House Minority Leader John Rusche, D-Lewistown, has withdrawn his resolution to recognize strong cultural and trades ties between Idaho and Taiwan. Rusche appeared before the House State Affairs Committee Wednesday to pitch the plan to lawmakers.
The proposal, which Rusche called a “feel good resolution,” would have been a show of support and fellowship to the nation of Taiwan. Rusche said the Idaho Department of Commerce believes the bill would be helpful in creating new trade ventures with the nation. Rusche noted that the resolution wouldn’t “recognize one China over the other.”
The “feel good resolution” ran into some roadblocks from lawmakers due to some language issues. Several lawmakers, including Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Eagle, took exception with the bill’s references to climate change. One paragraph within the resolution refers to Taiwan’s willingness to address climate change, a reference which Labrador thought unnecessary. Labrador said he was uncomfortable with the bill, subsequently asking Rusche to withdraw it. He expressed concern that if the language in reference to climate change is not removed, the bill could stand a substantial risk of failing in committee or on the House floor, an event which Labrador said he doesn’t want to happen.
“We don’t want to send a bad message from Idaho,” Labrador said. He also said he worried that Idaho would make international news if the bill failed.
Rep. Anne Pasley-Stuart, D-Boise, spoke in support of the resolution, saying that Idaho’s strong ties with the country must be reaffirmed.
Prior to voting, Rusche withdrew the bill and said he plans to keep retool the resolution to better fit the wishes of the committee. Chairman Thomas Loertscher, R-Iona, said that while the committee couldn’t pass the bill as currently written, the committee and the state “do want to support Taiwan.”
IdahoReporter.com will continue to monitor the committee and will provide coverage of the resolution should it appear before the panel in the future.
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