In The News

Daines, Tester secure funding for rural schools

Montana’s two senators, Steve Daines and Jon Tester, have helped secure over $12 million for rural counties in Montana by reauthorizing critical federal funding. Following the decline of timber production in federal forests, Congress passed the Secure Rural Schools Program and Community Self Determination Act in 2000 to compensate rural counties. Since its inception, the program has provided money for schools, roads and other municipal services in over 700 counties across the country and Puerto Rico, according to the Forest Service website. The $12,197,140 allocated for Montana in the latest iteration of SRS will help cover expenses for over two

Locals tell Senator Daines impact of pipeline stoppage

A brief stop in Baker gave local business owners a chance to tell a sitting U.S. Senator what the real life impact a decision in the nation’s capital has had in eastern Montana. Owner of Spiffy’s Mobil 1 Express Lube and Wash, Jay Quenzer said that his business dropped about 25 percent when the construction on the Keystone XL pipeline was stopped in late January. He said that the construction business had helped his business to survive during the pandemic. Jodie O’Donnell had a RV park where many of the construction workers were living and by the end of the

Daines: GOP shut out on infrastructure discussion

HELENA (KPAX) — U.S. Sen. Steve Daines said this week his fellow Republicans want to support an infrastructure bill, but that President Biden’s proposal goes far beyond just infrastructure – and that Democratic leaders are indicating they don’t want GOP input. “What we’re hearing, and so far what they’re saying, is it’s going to be either take this or you leave it,” he said Wednesday. “So, it looks like, again, this is more of a liberal agenda wish-list from Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, than it is truly a bipartisan infrastructure package.” Yet Daines wouldn’t specify what he or Republicans

Daines, Tester call for reopening of U.S.-Canada border

Both of Montana’s senators have called on the Biden administration to work with Canadian officials to fully reopen the northern border, which has been closed to nonessential travel since March 2020 to prevent the coronavirus from spreading between the two countries. U.S. Sens. Steve Daines, a Republican, and Jon Tester, a Democrat, say the border can safely be reopened to boost trade, restore tourism and avoid further hurting the economy — although vaccination rates remain low in northwestern Montana and neighboring Alberta. “While the efforts initially taken were critical to prevent the transmission of COVID-19, circumstances have drastically changed and

Senator visits town

Sen. Steve Daines (R-Montana) stopped in Baker to visit with concerned locals behind Spiffy’s Mobile 1 as part of a tour of the state to discuss the impact of the Keystone pipeline on Fallon County’s economy. “You hear about so many other benefits the pipeline provides here,” the senator said after his visit. For more on the senator’s visit, see the next issue of the Fallon County Times, in addition to online.

Sen. Steve Daines recounts his experience at the southern border

BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) – The U.S. could see a record number of undocumented migrants crossing the southern border this year. Projections show more than two million people could attempt to cross by the end of September if policies don’t change. Senators who toured the U.S.-Mexico border last week said they saw the rush of undocumented migrants attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border firsthand.   “It’s like these big, flashing open for crossing signs, figuratively speaking here. And they were taunting us. In fact, they were saying some things that were so vile, the Border Patrol agents wouldn’t even translate it. They

Daines helps secure funding for Havre City-County Airport

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Steve Daines announced Thursday that $11,946,626 will be allocated to various airports across Montana including in Havre to strengthen air travel infrastructure.  The Airport Improvement Program allocation includes $250,000 to Havre City-County Airport.

Senator Daines says southern border is a “humanitarian crisis” after recent visit

MONTANA – Senator Steve Daines said the southern border is “out of control” and a “humanitarian crisis” after a visit to the border last week. “We visited the Donna Facility,” Daines said. “It’s a tent city they’ve constructed to hold these illegal immigrants. It’s designed for 250 maximum with COVID restrictions. The day we were there, Friday morning, there were 4,200 in that facility.” Daines also tied the situation at the southern border to problems with drugs and violence in Montana. “Violent crime, petty crime across our state, the homicides we’re seeing here in Billings, the increase, that’s oftentimes tied

Young, Senate colleagues propose bipartisan plan to deter a nuclear-armed Iran

U.S. Sen. Todd Young (R-IN) joined a bipartisan contingent of his Senate colleagues in providing President Joe Biden with a bipartisan, comprehensive diplomatic strategy on Iran that would garner overwhelming support in Congress.

“Democrats and Republicans may have tactical differences,” Sen. Young and his colleagues wrote in a March 25 letter sent to the president, “but we are united on preventing an Iranian nuclear weapon and addressing the wide range of illicit Iranian behavior.”

Among the more than 40 lawmakers joining Sen. Young in signing the letter were U.S. Sens. Jerry Moran (R-KS), Susan Collins (R-ME), Thom Tillis (R-NC), John Hoeven (R-ND), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Steve Daines (R-MT), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Richard Burr (R-NC), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Mike Rounds (R-SD), and Bob Menendez (D-NJ).

“We write to reaffirm the long-held view of Congress and presidents from both parties that a nuclear-armed Iran would pose a grave threat to U.S. national security interests and our allies and partners,” wrote Sen. Young and the lawmakers. “We must confront the reality that Iran has accelerated its nuclear activity in alarming ways including increasing its centrifuge research and production and enriching uranium up to 20 percent.”

The senators told President Biden they agree that Iran continues to pose a threat to U.S. and international security through exporting arms, including highly accurate missiles, supporting Shia militias that target U.S. service members, and supporting terrorist organizations and other malign actors throughout the region, according to their letter. 

“We also remain concerned about Iran’s continued human rights abuses of its own citizens and the increasing size and capabilities of its ballistic and cruise missile programs,” they wrote. 

Sen. Young and his colleagues suggested that President Biden “use the full force of our diplomatic and economic tools in concert with our allies on the United Nations Security Council and in the region to reach an agreement that prevents Iran from ever acquiring nuclear weapons and meaningfully constrains its destabilizing activity throughout the Middle East and its ballistic missile program.”

They also suggested that it is critical for the president to consult with the nation’s European allies, Israel, and Gulf security partners on a path forward with Iran, as well as to prioritize the release of all American citizens unjustly detained in Iran, their letter states.