In The News


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


Forbes:Little-Used Congressional Review Act Becoming An Indispensable Tool

As the United States Senate finally begins taking up joint resolutions designed to reverse a handful of regulations implemented during the waning days of the Obama Administration, it's worth discussing the indispensable role the Congressional Review Act (CRA) has come to play in halting regulatory excess, and more importantly, upholding the rule of law. While the merits of some of the regulatory actions targeted for reversal are certainly arguable, others lie so far outside the governing statut… Continue Reading


Sidney Herald: Daines receives award for being ‘Friend of Farm Bureau’

U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., has announced that he was recognized by the American Farm Bureau with its "Friend of Farm Bureau" award for his strong support of agriculture and his advocacy on behalf of Montana farmers and ranchers. The American Farm Bureau Federation gives the "Friend of Farm Bureau" award to members of Congress who have led on issues critical to farmers and ranchers across the country, supported Farm Bureau issues, as demonstrated by their voting records and who were n… Continue Reading


Washington Examiner: Senators warn: FBI, other agencies work in buildings owned by China

Federal officials are putting sensitive materials in foreign-owned buildings, making them vulnerable to cyberattack and espionage, senators warned Friday. Their alarm bells were set off by a report that said the General Services Administration has been placing FBI agents and other "high-security" government officials in buildings owned by foreign entities in China and other countries. The GSA didn't tell the tenants, according to the government report, so the officials aren't taking addition … Continue Reading


Billings Gazette: Montana senators reintroduce East Rosebud Creek protection bill

Montana's two U.S. senators again introduced legislation that would protect East Rosebud Creek in the Beartooth Mountains. Sen. Steve Daines, a Republican, and Sen. Jon Tester, a Democrat, on Thursday reintroduced bipartisan legislation, Senate Bill S. 501, to permanently protect East Rosebud Creek under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, said spokesmen for the senators. The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Leslie Ziegler, president of… Continue Reading


Great Falls Tribune: Trump budget isn't great for agencies with big Montana footprint

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


The Hill: Interior secretary repeals ban on lead bullets

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke signed an order Thursday overturning a ban on using lead ammunition on wildlife refuges. Zinke signed the order on his first day in office, overturning a policy implemented by former Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Director Dan Ashe on Jan. 19, the Obama administration's last full day in office. Ashe's policy banned the use of lead ammunition and fishing tackle on all FWS wildlife refuges that allow hunting or fishing, as well as in all other hunting or fishing re… Continue Reading


AgWeek: Senator Daines receives Friend of Farm Bureau Award

The Montana Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) has presented Montana Senator Steve Daines a "Friend of Farm Bureau Award." Daines received the award from MFBF members who were in the national's capital for the American Farm Bureau Advocacy Conference. "We are very honored to present this award to Senator Daines. He has been a real champion for agriculture and rural Montana," said MFBF Director of National Affairs Nicole Rolf. "Whether it's supporting good legislation to protect farmers from harm… Continue Reading


Billings Gazette: Zinke confirmed as Interior secretary; Montana prepares for special election

Ryan Zinke has been sworn as secretary of the Interior. The U.S. Senate's Wednesday confirmation triggered Zinke's resignation from Congress and a special election to replace him. Zinke became the first Montanan to serve in a U.S. Cabinet. Approved by the Senate 68 to 31, the Whitefish native is the nation's 52nd Interior secretary. Montana's U.S. Sens. Jon Tester, a Democrat, and Steve Daines, a Republican, both voted to confirm Zinke. "First, I want to say thank you to the people … Continue Reading


Washington Times: Senate approves Ryan Zinke as Interior secretary

The Senate on Wednesday overwhelmingly confirmed Rep. Ryan K. Zinke to head the Interior Department, putting in place a secretary who's poised to reverse Obama-era restrictions on energy development on public lands. The confirmation of Mr. Zinke, a Montana Republican and former Navy SEAL, was held up by Democratic leaders in the Senate for over a month. While Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, voted against him and urged his colleagues to do the same, 16 Democrats ult… Continue Reading


Great Falls Tribune: Farm, conservation groups disagree over Trump’s water order

Conservation groups in Montana criticized President Donald Trump for directing federal agencies Tuesday to roll back a rule implemented under the Obama administration that expanded the scope of waters falling under the federal Clean Water Act. They argued Trump's move is a backward step that could lead to pollution of seasonal streams and wetlands. Business and farm groups, who viewed the Obama-era rule as federal overreach, unnecessary and burdensome, agreed with Trump's executive order. Her… Continue Reading


Great Falls Tribune:What should be done with state's most wild lands?

Protecting some of the nation's most wild and scenic lands has drawn heated debate in the Montana Legislature this month. A bill to release seven wilderness study areas from consideration for inclusion in the National Wilderness Preservation System has pitted those who want the lands to be released against those who see the measure as a quick fix. House Joint Resolution 9 has stirred up discussion among stakeholders since it was introduced to the Natural Resources Committee by Rep. Kerry White… Continue Reading

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