In The News

05.13.20

Senate braces for fight over renewing lapsed surveillance powers

Senate leaders are preparing for what could be a protracted brawl over government surveillance powers during a rare public debate Wednesday over how to reauthorize key national security tools that lapsed two months ago. The two-day floor debate threatens to start a domino effect across the Capitol and down Pennsylvania Avenue - and the Senate's civil libertarians are girding for a fight that Republican leaders acknowledge could get ugly. "At this point it's sort of a Wild West, I w… Continue Reading


05.13.20

Challenges abound for child care providers; senators signal support for additional aid

The Gallatin Valley YMCA started offering free child care for front-line workers in March. There are now 11 children on the waitlist for that service. The Commons is donating its space for the program for K-8 kids, but it's still an expensive endeavor for the nonprofit, YMCA CEO Andrea Stevenson said. And now businesses are reopening and more people are going back to work, but schools are staying closed. "As time has gone on, demand has definitely increased," Stevenson said. The YMCA's normal… Continue Reading


05.13.20

Senate to consider renewal of surveillance laws

(AP) - The Senate is expected to vote on whether to extend three surveillance authorities as senators of both parties express concerns that the laws infringe on Americans' rights. The surveillance provisions expired in March, the month lawmakers fled Washington because of the coronavirus pandemic. House lawmakers passed a bipartisan compromise bill just before leaving town, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has not yet been able to push the legislation through the Senate. And it's … Continue Reading


05.11.20

Lawmakers, groups mount pressure campaign for LWCF, parks bill

Nearly 120 House members and hundreds of organizations are ramping up pressure on Congress to include mandatory funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund and billions of dollars to address the backlog in national parks and public lands maintenance in the next round of coronavirus relief legislation. The push shows efforts to enact the bipartisan package remain high on its supporters' agenda despite having a planned March vote on a package, S. 3422 (116), led by Republican Sens. Cory Gard… Continue Reading


05.07.20

Daines to introduce bill codifying, extending Trump's temporary immigration restrictions

EXCLUSIVE: Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., is set to introduce legislation that would codify and extend President Trump's executive order to restrict some immigrants from entering the country due to the coronavirus pandemic, Fox News has learned. Daines' bill would temporarily extend the immigration ban until 60 days after the coronavirus national emergency order is lifted, with the goal of giving U.S. workers an advantage to fill necessary jobs before immigration restarts. Trump's executive order … Continue Reading


05.05.20

SBA issues $1.7B in loans to Montana businesses; state pays $75M in uninsurance

More than 20,000 small businesses across Montana have received funding from the Paycheck Protection Program passed by Congress in March, Sen. Steve Daines said Monday. The funding was part of a $2 trillion package that included $350 billion earmarked for the stimulus program. Daines said 20,683 loans have been approved for Montana businesses totaling more than $1.74 billion in relief. Also on Monday, as restaurants across Montana began a phased reopening, the Montana Department of Labor and In… Continue Reading


05.05.20

Senate Republicans Starting To Raise Concerns About America’s Massive Coronavirus Spending

A number of Republicans in the Senate are starting to raise concerns about the massive amount of money the U.S. has spent combatting coronavirus, the Daily Caller has learned. The federal government has appropriated nearly $3 trillion in roughly six weeks for coronavirus relief and number of Republican Senators shared their concerns over the amount of money being spent, when asked by the Daily Caller. Many are saying they are encouraged to see states reopen their economies so that the borrowing… Continue Reading


05.03.20

Gazette Opinion: Among COVID pratfalls, a pirouette

The COVID crisis should transcend politics. After all, more than 60,000 Americans have died and more than 1.1 million of us have been sickened. Astonishingly, most people agree those numbers are conservative. But of course it is political. The infighting has been intense and greatly counterproductive. On every level, too, we've seen examples of dubious policy decisions. Across the country, we citizens have witnessed far less reliance on public health experts and sound science than we'd like as… Continue Reading


04.28.20

Senator Daines adds $310B to PPP funding for small businesses

HELENA - The Office of Senator Steve Daines announced Daines obtained an extra $310 billion dollars for the Paycheck Protection Program accessible to small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic Monday. According to a release from the Office of Senator Steve Daines, more than 13,000 small businesses in the state have collected a total of more than $1.4 billion in PPP funding all together as of April 16.… Continue Reading


04.28.20

Town Hall panelists talk vaccines, energy, music

BIG SKY - The fifth installment of the weekly EBS virtual Town Hall meetings featured a diverse panel of speakers that touched on a number of topics ranging from vaccines to live and virtual musical performances. U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, who is originally from Bozeman, brought a Capitol Hill perspective recapping the series of aid packages and legislation that have been passing through the federal government to support those struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic. Daines said he's been fighting… Continue Reading


