Senate Democrats Continue Government Shutdown

U.S. SENATE — U.S. Senator Steve Daines made the following statement after Senate Democrats rejected efforts to bring the end of the government shutdown to a vote. This decision continues to put the 24,000 Montana children who depend on the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) at risk due to an unrelated immigration issue that only impacts 72 Montana residents.

“Tonight Senate Democrats were given another chance to fund the government. But yet again, they chose to continue the government shutdown, due to a controversial immigration policy.” said Daines. “Montanans and the American people will continue to suffer. Enough is enough.”


On January 20, Daines spoke on the floor of the U.S. Senate to encourage Senate Democrat leadership to end the government shutdown 

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 the 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

CHIP Statements of Support:

Statements of Support:

“Please thank Senator Daines for keeping the “every day” people on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation and citizens throughout Montana in mind when addressing national issues such the government shutdown.  A government shutdown does not benefit U.S. citizens and shutdowns have more negative impacts in areas with poverty level and low income households.  A continued government shutdown approaching the length of the previous shutdown would have resulted in Tribal furloughs and termination of assorted services to our community members.  A prolonged government shutdown during mid-winter could have potentially resulted in endangerment of the health, safety and welfare of Tribal members with little or no financial resources.   The Northern Cheyenne Tribal leaders respectfully urge the U.S. Congress and the President to remain mindful of the importance of the quality of life issues for all Americans that surface when the most powerful country in the world ceases Federal funding for various programs and agencies with ongoing missions, goals and objectives. Thank you for keeping our Tribal Government apprised on actions to keep the federal government in operation.” — William Walksalong, Tribal Administrator, Northern Cheyenne Tribe Administration 

“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  

“Montana Farm Bureau is thankful to see that the government shutdown was short lived and appreciates that Senator Daines consistently voted to keep important programs, agencies, and offices open. A functioning government is important to all American citizens and now we hope Congress can roll up their sleeves and pass a long term budget.” — Hans McPherson, President, Montana Farm Bureau

“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