U.S. SENATE –U.S. Senator Steve Daines today voted to make a down payment on strengthening the nation’s border security and to keep the federal government open and funded.
“I was just down in the Rio Grande Valley Sector of the southern border with border patrol, and witnessed firsthand the consequences of a porous border. We’ve got a crisis on our hands with illegal drugs and immigrants flooding across the border, and it’s destroying our families,”Daines said. “Today I voted on a down payment strengthening our nation’s border security, and to keep the government open, running and funded for our workers. Much more remains to be done, and I will not stop working until our border patrol has the resources they need to stop illegal drugs from hurting our communities.”
Earlier this week, Daines toured the southern border in the Rio Grande Valley, and witnessed first-hand the need for better border security including physical barriers.
“My vote also includes major wins for Montana including critical meth and drug prevention programs, and an increase in funding for the LWCF,” Daines said.
Download audio of Daines’ statement HERE.
Major Montana Wins:
- High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Program: $280 million for HIDTA. In Montana, the Rocky Mountain HIDTA is a fundamental component in our approach to countering drug trafficking, serving five counties and having an impact throughout the state in combatting methamphetamine use and opioids abuse.
- Meth related grants: $303.5M for COPS Hiring Grants including $27M for improving tribal law enforcement anti-methamphetamine activities (Including hiring, equipment and training), and $8M to combat Methamphetamine traffickers. This is a $27 million increase from 2018.
- LWCF: $435 million for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). This is a $10 million increase from 2018. The $435 million includes funding for several Montana LWCF projects: Everson Bench, MT Wildlife Refuge, Kootenai Forestland, Beavertail, Swan Range and Clearwater-Blackfoot.
- Rural Broadband: $550 million for a rural broadband pilot program designed to target lacking broadband service. Important language prioritizing deployment of broadband in rural and unserved areas. (This language was driven by Senator Daines’ RURAL Broadband Act).
- Electronic Logging Device delay for livestock and insect haulers: Agriculture is Montana’s largest economic driver and until a workable solution is found with respect to hours of service, the ELD mandate places an undue burden on the agricultural industry that is not shared by other sectors
- Small Community Air Service Development Grant Program: $10 million to help expand rural and small community air service.