In The News


MT GOP'ers want straight repeal of 'Obamacare'; Tester, Bullock preach bipartisan fix

HELENA - As U.S. Senate Republicans' latest plan to repeal and replace "Obamacare" crashed and burned, two of the state's top GOP officeholders said Tuesday they support a straight repeal of the health-care law - with a delayed effective date. Both U.S. Sen. Steve Daines and state Auditor Matt Rosendale, whose office regulates insurance, told MTN News that the Affordable Care Act should simply be repealed, without a replacement. The repeal can be delayed for two years while Congress works on a… Continue Reading


Will VA Doctors Finally Be Able To Recommend Pot To Veterans?

A new amendment aims to lift the current gag order that prevents VA doctors from discussing medical cannabis with their patients. Whether U.S. military veterans should have access to medical cannabis is up for debate again-for the treatment of pain, post-traumatic stress disorder, and more. Last Thursday (July 13), the Senate Appropriations Committee voted 24-7 to adopt an amendment in a budget bill allowing vets to obtain medical cannabis recommendations from VA physicians. Tom Angell at … Continue Reading


Politico Influence: The National Gaming Association

- The National Indian Gaming Association is in town this week for their summer legislative summit. Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) and Reps. Todd Rokita (R-Ind.), Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.), Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.), Tom Cole (R-Okla.),Dan Kildee (D-Mich.), Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), Norma Torres (D-Calif.), Rob Bishop(R-Utah), Chris Collins (R-N.Y.), Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.) and Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) all plan to address the group.… Continue Reading


Who we know is going to Trump's health care dinner

President Donald Trump will host a dinner at the White House on Monday night with Republican senators for a discussion on the health care bill, which has been delayed while Sen. John McCain recovers this week from a surgery. So far CNN has confirmed that at least seven GOP senators will be at the dinner: Lamar Alexander of Tennessee James Lankford of Oklahoma John Thune of South Dakota Roy Blunt of Missouri Steve Daines of Montana John Cornyn of Texas Richard Shelby of Alabama Whi… Continue Reading


Latest health care bill collapses following Moran, Lee defections

The Republican Party's efforts to gut former President Barack Obama's legacy health care law came to an abrupt -- if temporary -- halt Monday night. Just hours after the Senate was gaveled back into session, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was handed two more public defections on his health care bill to overhaul Obamacare. The dramatic and simultaneous announcement from Sens. Jerry Moran of Kansas and Mike Lee of Utah means McConnell officially does not have the votes to even begin deb… Continue Reading


Trump to press GOP senators on healthcare at White House

President Trump plans to host a group of Republican senators at the White House on Monday night as he seeks to persuade them to back the Senate's new healthcare bill. White House press secretary Sean Spicer announced the meeting but declined to provide a list of senators expected to attend. Later in the evening, a White House official said the following GOP senators were attending: No. 2 Senate Republican John Cornyn (Texas), Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), Roy Blunt (Mo.), Steve Daines (Mont.), Ja… Continue Reading


Delegation supports Intake

The delegation for Montana and North Dakota have displayed its support this week for the Lower Yellowstone Irrigation Project. Oral arguments that will determine the fate of the proposed project at the Intake Diversion Dam to make the project more fish friendly are scheduled to be heard during this month. "Especially with the current drought and especially in far eastern Montana, the irrigation is critical," U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., said during a press conference call on Wednesda… Continue Reading


Veterans are Getting Better Access in Health Care

One major problem with the care system for veterans was people who did a bad job could not get easily fired. Stories of bad treatment, waiting months to see a doctor and workers who didn't do their jobs where widespread. One of the first things President Trump did, which was supported by Montana Senator Steve Daines, was to make it easier to get rid of people not doing their jobs. Senator Daines helped secured provisions in the FY 2018 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agenci… Continue Reading


Tester calls latest GOP health bill "pigpen"; Daines wants more info

HELENA - U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., said Thursday that Senate Republicans' latest proposal to repeal and overhaul the Affordable Care Act "still smells like a pigpen" and should be scrapped. Montana's other senator, Republican Steve Daines, said through a spokeswoman that he's going through the latest draft and wants more information before making a judgment. He also wants to listen to what Montanans have to say about the new Republican proposal, which was unveiled Thursday morning. It's… Continue Reading


Tester, Daines Pledge Cooperation On Health Care Bill

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he'll have an updated health care bill ready Thursday for the legislative body to work on. In a press call with reporters, Montana's Democratic Senator Jon Tester said he's willing to work with Republicans on compromise health care legislation. "I think I can work with anybody," Tester said. "I think there's an opportunity to get things done here, but you need to go in with the goal of improving affordability and accessibility." Tester says that he… Continue Reading


Daines expects EPA chief to visit Butte sometimes this year

After meeting privately with EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt Tuesday, Sen. Steve Daines says he's confident Pruitt will visit Butte this year. In an interview with The Montana Standard Wednesday, Daines said Pruitt is determined to "get results" with the Superfund program. "Some of these sites have been languishing for decades. Administrator Pruitt is focused on outcomes," Daines said. Daines said he renewed his earlier invitation to Pruitt to visit Montana, this time specifically sugge… Continue Reading


Lawmakers Grill Indian Health Service Leader on Failing Care

The Indian Health Service's top official dodged frustrated lawmakers' questions about unsafe care at the federal agency and whether proposed budget cuts would worsen the situation during a tense Senate committee hearing Wednesday. Members of the Senate Indian Affairs and Senate Appropriations committees repeatedly cited two articles published last week in The Wall Street Journal on the agency, which provides health care to 2.2 million tribal members. The articles examined agency-run hospitals t… Continue Reading


Lincoln County Receives $644,300 in Federal Funding

Lincoln County recently received $644,300 of payment in lieu of taxes (PILT) funding from the U.S. Department of the Interior. The Federal government issues the money to local governments to help offset losses in property taxes due to non-taxable Federal lands within their boundaries. "At this time we have no specific projects in mind" for the money, Lincoln County Administrator Darren Coldwell said via email. "My hope would be to have use as a surplus and not have to include it in this fiscal … Continue Reading


Six GOP senators: Shorten or cancel August recess

Six GOP senators are calling for lawmakers to continue working through their August recess unless progress has been made in key areas. The Republican senators - David Perdue (Ga.), Steve Daines (Mont.), John Kennedy (La.), Mike Lee (Utah), Mike Rounds (S.D.) and Luther Strange (Ala.) - said meaningful progress must be made on healthcare, passing a budget, funding the government, dealing with the debt ceiling and tax reform. The six senators will hold a press conference to air their concerns. T… Continue Reading


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


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


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


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


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


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

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