U.S. SENATE – At a U.S. Senate Hearing today, the Trump administration expressed support for U.S. Senator Steve Daines’ bipartisan bill, the “Montana Water Rights Protection Act,” which permanently settles the century-long Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT) water dispute. At the hearing, Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary Tim Petty discussed the benefits of the bill which will create more than 6,000 jobs, modernize critical NW Montana infrastructure, avoid costly litigation, protect the water rights of all Montanans and provide certainty for Montana’s farmers and ranchers.
Daines kicked off the hearing by emphasizing why the bill is necessary, how it complies with the both the Constitution of the State of Montana and the U.S. Constitution, and how it’s the right thing to do for all of Montana. Click HERE to download the video.
Daines stressed that without his bipartisan legislation, Montana’s agriculture economy could face a $1.3 billion hit, a significant loss of jobs, and would leave Montana’s farmers and ranchers with uncertainty. Petty agreed with Daines that his bill will protect Montana’s ag economy and highlighted its economic benefits. Click HERE for that exchange.
Daines also highlighted that the bill will rehabilitate the Flathead Indian Irrigation Project (FIIP) in NW Montana, stressing that without rehabilitation, FIIP could be decommissioned due to Endangered Species Act and other water quality violations, which could cost taxpayers more than a billion dollars. Click HERE for that exchange.
Background: Click HERE for more information on Daines’ efforts related to the “Montana Water Rights Protection Act.”