In The News

06.13.17

China a step closer to resuming US beef imports

"I welcome China taking this important step to start allowing U.S. beef imports after shutting them out over 13 years ago", says U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. The Department of Agriculture announced on Monday that China, who imported $2.5 billion worth of beef in 2016, will soon begin importing United States beef. The deal is part of a trade agreement between the two countries. Before the ban, the United States was China's largest supplier of imported beef. China banned US be… Continue Reading


06.13.17

China Lifts Beef Import Ban: What Does It Mean For Montana?

It's an accomplishment more than 13 years in the making. Montana beef will finally be back on the plates of consumers in China. Montana, a beautiful state full of mountain views, rivers, and of course cows. But there is such a thing as too much of a good thing when it comes to these animals. "Cattle prices have been down in the last three years." Nicole Rolf with the Montana Farm Bureau says. Today, a new trade agreement is opening up a brand new market for Montana cattle producers. "For the … Continue Reading


06.12.17

U.S. and China finalize beef export agreement

The U.S. and China have finally reached an agreement on commercial shipments of beef according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. For the first time since 2003, the U.S. is now allowed to begin beef exports to China. The USDA and Chinese officials finalized the details on Tuesday. The USDA reported that since 2003, the U.S. had been banned from China's market. They also said until the ban took effect, the U.S. was China's largest supplier of imported beef, providing 70 percent of their tot… Continue Reading


06.12.17

Republican Senators Unaware of Health Care Details

Several Republican senators have no knowledge of the specific policy proposals GOP leadership is weighing for inclusion in the pending legislation to overhaul the U.S. health care system. The lack of widespread knowledge among members about the exact policy under review calls into question whether Republicans will be able to advance a bill before the Fourth of July recess, the timeline that GOP aides say Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is operating under. While there have been thrice-we… Continue Reading


06.10.17

Sen. Steve Daines: The future of Montana agriculture

On June 1, Great Falls was the center of our nation's agriculture conversation as I hosted the Montana Ag Summit, a conversation about the future of jobs in our state's No. 1 economic driver, agriculture. We had two of the nation's top ag leaders at the Montana Ag Summit -- the new U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, and the U.S. Senate Ag Committee Chairman Pat Roberts. The day before the Summit, Perdue and Roberts joined me in Cascade, Montana for a listening session at Rick… Continue Reading


06.09.17

Troy's Summer Meal Program

Troy's summer meal program begins Monday, June 12 and will run Monday through Friday until August 17. This year two meals will be served each day at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Troy Baptist Church. Meals are free to anyone under 18. April Turnage, who is involved in the program through her position as an Americorps volunteer at Morrison Elementary and oversees the state funded No Kid Hungry program, is organizing activities in conjunction with the church so that kids can have fun and be fed at… Continue Reading


06.09.17

As Trump and Comey Share Conflicting Accounts, Republicans Hesitate to Pick a Side

President Donald Trump outright denied former FBI Director James Comey's testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee in a press conference Friday afternoon, forcing a question many GOP lawmakers don't want to answer: do they trust Trump or Comey? "No, I didn't say that, and I didn't say the other," Trump defiantly told reporters Friday afternoon. When asked if he would dispute Comey's claims under oath, Trump answered, "100 percent." During the hearing, Comey repeated his allegations th… Continue Reading


06.09.17

VA bill earns unanimous Senate passage

Unanimous huckleberries to U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Montana, to celebrate this week's unanimous Senate passage of the VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act. Tester, a member of the Veterans' Affairs Committee, was a lead sponsor of the legislation to reform the Department of Veterans Affairs' process for reviewing complaints about VA employees. The bill is meant to allow the VA more freedom to fire those who perform poorly, while also providing for more protection for those who call … Continue Reading


06.09.17

VA bill earns unanimous Senate passage

Unanimous huckleberries to U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Montana, to celebrate this week's unanimous Senate passage of the VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act. Tester, a member of the Veterans' Affairs Committee, was a lead sponsor of the legislation to reform the Department of Veterans Affairs' process for reviewing complaints about VA employees. The bill is meant to allow the VA more freedom to fire those who perform poorly, while also providing for more protection for those who call … Continue Reading


06.09.17

Montana Mining Tragedy Remembered 100 Years Later

Nine blows of the original Granite Mountain whistle sounded Thursday night to break a moment of silence for the lives lost in the 1917 fire at the Granite Mountain and Speculator mines. Nine whistles meant that an uncontrollable fire was burning in the mine. Some in the crowd at the memorial site wore T-shirts commemorating the anniversary of the Granite Mountain-Speculator Mine fire of June 8, 1917, which remains the worst disaster in hard-rock mining history 100 years later. Har… Continue Reading


