In The News

02.11.21

Wyoming, Montana Senators Oppose Biden Nominee Haaland for Interior Secrtary

Sen. John Barrasso said President Joe Biden's nominee to lead the U.S. Department of the Interior has espoused anti-fossil fuel views and he and another Senator will oppose her confirmation unless they receive favorable answers to their questions. Barrasso said Rep. Deb Haaland, D-N.M, espouses "radical views" contrary to responsible energy development, he told E&E News in a prepared statement on Monday. "Her vocal opposition to oil and gas production on federal lands will only encourage P… Continue Reading


02.10.21

Thune, Rounds among senators urging Biden Administration to withdraw sheep import rule

A Senator from North Dakota wants the Biden administration to withdraw a final rule on the importation of sheep and goats. Republican Kevin Cramer made the request in a letter to the Department of Agriculture this week, asking the rule be withdrawn until its impact on current market conditions can be fully evaluated. The rule, finalized on January 14, would remove brain disorder-related import restrictions on sheep, goats, and most of their products. Cramer says the existing import restrictions … Continue Reading


02.10.21

Mont. lawmakers urge Biden to keep Trump species rule

Montana lawmakers are urging the Biden administration to adopt a rule change - filed in the days before the White House changed hands last month - that aims to eliminate a potential hurdle for forest management projects when endangered species might be affected. Sen. Steve Daines and Rep. Matt Rosendale, both Republicans, outlined their support in a letter yesterday to top officials at the Interior Department's Fish and Wildlife Service and the Commerce Department's NOAA Fisheries. "The propos… Continue Reading


02.09.21

GOP senators promise to oppose attacks on pro-life measures

Nearly all of the Republicans in the U.S. Senate have united to warn the Democratic leadership they will oppose any effort to overturn long-standing bans on federal funding of abortion. Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., and 47 other GOP senators promised Majority Leader Charles Schumer in a Feb. 5 letter that they will vote to block attempts to eradicate or diminish the Hyde Amendment and other pro-life protections. The Hyde Amendment, first adopted in 1976, bars federal funds in the Medicaid program… Continue Reading


02.09.21

Bipartisan bill to permit interstate sale of inspected meats, poultry introduced by Rounds

U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD) recently reintroduced a bipartisan bill to allow the interstate sale of state-inspected meats and poultry. "Our bill would allow these high-quality products that pass state inspection standards to be sold across state lines," Sen. Rounds said, "opening up new markets for our producers and giving consumers greater choice at the grocery store." Sen. Rounds on Jan. 28 sponsored the New Markets for State-Inspected Meat and Poultry Act, S. 107, with 10 cosponsors includ… Continue Reading


02.08.21

Barrasso may oppose Haaland over Biden agenda

The top Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee is prepared to oppose Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) to serve as President Biden's nominee to lead the Interior Department, the latest in an ongoing confrontation between oil-friendly lawmakers and the new White House over its climate priorities on federal lands. "Representative Haaland's radical views are squarely at odds with the responsible management of our nation's energy resources," Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming said in a … Continue Reading


02.08.21

Daines threatens to hold up Haaland confirmation

Rep. Deb Haaland's confirmation hearing has yet to even be scheduled, but already at least one Senate Republican is pledging to block her nomination to serve as secretary of the Interior. Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) announced Friday he would take steps to prevent Haaland, a New Mexico Democrat, from leading the agency with jurisdiction over activities on public lands - one direct result of the backlash against President Biden's executive orders to halt construction of the Keystone XL pipeline a… Continue Reading


02.08.21

Daines 'deeply concerned' with nomination of Haaland for Interior Secretary

After speaking with Rep. Deb Haaland, Sen. Steve Daines on Friday said in a statement that he is "deeply concerned with the Congresswoman's support on several radical issues" and threatened to "block her confirmation." If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Haaland will be the first Native American to hold the position. A Democratic representative from New Mexico, Haaland is a member of the Laguna Pueblo Tribe. When Biden announced her nomination on Dec. 17 tribal members in Montana celebrated the hi… Continue Reading


02.06.21

As Trump trial looms, Congress quietly preparing bill to make U.S. Postal Service profitable again

As the U.S. Senate is about to be weighed down with the second impeachment of Donald Trump, a bi-partisan push is quietly underway in both chambers to make the U.S. Postal Service profitable again. "This is the kind of common-sense bipartisan legislation that I came to Congress to try and introduce and I'm proud to be one of the folks who helped introduce and write this bill," said U.S. Rep. Colin Allred, D-Dallas, in an interview on Sunday's Inside Texas Politics. The bill is called the U.S. … Continue Reading


