Wednesday, March 22, 2023

EDITORIAL: Bipartisanship will bring home the hardware

| March 15, 2023 1:00 AM

To basketball fans, it’s the most wonderful time of the year.

Lake City and Lakeside high schools just won boys state titles. Coeur d’Alene and Sandpoint captured girls state championships, with Timberlake bringing home the runner-up trophy in its division.

The NCAA men’s and women’s tournaments are underway, and once again the sky might be the limit for Gonzaga.

These tourneys showcase outstanding individual talent, but as we all know, it’s teamwork that wins championships. And any sign of teamwork that emerges from the nation’s most important but frequently maligned squad — aka Congress — is more than encouraging. It’s a sign that our nation might be just a little less fractured than it often appears.

We’re referring to two new bills and a resolution that have come out of the chute with bipartisan sponsorship and support.

A common denominator is Sen. Jim Risch, a Republican who has represented Idaho in D.C. since 2009 after many years serving as a state legislator, lieutenant governor and governor.

Rep. Russ Fulcher, R-Idaho, and Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, D-Wash., joined Risch in introducing an important federal forest restoration and management bill. The legislation would extend funding to tribes and counties to better manage forests and reduce the devastating, costly impacts of catastrophic wildfires.

Risch also has plenty of bipartisan company introducing a bill that would ban imports of Russian uranium and increase production of enriched uranium on U.S. soil. Joining Risch are senators John Barrasso, R-Wyo.; Joe Manchin, D-W.V.; Martin Heinrich, D-N.M.; Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo.; and Chris Coons, D-Del.

And on March 8, International Women’s Day, Risch was among a bipartisan group of senators that introduced a resolution celebrating American women business owners. Joining Risch were fellow Idaho Republican Sen. Mike Crapo; Ben Cardin, D-Maryland; Joni Ernst, R-Iowa; Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H.; Jackie Rosen, D-Nev.; and John Hickenlooper, D-Colo.

While the bills deserve wide support and the resolution is a timely acknowledgment of the tremendous accomplishments of women business owners, there might be even greater long-term value in showing how American leaders can work together for the good of the nation.

Neither Democrats nor Republicans has a monopoly on love of country or incubation of good ideas and creation of solid policy. Working together is the only way to win true national championships, and The Press applauds Risch & Co. for their praiseworthy efforts toward that end.

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