Sidney Herald: Daines, Zinke work to protect Port of Raymond operational hours

U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, R-Montana, and U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-Mont., have urged U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials to reverse plans to reduce operating hours at the Port of Raymond and terminate the northeastern Montana border crossing’s 24-hour operating status.

In a letter to CBP Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske, Daines and Zinke highlighted the important role that the Port of Raymond holds for regional economic activity and the overwhelming local concern surrounding CBP’s recent decision to reduce operating hours.

Daines and Zinke urged the CBP to immediately suspend its misguided plan to reduce hours at the Port of Raymond and emphasized the potential negative economic ramifications of the CBP’s revised operating schedule.

“As voices for Montana in the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives, we are strongly concerned that reducing hours at the Port of Raymond will have adverse impacts on both the rural community and on the broader economy,” Daines and Zinke continued. “Accordingly, we urge CBP to suspend any final decisions on this proposal until more options can be considered.”

Daines’ and Zinke’s efforts were commended by Brenden.

“I appreciate Sen. Daines’ and Rep. Zinke’s work to prevent U.S. Customs and Border Patrol from moving forward with its shortsighted plan to reduce operating hours at the Port of Raymond,” Brenden stated. “The consequences of the CBP’s decision will be felt across Sheridan County and northeastern Montana. I urge the CBP to immediately suspend its plan and prioritize working with local Montana leaders to find a better solution.”