Press Releases

Tester, Daines push for swift Secure Rural Schools payments

(U.S. Senate)—Senators Jon Tester and Steve Daines are pushing the U.S. Forest Service to expedite Secure Rural Schools (SRS) payments to rural Montana counties. In a letter to Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell, Tester and Daines demanded the Forest Service distribute SRS payments to rural counties as quickly as possible. “For rural America to thrive, communities must be able to maintain quality schools, protect public safety, and invest in roads and bridges,” Tester and Daines wrote.  “As we work to improve economic opportunities in our forested counties through responsible timber harvest, increased tourism and outdoor recreation, the Secure Rural Schools program

Tester, Daines introduce Blackfeet Water Rights Settlement Act

(U.S. Senate) – Senators Jon Tester and Steve Daines introduced legislation to finalize a decades-old water rights settlement for the Blackfeet tribe. The Blackfeet Water Rights Settlement Act will resolve all claims to water rights on the Blackfeet Reservation and ensure access to reliable and clean water for the communities within the Reservation, as well as farms, ranches, and businesses in the surrounding area. “Folks in Montana came together, worked out their differences, and built this agreement that has earned bipartisan support,” Tester said, Vice Chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee.  “The Blackfeet Tribe has waited too long.  It’s time for Congress to honor

Daines Fights to Ensure Modernization of Montana’s Military Missions

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Steve Daines is fighting to ensure that the C-130s of the Montana Army National Guard (MANG) are mission-ready and fully modernized by 2020. During a Defense Appropriations Committee hearing on the President’s Fiscal-Year 2016 budget request for the National Guard and Reserve, Daines pressed Guard officials to ensure MANG’s C-130 planes are Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)-certified and flyable by 2020. Daines conveyed ongoing concerns with the Avionics Modernization Program (AMP) and the lack of clear path forward for modernization by 2020. “We all have concerns with the Avionics Modernization Program that we will be FAA certified by 2020,” Daines stated. “What is

Daines: Montana Counties Set to Receive Long-Awaited SRS Payments

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Steve Daines today announced that the U.S. Forest Service will allocate nearly $18 million to Montana’s rural and forested counties under the Secure Rural Schools (SRS) program. The Forest Service this week released 2014 SRS payment levels for Montana counties following the recent reauthorization of the critical program. “The Secure Rural Schools program is a lifeline for Montana’s rural counties – many of which have suffered from severe economic challenges in the wake of declining timber harvests and natural resource production. These payments are welcome news for the dozens of Montana counties that are already stretching their

Montana Delegation Introduces Legislation to Ensure Completion of Montana Hydro Projects

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Montana Senators Steve Daines and Jon Tester, along with Representative Ryan Zinke, are introducing legislation in the Senate and House to ensure the completion of two hydroelectric facilities in Montana. The delegation’s bills will provide for the reinstatement and three-year extension of a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) license for Clark Canyon Dam Hydro Project in Dillon, Montana and a six-year extension of the FERC license for the Gibson Dam Hydro Project near Augusta, Montana. “Hydropower is a critical component of our state’s all-of-the-above energy portfolio that provides a reliable and affordable source of electricity for hardworking Montana families,” Daines stated. “The completion of

Daines Introduces Historic Reform Bill to Protect Montanans’ Privacy

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Steve Daines today helped introduce widely supported bipartisan legislation that ends the bulk collection of Americans’ phone records. Daines is an original cosponsor of the USA FREEDOM Act of 2015, which ends bulk collection under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act and requires greater oversight, transparency, and accountability in surveillance activities. Three provisions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), including Section 215, are due to sunset on June 1. “Montanans have seen firsthand the dangers of big government’s intrusion into our daily lives, our personal information and our privacy,” Daines stated.  “It’s critical that comprehensive reforms are put

Daines Congratulates Helena Native Dr. Dava Newman on Confirmation as NASA Deputy Administrator

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Steve Daines today congratulated Helena native Dr. Dava Newman on her confirmation as the new National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Deputy Administrator. The United States Senate unanimously confirmed Newman today. Before today’s vote, Daines spoke on the Senate floor in support of Newman’s nomination. Video of Daines’ floor speech is available to watch here and download here. “Dr. Newman is a talented individual, passionate about aerospace engineering, and is generating awareness of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math opportunities in Montana’s students,” Daines stated. “Dr. Newman is an incredibly accomplished Montanan who truly exemplifies our state’s legacy of public service. I know she will lead with honor

Tester, Daines and Zinke to Forest Service: We need to see more

(Washington, D.C) – Senators Jon Tester and Steve Daines and Congressman Ryan Zinke are pushing the Forest Service for answers about how the agency plans to implement the forestry provisions in the 2014 Farm Bill.  In a letter to Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell, the entire Montana delegation noted that after the Farm Bill passed over a year ago the Department was quick to approve Montana’s recommended areas that deserve expedited treatment for timber harvest, but since then there has been little action. “We need to see more,” the members wrote. “The health of the approximately 17 million acres of National

Daines Works to Prioritize State Based Sage Grouse Conservation Plans

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Steve Daines today helped introduce legislation that prioritizes state-created conservation and management plans for the recovery of the Sage Grouse. Daines is an original cosponsor of S. 1036, the Sage-Grouse Protection and Conservation Act, which would require the Department of the Interior to share scientific data with states, assist states in crafting and implementing their plans, and recognize the state plans for a minimum of six years. The Act empowers states to take the lead in Sage Grouse conservation while preventing a listing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). “Montana is best equipped to manage and