Mike Crapo, U.S. Senator

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Michael Dean "Mike" Crapo

Birthplace: Idaho Falls, Bonneville County, Idaho, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of George Lavelle Crapo and Melba Christa Crapo
Husband of Private
Father of Private; Private; Private; Private and Private
Brother of Terry Lavelle Crapo; Private; Private; Private and Private

Managed by: Private User
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Immediate Family

About Mike Crapo, U.S. Senator


Michael Dean "Mike" Crapo ( /ˈkreɪpoʊ/ KRAY-poh; born May 20, 1951) is the senior United States Senator from the state of Idaho and a member of the Republican Party.

Born in the city of Idaho Falls, Crapo is a graduate of Brigham Young University and Harvard Law School. He practiced law in his home city throughout the 1980s, while maintaining an active role in local Republican politics. His brother Terry Crapo was majority leader in the Idaho House of Representatives and a growing political figure until his death from leukemia in 1982. Mike Crapo, prompted by his brother's death, successfully ran for the Idaho Senate in 1984. He became Senate President pro tempore from 1988 to 1992, in which position he served as Acting Governor of Idaho for 12 hours in January 1989.

Crapo was elected to Congress in 1992, representing Idaho's 2nd congressional district in the United States House of Representatives. After three terms in the House he was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1998. He was re-elected with no Democratic opposition in the 2004 election, a rarity in the Senate. He was again re-elected in 2010.

Early life

Crapo was born in Idaho Falls, Idaho, the son of Melba (née Olsen) and George Lavelle Crapo. He is distantly related to Henry Howland Crapo, who served as Governor of Michigan from 1865 to 1869, and William Crapo Durant, Henry's grandson, who founded General Motors. Mike Crapo and Henry Crapo are first cousins, four times removed, as Henry's father, Jesse Crapo, and Mike's great-great-great grandfather, Charles Crapo, were brothers. Crapo graduated from Idaho Falls High School in 1969, then earned a B.A. in political science from Brigham Young University in 1973 and a J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1977.


The senator married Susan Diane Hasleton in June 1974; the couple has five children.

Early political career

He served for one year as clerk to Judge James M. Carter, United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit and then returned to Idaho to become a lawyer. While practicing law in Idaho Falls in the 1980s, he was active in the Republican Party's campaigns for seats in the state legislature. His brother Terry Crapo served in Idaho House of Representatives, four years as majority leader and was seen as a rising star in Idaho politics.

Terry Crapo's death from leukemia in 1982 prompted Crapo to run for an open seat in the Idaho Senate. Crapo was elected to the state senate in 1984 where he served until 1992. In 1988, Senate President pro tempore Jim Risch unexpectedly lost reelection to the Idaho Senate and Crapo was elected by his colleagues to that position. Crapo served as Senate President pro tempore from 1988 to 1992. On January 27, 1989 Crapo served as acting governor of Idaho for 12 hours. Governor Cecil Andrus was out of the state testifying before Congress and then Lieutenant Governor Butch Otter was out of the state on business for his employer Simplot. Laws of succession dictate that the President pro tempore is next in line. Andrus, a Democrat, left Crapo a note saying "Don't do anything I wouldn't do.... P.S. The chair is comfortable, isn't it?"

Crapo was elected to Congress in 1992, representing Idaho's 2nd congressional district in the United States House of Representatives. He was elected to the House for three terms from 1993 until 1999 until his election to the U.S. Senate in 1998.

U.S. Senate


Crapo was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1998, gaining the seat of Republican Dirk Kempthorne, who stepped down to run successfully for governor. In his Senate bid, as in his House campaigns, his campaign signs had a macron placed over the "a" in his name (Crāpo) to indicate at the correct pronunciation ("Cray-poe").

