Daines Statement on Government Shutdown

U.S. SENATE — U.S. Senator Steve Daines today made the following statement after the government funding bill failed to pass the Senate before the Friday midnight deadline. 

“While I voted to fund the government, 44 Democrats chose to shut it down, failing 24,000 Montana children, compromising our national security, and letting down our veterans and active service members.” said Daines.

The funding bill would have kept the government open for four weeks and would have included a six-year reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which gives 24,000 Montana children access to critical health care.


On January 19, Daines called on his colleagues to protect Montana children.

On January 18, Daines spoke on the floor of the U.S. Senate, urging his colleagues to support long-term CHIP reauthorization. 

On April 14, 2015, Daines supported reauthorization of CHIP.

CHIP provides vital health services for over eight million children and 370,000 pregnant women across the United States each year.

Since CHIP’s creation, the number of uninsured children has fallen by one-third. Today, the number of uninsured children is the lowest on record.

Montana counties with the highest number of children enrolled in CHIP:

  1. Yellowstone – 3,288 children
  2. Flathead – 2,950 children
  3. Gallatin – 2,765 children
  4. Missoula – 2,284 children
  5. Cascade – 1,325 children

Statements of Support:

“On behalf of the Fort Belknap Indian Community, I am thankful to Senator Daines for his votes to reopen the government and prevent it from being shut down. The shutdown would have had a real impact on how we function here at Fort Belknap. We are glad that Congress, including Senator Daines, will be able to pass a stopgap measure. We had a contingency plan on how we were going to deal with the impact to providing services, including what offices to keep open or which to close. Fortunately, with Senator Daines help, we did not have to do that. We appreciate that very much. Additionally, CHIP is essential to our membership and our families here and I’m glad that Sen. Daines is supportive of the program.”— Andrew Werk, Jr., President of the Fort Belknap Indian Community Council

“The Kalispell Chamber of Commerce appreciates Senator Daines’ vote to reopen the government.  In northwest Montana, Flathead businesses rely on a fully functioning federal government that ensures that places like Glacier National Park remain open, federal timber sales continue to be processed, regulatory permitting be maintained, and our federal workforce can have the peace of mind to be ongoing participants in our local economy.” — Joe Unterreiner, President, Kalispell Chamber

“MGGA is pleased to see the Senate approve a temporary funding bill which allows the government to re-open. Montana’s producers rely on a fully functioning government to maintain essential services such as those provided by the Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service and crucial export services. We applaud Senator Daines’ efforts to find a path forward on funding our government.”   — Michelle Jones, President, Montana Grain Growers Association

“The effects of a government shutdown can be detrimental to gateway communities like West Yellowstone. We are very appreciative of Senator Daines’ vote to keep the government open.” — Marysue Costello, President, West Yellowstone Chamber

“Maintaining access to essential health care services for children through the CHIP program is absolutely essential in the state of Montana, as it is across the country.  We applaud Senator Danies efforts on this bi-partisan solution to extend coverage for the CHIP program to ensure our youngest patients continue to have access to the care they need.” — John Goodnow, CEO, Benefis Health System

We are grateful to Senator Daines for not only championing the 6-year extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) but also encouraging bi-partisan support for children and families. A 6-year extension of CHIP provides longterm stability of pediatric care in Montana; supports the mission of Montana Children’s Medical Center and the physicians affiliated with Montana Children’s specialties,” — Pamela Robertson, CEO, and President, Kalispell Regional Healthcare.

“We thank Senator Daines for standing up for Montana kids and our patients. His support and that of his Senate colleagues provide reassurance to those families who rely on CHIP for vital and preventive healthcare. Long-term reauthorization ensures that Montana children will have a brighter, healthy future.” — Dean French, MD, CEO, Community Medical Center, Missoula, Montana