02.05.21

Senate Democrats flip-flop on Keystone pipeline in COVID-19 ‘vote-a-rama’

Two Senate Democrats are facing criticism for voting to defy President Biden and overrule his decision to kill the Keystone XL oil pipeline - before later voting to reverse themselves. Sens. Jon Tester of Montana and Joe Manchin of West Virginia initially voted for a Republican amendment that would have put support for the pipeline in the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill that Democrats are drafting under budget reconciliation. Their votes meant the amendment passed 52-48 just before midnight… Continue Reading


02.05.21

Senate approves Keystone XL, fracking amendments

Early flashpoints in the Biden administration's environmental agenda came to a head last night on the Senate floor, as Republicans used a marathon session of budget votes to put Democrats on the record on drilling and the Keystone XL pipeline. While nonbinding and largely symbolic, the handful of energy and environment votes during the budget resolution "vote-a-rama" that went into this morning's early hours offered a preview of the legislative fights to come, with Republicans seeking to wield … Continue Reading


02.05.21

Daines reintroduces Postal Service bill

There has been one law nipping at the heels of the U.S. Postal Service for the past 15 years. It requires USPS to put money toward retiree health benefits some 50 years ahead of schedule. The mandate has the Postal Service funding benefits for workers it has yet to hire. And the burden has contributed to budget challenges as the USPS cuts staff and reduces post office hours. Montana has frequently been on the short list for cuts. Now, after years of postal workers lobbying Congress to deliver … Continue Reading


02.05.21

Nearly 50 senators pledge to oppose taxpayer-funded abortions

Nearly 50 senators have signed on to a letter pledging to oppose taxpayer funding of abortions. Senate Pro-Life Caucus chair Steve Daines (R-Mont.) announced the letter on Friday, as "a unified message" to Democratic leadership that the 47 signers would "vote to block any bill that would undermine the Hyde Amendment or any other pro-life protections." "We are united in our resolve to guard against any changes to Federal law that would unsettle nearly half a century of bipartisan consensus agai… Continue Reading


02.04.21

Congress reintroduces USPS reform bill to eliminate pre-funding mandate

The Postal Service seeks to cut costs and its regulator gave the agency greater flexibility setting higher mail rates, but Congress could have a far greater impact putting the Postal Service on firmer financial footing - if it chooses to act. Members of the House and Senate have introduced variations of the same postal reform bill in recent years, but nearly all failed gain much momentum. Lawmakers this week, however, brought forward the first major postal reform bill of the new Congress. Rein… Continue Reading


02.04.21

Manchin seeks to protect military retirees

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) on Tuesday introduced the bipartisan TRICARE Retiree Protection Act to ensure that America's military retirees will not lose their healthcare as a result of new policy changes that took effect on January 1st, 2021. Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) cosponsored the legislation. "Our servicemembers bravely fought for our nation and as they retire after years of selfless service, it is our duty to ensure they're taken care of," Manchin said. "I introduced the TRICARE R… Continue Reading


02.03.21

Committee approves Granholm with bipartisan support

Energy Secretary nominee Jennifer Granholm easily moved out of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee this morning on a bipartisan 13-4 vote. Lawmakers will now race to see whether they can get her approved by the full Senate before the chamber gets bogged down by impeachment next week. That vote has not yet been scheduled. The former Michigan governor earned bipartisan praise from lawmakers on the committee. Incoming Chairman Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) heralded her leadership during the… Continue Reading


02.02.21

Kevin McCarthy: Joe Biden ‘Wiped Away’ America’s Energy Revolution with the Stroke of a Pen


02.02.21

Senators want to extend grace period for reinstating tens of thousands of retirees’ lost Tricare Select coverage


02.02.21

Hundreds of Montana jobs could be lost if Keystone XL pipeline permit suspension stays

HELENA, Mont.- The future of the Keystone XL pipeline project remains unclear, and so does it's impact in Montana. On his first day in office, President Biden stopped production, saying plans were not consistent with the administration's economic and climate values. The 1,700 mile project runs through a large part of the state and would ship nearly 800,000 barrels of oil a day from Alberta to the Texas Gulf Coast. Both sides oppose the President's permit suspension because of significant job lo… Continue Reading


02.02.21

Lawmakers Renew Bipartisan Push to End Much Maligned Payments Toward Future USPS Retiree Health Care

A bipartisan, bicameral group of lawmakers is once again pushing to remove mandatory payments toward the health benefits for future U.S. Postal Service retirees, aiming to eliminate a controversial requirement upon which the cash-strapped mailing agency has defaulted for years. Congress first established the prefunding mandate in the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, the last major legislative overhaul of the Postal Service, and the requirement has hampered the agency ever since.… Continue Reading

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