In The News


Billings Gazette: Trump's repeal of Clean Power Plan gets mixed Montana reception

Even before President Donald Trump declared the Clean Power Plan dead, the autopsy in Montana was underway. Coal advocates hailed the repeal as the break coal needs to rebound from several years of bad economic news. Groups concerned about climate change said, unfortunately, the repeal would undo little. Challenged in court by 24 states, including Montana, the plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions was never put to use. The Clean Power Plan, crafted under former President Barack Obama… Continue Reading


Livingston Enterprise: Tester, Daines announce Montana Academy Days

High school students interested in attending a military academy after graduation may attend an upcoming information day. Senators Jon Tester and Steve Daines have announced the dates and times of their annual Academy Days this year. The free events will take place in Missoula, Great Falls and Billings and are open to Montana students interested in attending a military academy or pursuing a career in the military, according to a news release from Tester's office.… Continue Reading


Shelby Promoter: Austin Taylor receives Montana State Degree at State FFA Convention

Austin Taylor is your typical high school senior in many ways. He's a multi-sport athlete, attends school events, rides his dirt bike and contributes to the everyday grind a kid his age experiences. What sets him apart is that fact he takes on a different role when he's at home. Austin is what many would consider a "good old-fashioned farm kid." In the age of unlimited technology and so many distractions an average kid will face from day to day, Austin chooses to help out at his family's farm … Continue Reading


The Hill: Trump administration ends Obama's coal-leasing freeze

The Interior Department on Wednesday officially rolled back a major Obama administration coal initiative. Secretary Ryan Zinke formally lifted the ban on new coal leasing on federal land, a policy shift that was one of the cornerstones of the climate and energy executive order that President Trump signed on Tuesday. Interior also suspended a review of federal coal-leasing rates that the Obama administration and environmental activists had touted as a win-win for the climate and for taxpayers… Continue Reading


The Hill: Interior secretary reopens federal coal mining

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has ended the federal government's Obama-era moratorium on coal-mining leases on federal land. Zinke signed an order repealing the pause in leases Wednesday in his Washington, D.C., office, surrounded by Republican lawmakers, lobbyists and staffers. The action implements parts of an executive order that President Trump signed Tuesday - focused on repealing environmental policies and restrictions on energy production - under the goal of increasing energy independen… Continue Reading


Roll Call: The Snapchat Senators

Snapchat was initially established in 2011 and within the last year or so, a few senators have jumped on the social messaging app popular with millennials. The lawmakers usually send multimedia messages, or snaps, themselves - as opposed to having their staffers do it - and they get pretty creative with what they send to followers. We asked a few avid senatorial Snapchatters about how they use the service. Montana Republican Steve Daines@stevedainesEstablished: Early 2016. Is it you Snapchat… Continue Reading


Sidney Herald: Trump's proposed agriculture cuts not going over well

The White House has released a budget blueprint that calls for deep cuts to USDA, sparking criticism from the MonDak's Congressional delegates and its major farm groups. The budget released by President Donald Trump proposes a 21 percent spending cut to USDA discretionary spending. The likely effect of such cuts include reductions in staff at USDA field offices, as well as to USDA-ARS research units, of which there are two in the MonDak, one in Sidney and the other in Minot. C… Continue Reading


KPAX: Daines, Montana agriculture leaders host roundtable

GREAT FALLS - Montana's agriculture leaders recently met with Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) in Great Falls to talk about the future of the industry under the Trump Administration. Sen. Daines discussed a number of issues with ranchers, farmers and livestock owners at a roundtable discussion. A concern felt across the board was the future of trade for Montana's agriculture industry and export opportunities under the new administration. "There's so much uncertainty on the direction that we're head… Continue Reading


AgWeek: Perdue promises he'll be 'tenacious' fighter for ag

Sonny Perdue, President Donald Trump's nominee for agriculture secretary, pledged to be a "tenacious advocate and fighter" for farmers within the administration and said he would try to address requests for help from dairy and cotton producers ahead of the next farm bill. Testifying at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Agriculture Committee on Thursday, Perdue promised to work with Robert Lighthizer, the nominee for U.S. Trade Representative, and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to p… Continue Reading


Williston Herald: Ag pick appears to win over delegation in confirmation hearings

The state's U.S. Senate delegation had a laundry list of concerns for former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, who was in the nation's Capitol Thursday for confirmation hearings before the Senate Agriculture Committee. Three of Montana and North Dakota's senators are members on the committee, Sens. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D, Steve Daines, R-Mont. and John Hoeven, R-N.D., who is also chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont. is not on the committee, but ha… Continue Reading


