In The News

07.10.17

Gianforte, Azure support July Fire Wildland Firefighters

ZORTMAN, MT - The July Fire began July 3, and quickly grew in size and complexity, threatening the towns of Zortman and Landusky, Mont. The Northern Rockies Western Montana Incident Management Team (Connell) was mobilized to the fire to assist local resources with fire suppression efforts. The cause of the fire is currently being investigated. Currently, the fire has reached 10,622 acres and is 50% contained. There are 438 personnel working to suppress this fire. Twelve aircraft are assigned… Continue Reading


07.10.17

Who will ensure, as public landowners, that we have access to our own public lands?

Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) and Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX, Dallas) are spearheading an effort to gain greater control of our federally managed public lands by cutting off access. First, Daines took letters from certain Crazy Mountain landowners who outfit the area and are also ranking members of organizations, such as the Montana Outfitters & Guides Association, Montana Farm Bureau Federation and the Stockgrowers Association. Those letters, along with Daines own, were sent to the newly appointed… Continue Reading


07.09.17

Daines undecided on Senate health care bill vote

Montana has two of the 100 votes in the U.S. Senate, and of those two, only one of the state's senators has made up his mind on the controversial GOP overhaul of the health care system. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, of Kentucky, was originally pushing for a vote on the bill, also known as the Better Care Reconciliation Act, before the Fourth of July recess. McConnell postponed the vote on the reform because it lacked the support from 10 members of the Republican Party. Daines… Continue Reading


07.08.17

Japan and EU strike trade deal as Montana farmers look on

BILLINGS- As Japan struck a multinational trade agreement in principle Thursday with the European Union, farmers in Montana watched from the outside with their noses pressed against the glass. Japan is a top three customer for Montana commodities, the state's largest grain buyer in the Asian Pacific, where roughly 80 percent of Montana's hard-red spring and hard-red winter wheat is exported. The deal with the European Union promises to sew up trade terms for one third of the world econ… Continue Reading


07.06.17

One-Term Nevada Congresswoman Takes Gamble With Senate Bid

Rep. Jacky Rosen is rolling the dice by launching a Senate bid six months after joining the House. If the Nevada Democrat wins statewide in the nation's gaming haven next year, she'll join a select group of senators who were promoted after their first two-year House term. Senators with previous House experience have on average served four terms, or eight years, University of Minnesota political scientist Eric Ostermeier said in an email Thursday. It's also a fairly unusual, even audacious, mov… Continue Reading


07.06.17

Community health centers to share $11.8M in grants

Bullhook Community Health Center Inc. in Havre will be among the community health centers in Montana that will share $11.8 million to provide improved care, mobile services to rural locations and increased access to affordable care, U.S. Sen. Steve Daines said Thursday.The grant funding through U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will go to:Havre: Bullhook Community Health Center Inc.: $1,478,045;Lewis and Clark County: $1,459,658;Billings: Yellowstone City & County Health Departmen… Continue Reading


07.05.17

County to get $2.3 million in PILT funds

U.S. Senator Jon Tester announced last week that 55 Montana counties will receive a combined total of $31.8 million in Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) for 2017. PILT payments are awarded to counties with federal lands that are not taxable by local governments, but the lands' presence creates demands for local government services, such as law enforcement and infrastructure. As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Tester worked with Republicans and Democrats to secure these … Continue Reading


07.04.17

Celebrating Independence Day

Rodeos, barbecues, fireworks, parades - these are what often come to mind when we celebrate the Fourth of July in Montana. In fact, these activities have always come to mind when we think about Independence Day. On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress officially adopted the Declaration of Independence. From the very beginning, people understood the significance of what they had just done. John Adams, our would-be second president, wrote to his wife about his vision for future celebrations of … Continue Reading


07.02.17

Senate GOP pressures budget refs for better score on ObamaCare replacement

Senate Republicans are working the referee as they try to salvage their shot at repealing and replacing ObamaCare. They are specifically turning up the heat on the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), hoping to get a more favorable analysis on the next version of their healthcare bill. The CBO's initial score of the GOP's healthcare bill found that 22 million more people would be left without health insurance over the next decade compared to under present law. It was a terrible number for GOP l… Continue Reading


07.01.17

County sees slight increase in PILT fund

Richland County will receive slightly more in Payment in Lieu of Taxes funds this year than the county did in the previous year. It was announced this week that Richland County will see $19,999 for its 54,206 eligible acres. Last year, the county received $$19,711. PILT are federal payments to local governments that help offset losses in property taxes due to non-taxable federal lands. The law recognizes the inability of local governments to collect property taxes on federally owned land can c… Continue Reading


