In The News


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


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


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


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


Daines touts recreation and challenges of growth at Big Sky appearance

BIG SKY - Big Sky is world famous for its outdoor recreation, and on Sunday night Senator Steve Daines spoke at the Big Sky Chamber of Commerce Awards and Dinner about how those popular outdoor activities continue to the economic success of the area. The Keynote speaker addressed members and guests after the chamber presented its economic outlook for the next year, elected new board members, presented awards to community leaders and recapped the successes of the past year. Daines also spoke a… Continue Reading


Daines Plans Tele-town Hall on Health Care

BILLINGS - Montana's Republican U.S. senator, Steve Daines, says he'll decide whether to support his party's health care bill after hearing from constituents. The Billings Gazette reported Saturday that Daines will host a telephone town hall next Wednesday on the Senate Republican proposal. At least five GOP senators have declared their opposition to the party's legislation to undo much of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul - more than enough to defeat the measure. Daines critici… Continue Reading


Tester, Daines Plan 'Town Halls' To Talk Healthcare

Both of Montana's senators will host virtual town halls this week ahead of the U.S. Senate vote on its version of a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Democratic Senator Jon Tester will hold a Facebook Live Town Hall Tuesday, June 27 at 6:00 p.m. Tester hosted an in-person town hall to talk about healthcare in Great Falls over the weekend. Republican Senator Steve Daines will host a "tele-townhall" over the phone on Wednesday night at 6:15. To register for the call, text "Sen… Continue Reading


Daines noncommittal on Senate Republican health care bill

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - U.S. Sen. Steve Daines of Montana isn't saying how he'll vote for the latest Republican plan to replace former President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. The Congressional Budget Office estimates the Senate Republican health care bill would leave 22 million more people uninsured in 2026 compared to Obama's law. Daines, a Republican, isn't expected to take a position before he holds a constituent teleconference on Wednesday. He said in a statement Monday he's … Continue Reading


Heinrich Introduces Bipartisan Legislation To Safeguard Tribal Items

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M) reintroduced Wedensday the bipartisan Safeguard Tribal Objects of Patrimony (STOP) Act, a bill to prohibit the exporting of sacred Native American items and increase penalties for stealing and illegally trafficking tribal cultural patrimony. U.S. Senators Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) are cosponsors of the bill. To anno… Continue Reading


Daines ready to get to work on healthcare

On Wednesday, June 28th I will host my 17th Telephone Townhall to get your input on the healthcare draft proposal to repeal and replace Obamacare. The draft bill was released on Thursday, June 22nd, and I immediately posted the text on my website for all Montanans to read. I am digging into this legislation myself and look forward to hearing the thoughts of Montanans as we consider this important issue together. While there is an effort to move legislation out of the Senate next week, I've … Continue Reading


Economics and timber in Northwest Montana

State and national leaders continue to weigh timber restrictions alongside the future of communities in Northwest Montana. Reporter Nicole Miller learned more about some efforts that are underway to make good on past promises while President Trump's recently released budget threatens funding for conservation and public lands in Montana and across the country. During Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's first hearing before the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Sen. Steve Daines… Continue Reading


Sen. Steve Daines says he'll wait to decide on GOP health care bill after hearing from Montanans

U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., will decide whether to support his party's health care bill after hearing from Montanans next week, the lawmaker said Friday. The senator said he will spend the weekend reading the 142-page bill and then hear from Montanans at Wednesday's telephone town hall meeting. Daines expects 30,000 people to participate in Wednesday's call, based on the 28,000 people who participated in a call a couple of weeks ago. "What Montanans have told me they want to see, … Continue Reading


Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner embrace more public roles in White House

Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner are embracing more visible roles in the White House policy process, taking high-profile meetings with foreign leaders, prominent lawmakers and top business executives while garnering media attention. Over the last week, Kushner, who more often is seen at the president's side but not heard, delivered his first public remarks during a summit with technology executives. He then jetted off to the Middle East for attention-getting meetings with Prime Minist… Continue Reading


Sen. Steve Daines Plans Tele-Town Hall on Health Care Bill

Montana's Republican U.S. senator, Steve Daines, says he'll decide whether to support his party's health care bill after hearing from constituents. The Billings Gazette reported Saturday ( ) that Daines will host a telephone town hall next Wednesday on the Senate Republican proposal. At least five GOP senators have declared their opposition to the party's legislation to undo much of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul - more than enough to defeat the meas… Continue Reading


Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Asra Nomani accuse Dem senators of ignoring them in hearing

Women's rights activists Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Asra Nomani have accused four female Democratic senators of ignoring them during a committee hearing last week, complaining the lawmakers did not ask them a single question. "This wasn't a case of benign neglect," Ali and Nomani wrote, in a New York Times op-ed published Thursday. "What happened that day was emblematic of a deeply troubling trend among progressives when it comes to confronting the brutal reality of Islamist extremism and what it m… Continue Reading


Daines hasn’t decided on latest Obamacare repeal bill; Tester blasts it

U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, fresh out of the first briefing on Senate Republicans' bill to repeal "Obamacare" and overhaul national health-care policy, said Thursday he wants to scrutinize the measure before deciding whether to support it - and wants to hear what Montanans think, too. "I think there is a lot of work to do on this bill," he told MTN News. "It's still very much in a draft form." A small group of Senate Republicans have been working in secret to craft their version of a bill to repea… Continue Reading


Trump removes protections for Yellowstone grizzly bear

The Trump administration is removing Endangered Species Act protections for Yellowstone grizzly bears, after they spent more than four decades on the threatened list. The Interior Department's Fish and Wildlife Service announced the delisting decision Thursday, which immediately drew rebukes from conservationists and Democrats. Officials said that conservation efforts for the bear, a more than fourfold increase in its population and state policies designed to protect the bears show that the de… Continue Reading


Zinke defends huge job cuts at Interior: 'This is what a balanced budget looks like'

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Tuesday defended the $1.6 billion in funding cuts that President Trump has proposed for his department, telling a Senate hearing that "this is what a balanced budget looks like." But Democrats on the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources took issue with the $400 million that the national parks would lose in fiscal 2018, which they said would trigger staff reductions at 90 percent of them. They also questioned the $370 million in cuts the Bureau of Indian Aff… Continue Reading


US beef exports to China will be good for Montana

China's 1.4 billion people will buy about $2.5 billion in beef this year. Next month for the first time in about 14 years, U.S. cattle producers will have access to that market. China, along with many other countries, halted U.S. beef imports after cattle in this country tested positive for bovine spongiform encephalopathy, which destroys the brain and central nervous system of infected cattle. Humans who eat nerve tissue of infected cattle can get variant Creutzfeldt Jakob disease, which is … Continue Reading


GOP considers cancelling recess to salvage agenda

Alarmed by the stalemate on healthcare reform, lack of progress on tax reform and appropriations bills that are far behind schedule, Republican lawmakers across Congress are increasingly willing to consider canceling the month-long August recess. Senate Republican negotiators reported that they are not close to a deal on healthcare reform and that scheduling a vote by July 4, which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has pushed, is likely unrealistic. That impasse has held up work o… Continue Reading

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