In The News

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


06.27.17

Tester advocates for Butte in EPA hearing on Capitol Hill

Reaction to the EPA's decision to end the 'Clean Water Rule' on Tuesday brought quick comments both for and against the move. Montana Senator Steve Daines said the Waters of the US Rule has long been a stone around the neck of private property owners. "Today marks the beginning of restoring private property rights while protecting our environment," Daines stated. "Out of state D.C. bureaucrats shouldn't impose regulations that hurt Montana farmers, ranchers and landowners. We can protect Monta… Continue Reading


06.27.17

MINERAL COUNTY AIRPORT WINS $216,000 IN FUNDING

On June 12, U.S. Sen. Steve Daines announced $738,430.00 in critical funding for five Montana airports in Terry, Baker, Superior, Ekalaka and Circle. "These dollars play a critical role in keeping our airports safe and functioning, to continue to connect our state," Daines stated. Daines secured provisions in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization for Airport Improvement Program (AIP) dollars which build and maintain Montana's critical aviation infrastructure such as runways… Continue Reading


06.27.17

$5.3B projected cuts from health care bill so severe, Montana could struggle to pay for education, infrastructure

The cuts proposed to Medicaid under the Senate version of a health care bill meant to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act could hit Montana so hard the state would struggle to pay for priorities such as education and infrastructure. That's according to a report released Tuesday by Manatt Health and commissioned by the Montana Health Care Foundation. Under the Senate's proposed Better Care Reconciliation Act, Montana would lose $5.3 billion in federal Medicaid funds between fisca… Continue Reading


06.27.17

EPA moves to repeal Obama water rule

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) formally proposed Tuesday to repeal the Obama administration's controversial regulation that extended the reach of the federal government over small waterways. Under the proposal from the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers, federal officials would go back to enforcing a guidance document from 2008 when deciding whether a waterway is subject to federal oversight for pollution control purposes. It's the first formal step by the EPA to fulfilling Preside… Continue Reading


06.27.17

U.S. EPA and Army Corps seek to rescind clean water rule

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers released a proposal on Tuesday to repeal the 2015 Clean Water Rule, the latest move by the Trump administration to unwind environmental regulations put in place under former President Barack Obama. The agencies are working to rescind the rule, known as the Waters of the United States rule, and reinstate the language of the rule before it was changed in 2015. The rule updated the federal Clean Water Act to define what waterway… Continue Reading


06.27.17

GOP Delays Health Care Vote Amid Defections, Disagreement

Senate Republicans Tuesday postponed a planned vote on the GOP bill to replace Obamacare until after the July 4th recess. The move is a blow to Republican leaders who had been pushing for a vote this week out of concern that a delay would only make it more difficult to pass. But it became clear that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell did not have time to round up enough support in the few days before their desired deadline of Friday. Republican leaders plan to work on a revised version of… Continue Reading


06.26.17

Savage student represents area in national youth tour

Savage High School student Soda Rice doesn't think she ever wants to be a politician, but she greatly appreciated the trip to the nation's capital for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association's Youth Tour earlier this month. Rice, who is entering her junior year, was one of 27 students in Montana who was selected for the trip by their local cooperative after completing an essay. Rice was chosen by the Lower Yellowstone Rural Electric Cooperative. She was encouraged to apply … Continue Reading

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