Crapo was re-elected in 2004 with 99% of the vote, with the other 1% going to write-in candidates. He was the only Senate candidate in 2004 to run unopposed on the ballot. Some Republicans want him to be appointed to a high position in the Senate Republican leadership because his seat is considered one of the safest in the entire Senate.[citation needed]

In the 111th Congress, Crapo currently serves on the following Senate Committees: Banking, Housing and Urban Development; Budget; Environment and Public Works; Indian Affairs; and Finance. He co-chairs the Senate Nuclear Caucus, the Canada-U.S. Interparliamentary Group (IPG); the COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) Caucus, which he also founded; and the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus.

Crapo became the state's senior senator when the 111th United States Congress convened on January 3, 2009, succeeding Larry Craig, who decided not to seek re-election. At the convening of the 112th United States Congress he is now ranked 39th in seniority in the Senate.

Crapo opposed President Barack Obama's health reform legislation; he voted against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in December 2009, and he voted against the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.

In November 2010, he was re-elected to a third term with 71% of the vote, defeating P. Tom Sullivan (D) and Randy Bergquist (Constitution Party).

Committee assignments


Caucus memberships

International Conservation Caucus
Senate Diabetes Caucus
Senate Nuclear Cleanup Caucus (co-chair)
Senate Renewables and Energy Efficiency Caucus (co-chair)
Sportsmen's Caucus (co-chair)
Western Water Caucus
Zero Capital Gains Tax Caucus

Environmental record

Crapo introduced S. 700, legislation to update and improve conservation incentives for landowners to protect endangered and threatened species through tax benefits. The legislation is supported by a broad array of prominent environmental advocacy organizations and outdoor recreationists. This bipartisan, widely-supported legislation has twice been approved by the Senate Finance Committee. Two environmental initiatives Crapo has sponsored or promoted continue that collaborative approach. He sponsored a local working group partnership in Owyhee County, Idaho, to protect and preserve sensitive ecological and riverine areas in the county while ensuring the cooperation of landowners and grazers in the area. The Owyhee Initiative working group brings together local tribal members, ranchers, recreators, land managers, environmentalists, and county leaders and the process has been endorsed by editorials in local papers, including the Boise-based Idaho Statesman newspaper. Another collaboration promoted by Crapo is the Elk Cooperative, a loose working group of tribal members, wildlife officials, and recreators to identify plans that preserve stable populations of elk in northern Idaho.[citation needed]

Project SEARCH (Special Environmental Assistance for the Regulation of Communities and Habitat) has been approved in several Congresses, most recently authorized in the 2002 Farm Bill. It provides grants to small communities, to assist rural communities throughout the country with planning and engineering grants for environmental infrastructure projects necessary to meet the requirements of water and wastewater regulations.[citation needed]

Crapo partnered with the Environmental Protection Agency to provide funding and technical assistance to the Coeur d'Alene Basin Planning Commission, a partnership of state, local, community, and federal officials charged with implementing restoration of formerly-contaminated Superfund areas in the Silver Valley of North Idaho. In 2006, Crapo was given the lowest possible score (0%) by the League of Conservation Voters for his voting record in the Senate. This followed his score of 5% in 2005 to bring his lifetime score down to 4%. The LCV uses selected set of votes to determine the scoring for its yearly rating. Reasons for the low score include his votes for offshore drilling, for arctic refuge drilling, against funding to help "low-income families insulate and weatherize their homes", against funding for the environment and natural resources, against independent review of Army Corps of Engineers projects, and for having the Army Corps of Engineers review themselves.

Personal life

Crapo was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1999 and underwent a radical prostatectomy in January 2000. While he had a full recovery and was declared cancer-free at that time, prostate cancer recurred in 2005, and he underwent a series of radiation treatments. His experience led him to become active in advocating for early detection tests for cancer and other treatable diseases.

Crapo is an Eagle Scout, awarded in 1966, and was awarded the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award (DESA) in 2000. He is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Electoral history


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Mike Crapo, U.S. Senator's Timeline

May 20, 1951
Idaho Falls, Bonneville County, Idaho, United States