07.01.17

GOP senators to McConnell: Cancel August recess

A group of Republican senators are requesting August recess be canceled or shortened to give the party more time to make progress on its legislative agenda. The group, which includes Georgia's David Perdue, Montana's Steve Daines, Iowa's Joni Ernst, Louisiana's John Kennedy, Oklahoma's James Lankford, Utah's Mike Lee, South Dakota's Mike Rounds, Alabama's Luther Strange, Alaska's Dan Sullivan and North Carolina's Thom Tillis wrote Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Friday about the need to focus o… Continue Reading


06.30.17

Daines, Tester Voice Their Thoughts On GOP Healthcare

Members of Congress are home for their 4th of July recess without voting on the Republican's health care proposal. Senators Jon Tester, D-MT, and Steve Daines, R-MT, both held public forums over the past week to gather Montanans opinions on the issue. Tester says the current GOP bill is not the answer. So when asked if he is willing to work to fix this proposal or the current law, Tester says yes. If it's the later, he suggests dropping the politically charged moniker Obamacare. "Let's … Continue Reading


06.30.17

Cancel August recess for Congress, group of Senate Republicans say

A group of 10 Senate Republicans are calling on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to cancel their scheduled August recess from Washington in order to catch up on their legislative agenda on which they're falling behind. The relatively small faction among the 52 Senate Republicans want McConnell "to cancel the Senate's scheduled August state work period if meaningful progress has not been made on the following five priorities: fixing health care, funding the government, dealing with the deb… Continue Reading


06.30.17

GOP senators call for McConnell to shorten August recess

The GOP's long-stalled agenda is boiling over. A group of 10 senators is sending a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Friday morning asking for the GOP leader to shorten the August recess - or cancel it altogether - if the party does not make significant headway on its priorities in July, according to a copy obtained by POLITICO. The letter comes right after Congress left Thursday and scattered across the country for a July 4 recess. Spearheaded by Sen. David Perdue of… Continue Reading


06.30.17

GOP senators call for McConnell to shorten August recess

The GOP's long-stalled agenda is boiling over. A group of 10 senators is sending a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Friday morning asking for the GOP leader to shorten the August recess - or cancel it altogether - if the party does not make significant headway on its priorities in July, according to a copy obtained by POLITICO. The letter comes right after Congress left Thursday and scattered across the country for a July 4 recess. Spearheaded by Sen. David Perdue of… Continue Reading


06.29.17

Unresolved issues, very little time for Senate GOP

The Senate will return to Washington next month facing a breakneck schedule with a slew of unresolved issues, including healthcare, defense and the budget. Republicans kicked a vote on repealing and replacing ObamaCare until after the July 4 recess, hoping to buy themselves more time to overcome the impasse between moderates and conservatives. But the move adds another piece of legislation to what was already expected to be a jam-packed laundry list and a tight floor schedule. The Senate w… Continue Reading


06.28.17

Tester says healthcare bill "does bad things", Daines to hear from Montanans before decision

It now looks like a vote on the Senate Health Care bill won't happen until senators return from their upcoming July 4 recess. Democratic Senator Jon Tester, who has criticized the bill, hosted a Facebook live town hall Tuesday night and fielded questions for an hour. He says the hardest hit Montanans are those in their 50s and 60s, as well as the working poor. "I think there will be a lot of arm twisting over the next few weeks trying to get people to vote for this bill. It does some pretty b… Continue Reading


06.28.17

Daines: Montana's Medicaid expansion could end by 2019 without new federal law

Montana's Republican Sen. Steve Daines said in a call with constituents Wednesday night that Medicaid expansion, which now covers about 79,000 around the state, would likely end in 2019 regardless of a U.S. Senate bill expected to terminate the program by 2026. When Montana chose to join with 31 other states and expand Medicaid coverage to the working poor in 2015, the Legislature included a sunset clause that requires lawmakers in 2019 to reassess the program. Daines said he spoke Wednesday w… Continue Reading


06.28.17

Daines re-invites EPA's Pruitt to Montana, pushes back against Superfund cuts

Republican Sen. Steve Daines has reiterated his invitation to Environmental Protection Agency's top administrator Scott Pruitt to visit a Superfund site in Montana. Daines first gave the invitation to Pruitt in February at the time of Pruitt's confirmation hearing. Pruitt, so far, has not taken Daines up on that offer. When he visited a Superfund site since becoming EPA's top administrator, he instead visited a site in Chicago that is contaminated with lead. But in a letter Daines gave to Prui… Continue Reading


06.27.17

The 5 factions that could kill Senate Republicans’ health-care bill before it even gets a vote

The Senate's health-care bill could go down in flames any number of ways. And after a nonpartisan congressional report estimated Monday the Senate bill could cause 22 million more people to lose their health insurance over the next decade while raising out-of-pocket costs for elderly and low-income Americans, it's at risk of death by half a dozen mini fires. Here are the five factions in the Senate that are coalescing against this bill and could make it a very real possibility that it fails, pe… Continue Reading

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