In The News

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


06.06.17

DHS John Kelly Rejects H-2B Program, Reveals Drug, Refugee Priorities

"I know we already have large numbers [of contract workers] that come in and have been coming in over the years, but … in the current administration, this is all about American jobs versus people that come in and do the work," Kelly told Sen. Heidi Heitkamp from Dakota. Heitkamp had asked Kelly to accelerate the approval of H-2B contact-workers sought by employers in North Dakota, even though millions of Americans are either unemployed or have fallen out of the low-wage workforce. E… Continue Reading


06.06.17

NYFC goes to DC to urge legislators to support a farm bill for the future

Fresh on the heels of a legislative victory in Minnesota, where passage of a tax credit bill gives young farmers better access to land, the National Young Farmers Coalition converges in Washington, D.C., today to advocate for a 2018 farm bill that renews rural economies and enables a new generation of farmers to grow the nation's food supply. "These young farmers have come to Washington, D.C., to fight for their livelihoods, and for the future of American agriculture," said Andrew Bahrenburg, … Continue Reading


06.05.17

Federal funds help Helena airport plan for expansion

Helena Regional Airport is among 20 Montana airports sharing in nearly $10 million in federal funding for improvements and maintenance. The funding was secured through provisions in the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization, according to an announcement by Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont. Helena's airport will receive $705,306 to fund the design of the terminal building's expansion, the news release stated. "The Helena airport plays a critical role in connecting our state. T… Continue Reading


06.05.17

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. In a statewide teleconference Monday, state officials including Attorney General Tim Fox and Senator Steve Daines took questions from callers about scammers. Fox said the number of scams being reported is going up. The scams are getting more convincing as criminals use stolen information from corporate data breaches to appear more credibl… Continue Reading


06.02.17

Senator Vows to Reform Timber Litigation Laws

Montana's junior senator vowed to reform laws governing environmental litigation that he blames for Montana's flagging timber industry, speaking during a roundtable discussion with timber industry representatives and local government officials in Columbia Falls Friday morning. Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., was joined by Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, who chairs the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry - a panel on which Daines also serves. The two senators led the hour-long discus… Continue Reading


06.02.17

Sidney-Richland Airport receives federal funding

U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., has announced that 20 Montana airports have received $8.9 million in funding for critical upgrades and maintenance. "Montana's community airport play a critical role in connecting our state," Daines said. "Every single dollar make a huge difference to keeping our rural airports reliable and ready to use." The funding included $504,000 for the Sidney-Richland Airport Authority. This project will fund the acquisition of new snow removal power broom with … Continue Reading


06.02.17

Perdue: We Won't Let You Go Hungry But There Are Limits

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, who runs the federal farm subsidy and public nutrition programs, told a Montana audience that "my goal is to have a safety net for all American citizens, producers, but also those who cannot afford (food) … It is not in the heart of America to want to see anyone go hungry." Speaking at the Montana Ag Summit in Great Falls, Perdue said spending cuts are necessary to get the federal debt under control. For the coming fiscal year, President Trump has prop… Continue Reading

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