Billings Gazette: Trump proposes gutting rural flight program in Montana

The Trump administration proposed Thursday that as part of its new budget it would eliminate federal subsidies for flights from Billings to five rural communities in Eastern Montana. The cuts would target the 39-year-old Essential Air Service, which subsidizes Cape Air flights from Billings to Glasgow, Glendive, Havre, Wolf Point and Sidney. Without the program, Cape Air would unlikely be able to afford to continue operating the service, which peaked during the Bakken boom earlier this… Continue Reading


Billings Gazette: Tribes get White House pitch for Gorsuch

Western American Indian tribes got the hard sell from the White House on Wednesday to back Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. Representatives from Montana's Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes met as delegates of the National Congress of American Indians with Trump staff and Western lawmakers to discuss Gorsuch. The Supreme Court nominee's Senate hearing is set to begin Monday. Ryan Rusche and Rhonda Swaney were there for CSKT. Rusche didn't return calls afterward, but CSKT spokes… Continue Reading


Washington Times: Lawmakers say tribal support will help Grouch nomination

Republican lawmakers from western states said Thursday that Judge Neil Gorsuch's record of supporting the sovereignty of tribal nations could play a big role in winning Senate confirmation to the Supreme Court. Emerging from a meeting at the White House with tribal leaders, Sens. Steve Daines of Montana and Cory Gardner of Colorado, and Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma, praised Judge Gorsuch as a nominee who understands the importance of Indian-country issues. Mr. Gardner said the judge's record in N… Continue Reading


Washington Examiner: Bill would expand care for veterans suffering from Agent Orange exposure

Fifteen years ago, the Veterans Affairs Department decided to exclude certain Navy veterans from receiving healthcare treatment related to Agent Orange, a ruling that Sen. Steve Daines is trying to change. In 1991, Congress passed a law requiring the VA to provide coverage to Vietnam veterans with illnesses that the Institute of Medicine has directly linked to Agent Orange exposure. But about a decade later, in 2002, the VA decided it would cover only veterans who could provide they had orders… Continue Reading


Missoulian: Tester, Daines resume effort to overturn lynx decision

Montana senators Jon Tester and Steve Daines have rounded up a lengthy list of supporters for a bill to overturn a federal court decision on lynx protection. Republican Daines and Democrat Tester join Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, and Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minnesota, on the bill to reverse the Cottonwood decision, which found that the U.S. Forest Service must do a top-level review of new critical habitat for lynx under the Endangered Species Act. The decision name refers to the Bozeman… Continue Reading


Billings Gazette: Montana veterans faced health referral delays half the time

HELENA - Montana military veterans who were referred to health specialists in 2015 faced delays in getting appointments or receiving needed medical services nearly half the time, and those delays may have harmed four patients, according to a report released Friday. The Department of Veterans Affairs Inspector General's Office inspected the VA Montana Healthcare System at Fort Harrison in Helena at the request of U.S. Sens. Jon Tester and Steve Daines. The inspectors were asked to look at ho… Continue Reading


Flathead Beacon: Daines Talks Health Care, Environment During Latest Tele-Townhall

U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, R-Montana, fielded questions from Montana residents during a "tele-townhall" phone conference Wednesday night, addressing concerns about health care, his cabinet votes, and environmental regulations. According to the senator's staff, the evening forum marked the 14th time he'd connected with Montanans since winning the Senate seat. It came on the heels of criticism that he'd shirked constituents' calls for a live town hall after controversial moves to confirm Betsy DeVos… Continue Reading


KTVQ: Daines holds tele-town hall, healthcare major topic

BILLINGS - Healthcare and the Affordable Care Act were major topics at the tele-town hall meeting with Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) Wednesday night. The senator gave his thoughts on repealing and replacing the healthcare law. As Daines spoke on the phone in Washington, D.C., about 30,000 listened to the tele-town hall meeting, according to the Senator's staff. He took questions on the phone for about an hour and a half. Daines said the Affordable Health Care Act has brought rising premiums, una… Continue Reading



The U.S. Congressional Republicans' repeal-and-replace bill that throws out core provisions of the federal Affordable Care Act preserves special provisions for Libby asbestos victims, Sen. Steve Daines' office said Tuesday. Daines, R-Montana, talked with key Republicans over the weekend about the need to retain Libby-specific health care provisions as Congressional leaders prepared for the roll-out of the draft bill on Monday. He followed up with a letter to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and S… Continue Reading


Missoulian: Daines: GOP health-care bill preserves benefits for Libby asbestos victims

BUTTE - Sen. Steve Daines' office said the bill released by Congressional Republicans Monday repealing much of the Affordable Care Act preserves special provisions written into Obamacare to protect victims of asbestos-related disease in Libby. Daines, R-Montana, "was engaged in conversations" over the weekend about the Libby benefits with key Republicans in Congress, according to his staff. On Monday his office released a letter he wrote to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker… Continue Reading

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