04.27.20

Montana Ag Network: Ranchers request investigation into cattle markets

BILLINGS - The Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA) and 22 other state cattlemen's associations signed a letter requesting an investigation of beef pricing margins by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) which resulted from two recent extreme market shifts due to a packing plant fire in Holcomb, Kansas, in August 2019, and more recently due to COVID-19. Fred Wacker is the MSGA president from Miles City and says they believe determining evidence of any fraudulent business practices within the… Continue Reading


04.25.20

Nearly three quarters of US senators call on Trump administration to help local news

New York (CNN Business)United States Senators have a new idea to boost struggling local news outlets in their home states: Ads from the federal government. Nearly three-quarters of the US Senate have signed a letter to the Trump administration encouraging various agencies to "increase advertising in local newspapers and on broadcast stations in order to help ensure they are able to continue to operate throughout the Covid-19 pandemic." More than half of the members of the US House of Represent… Continue Reading


04.24.20

Daines secures $19 billion for Ag

U.S. Senator Steve Daines today announced that USDA will be providing $19 billion in assistance for farmers and ranchers hurting from challenging market conditions due to the Coronavirus pandemic through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). Part of the funding will go to help Montana's cattle producers who have seen a drastic decline in cattle markets during the pandemic. This follows Daines' request earlier this month to USDA Secretary Perdue urging immediate action for Montana's ran… Continue Reading


04.24.20

Sen. Daines, Tester, Rep. Gianforte add all MT bars under Paycheck Protection Program

U.S. Senator Steve Daines, Senator Jon Tester and U.S. Representative Greg Gianforte, all of Montana, announced Friday all bars in the state may now qualify for the Paycheck Protection Program. "Montana's 2,400 taverns and bars have been hit hard by the Coronavirus pandemic which has impacted over 40,000 Montana jobs," Daines said in a release. "I fought hard to ensure Montana's taverns and bars are eligible for the same relief as other small businesses across the state to keep their workers em… Continue Reading


04.24.20

UM scientists work to develop COVID-19 vaccine, receive $2.5M from NIH

MISSOULA - The University of Montana's Center for Translational Medicine is working on a possible vaccine for COVID-19 right now. To fund the fight against COVID-19, the National Institute of Health awarded UM's department $2.5 million dollars. The principal investigator on the two-year award is Dr. Jay Evans, the center director and a research professor in UM's Division of Biological Sciences. "When the call came from NIH in February to shift focus and develop a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, we… Continue Reading


04.24.20

Montana veterans will now receive direct checks automatically

U.S. Senator Steve Daines announced that Montana veterans and their beneficiaries who receive VA benefits will be receiving their direct checks automatically without having to do anything extra from the Department of Treasury. This follows Daines urging both Treasury and Veterans Affairs Departments to work together to get the direct checks to Montana veterans the fastest and most effective way possible. "This is great news for our Montana veterans and their families who have given so much … Continue Reading


04.23.20

University of Montana researchers working toward COVID-19 vaccine

Researchers at the University of Montana are working to develop a COVID-19 vaccine with the help of a $2.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. The University of Montana has become a leader in vaccine development, ever since a team led by Jay Evans joined UM in 2016, after pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline downsized its operations in Hamilton, and the research team moved to Missoula. Evans and his team at UM's Center for Translational Medicine began working on the vaccine a… Continue Reading


04.23.20

Daines Visits UM on COVID Vaccine – then to Hellgate Elementary

The Center for Translational Medicine at the University of Montana recently received a $2.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to identify and advance a COVID 19 vaccine. Montana Senator Steve Daines visited the campus on Thursday and received a tour of the center and spoke to the researchers about the effort to find a COVID 19 vaccine. "I had an outstanding brief from the scientists at the University of Montana who are doing cutting edge research on developing a vaccine for … Continue Reading


04.23.20

Montana lands $5M from CDC to enhance testing as it begins phased reopening

Montana received a funding boost from the Centers for Disease Control on Thursday to enhance its testing capabilities as it prepares for a phased reopening and works to reboot its economy. Sens. Jon Tester and Steve Daines said the state will receive $5 million in funding earmarked for enhanced contact tracing and testing, and to protect vulnerable populations and high risk individuals. Gov. Steve Bullock laid out his plans for the phased approach this week. The state's stay-at-home order will… Continue Reading


04.22.20

Daines talks reopening Montana, Washington relief

U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., outlined the importance of a phased reopening of the Montana economy while discussing COVID-19 relief efforts on Capitol Hill during a virtual chat with the Kalispell Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday morning. Daines said the good news is that Montana has seen a steady decline in confirmed COVID-19 cases - with zero reported on Sunday and just four on Monday - but the bad news is the statewide shutdown has resulted in 75,000 unemployed Montanans. "We prepared for … Continue Reading

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