Daines Announces State of the Union Guest

U.S. SENATE — U.S. Senator Steve Daines today announced that nine year-old Danielle (Dani) Highley from Deer Lodge, one of the 24,000 Montana children who will benefit from the six-year reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), will be his guest at this year’s State of the Union Address. This is the longest reauthorization in the program’s history.

“Dani and the other 24,000 Montana children who depend on CHIP are the reason I fought so hard for the longest reauthorization in the program’s history,” said Daines. “I couldn’t think of anyone better to bring as my one guest to the President’s State of the Union Address.”

After Daines called Dani and her mother last night to invite them to Washington, DC, Dani and her mother posted a video with their reaction to receiving an invitation to the State of the Union Address.

“Dani is very happy and very excited. I think this is a fantastic opportunity for her and we feel very blessed that Senator Daines asked to take her to this event,” said Glory Highley, Dani’s mother.

The State of the Union Address will take place at the U.S. Capitol on the evening of Tuesday, January 30th.


On January 22, Daines and 81 Senators voted to reopen the government and reauthorize the children’s health insurance program for six years.

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

On January 18, Daines told Dani’s story on the floor of the U.S. Senate and urged 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:

Yellowstone – 3,288 children

Flathead – 2,950 children

Gallatin – 2,765 children

Missoula – 2,284 children

Cascade – 1,325 children