06.08.17

Senators, governor remember Granite Mountain-Speculator disaster

Montana's U.S. senators both honored the victims and survivors of the Granite Mountain-Speculator mine disaster with statements on the Senate floor and in the Congressional Record. On Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Steve Daines read a Senate proclamation "meant to recognize the strength of those Montanans who sacrificed their lives in support our nation's military work in World War I, as well as those who jumped to help a fallen brother without question." He added, "One hundred years after this tr… Continue Reading


06.08.17

From MT to DC, Forest Service budget plan draws fire

The U.S. Forest Service's proposed 2018 budget presents its public and private observers with lots of rebuilding work to do. On Wednesday, Montana's Democratic and Republican senators both challenged Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell to replace or re-energize programs slashed in President Donald Trump's preliminary budget plan. And more locally, Forest Service partners have started bracing for dramatic losses of funding. "This budget is a wreck," Sen. Jon Tester, D-Montana told Tidwell … Continue Reading


06.08.17

Senator Daines Rails Against Sexual Harassment in Yellowstone

U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) railed against bullying and sexual harassment in the National Park system-specifically in Yellowstone National Park. Earlier this year, investigators from the U.S. Department of the Interior released a report alleging "credible evidence" of sexual harassment in the Yellowstone workforce, especially in the maintenance division. The report came after allegations surfaced across the National Park system. Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk has promised broad chang… Continue Reading


06.07.17

Cut Bank International Airport receives $191,003 FAA grant

U.S. Senator Steve Daines announced 20 Montana airports, including those in Cut Bank, Shelby and Conrad, have received $8,989,592.00 in funding for critical upgrades and maintenance. "Montana's community airports play a critical role in connecting our state," Daines stated. "Every single dollar makes a huge difference to keeping our rural airports reliable and ready to use." Daines secured the following provisions in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization: Airport Improve… Continue Reading


06.07.17

Senator Daines Challenges Forest Service Chief Over Litigation Relief

In a press release issued by Senator Steve Daines, he challenged the head of the U.S. Forest Service, Tom Tidwell this week to reverse a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision that negatively impacts forest health, recreation and wildlife habitat. "We can't get logs to the mills - it's a sad, sad state of affairs and it is because of these extreme environmental groups who are litigating many of our sales that we have right now in Montana," Daines stated. "We aren't taking care of the forest… Continue Reading


06.07.17

Ryan Picks Mnuchin in Debate With Mulvaney on Debt Limit

House Speaker Paul Ryan said that when it comes to negotiating legislation to raise the U.S. debt ceiling, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is in charge. Internal White House divisions have raised questions about how and when President Donald Trump's administration expects Congress to authorize more borrowing to keep from defaulting on U.S. debts. Politico reportedTuesday that Trump also stands behind Mnuchin. "The Treasury secretary is and should always be the person in charge of debt-limit … Continue Reading


06.07.17

GOP senator keeps promise, shells out $20 after losing bet on Twitter

Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) on Wednesday kept his promise on paying out a bet made over Montana's recent House special election. Sean McElwee, a policy analyst at Demos Action, and Daines originally made a bet on May 8 over how many points then-GOP candidate Greg Gianforte would win in the Montana race for it's lone House seat. The bet was made in a series of tweets, so when Daines lost he made sure to tweet at McElwee asking for his Venmo account - a smartphone app that lets users charge and… Continue Reading


06.06.17

Sapphire Community Health clinic funded for three more years

No one is turned away at the Sapphire Community Health clinic in Hamilton for inability to pay and, thanks to a grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), our local Community Health Center will continue to offer its valuable services to Bitterroot community members for another three years. Community Health Centers are funded through a combination of federal and local grants and payments from patients and insurance companies and must compete once every three years for fed… Continue Reading


06.06.17

AARP and MT Attorney General work to get ahead of scammers

Scammers are constantly figuring out new ways to take your money. It's a problem the Montana Attorney General's Office and AARP are trying to get ahead of. "The scams are going up, they're more sophisticated because of data breaches. They can look and seem more legitimate because they have some personal information," Montana Attorney General Tim Fox said. During a statewide teleconference on Monday, state officials -- including Fox and Senator Steve Daines -- took questions from callers about … Continue Reading


06.06.17

Agriculture secretary speaks at ag summit held in Montana

Trade and retaining America's market share for agricultural exports was a dominant theme Thursday at a Montana agriculture summit organized by Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont. that featured newly installed Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue as a keynote speaker and Chairman of the Agriculture Committee Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., as well as a wide variety of other voices in the industry. "When we talk about changing a trade agreement, it does two things," said Matt Gibson, vice president and gene… Continue Reading

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