BYU-Idaho Radio spoke with Rep. Mike Simpson, (R) Idaho, about the current issues on his mind. We also learned more about his background.

A love for political science led Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson to study politics in college. He didn’t know what he wanted to do with a political science degree, so he pursed something he enjoyed­­­­--biological science.

Simpson studied dentistry in St. Louis, Missouri and later began working with his father as a dentist. He grew to love the patients and people he worked with during his career.

When opportunities opened up for Simpson to run for city council in Blackfoot and the state legislature, he could still practice dentistry. However, when he decided to run for Congress he had to leave his career.

“That was a hard decision because you are giving up something you’ve spent a lifetime building a practice, but I’ve enjoyed the time in the political world that I’m in,” Simpson said. “It’s one of those jobs that’s both exciting and frustrating at the same time.”

Simpson is concerned about the growing popularity of socialism. He said capitalism is what’s built this country. Nothing is free, someone has paid for it.

“Capitalism has allowed people to move from the lowest economic ladder to the highest economic wrung on the ladder if they choose,” Simpson said.  

He said, one of the biggest challenges facing the American people is determining what news is true and accurate.

 “How do you determine whether the information you are receiving is actual news?” Simpson asked. “You tend to listen to what you want to believe.” He said this is a reason for the confusion and disruption between Republicans and Democrats.

Other current issues he talked to BYU-Idaho Radio about are illegal immigration and children who were brought across the border who are known as dreamers. Simpson is optimistic these issues will get taken care of.  

Salmon runs in Idaho have also been a concern for the people of Idaho. The fish are endangered and the population has decreased. Simpson is working with the BPA to work through this crisis.  

It’s a very complicated issue, Simpson said, but he is asking questions such as, “what would the impacts be, and how would we address those?”