struggling to make ends meet.
Their plan weakens Medicare. It takes three years off the life of the Medicare hospital fund in order to give a huge tax break just to people earning more than $200,000 a year.
Their plan does nothing to deal with skyrocketing prices for medical care and prescription drugs.
The people cutting America's health care under the banner of reform have never had to worry about care for themselves or their families. CEOs, billionaires and right-wing politicians get the best care because cost isn't a factor for them. The rest of us don't have that luxury.
Congress should focus on expanding coverage for more working people, not putting high-quality care out of reach.
—Ebony Yarger, Twin Falls
Stop the Madness
Don't murder the disabled and those in misfortunate economic circumstances! Insane.
—Jim Ellis, Boise