Steve Daines

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Daines presses support for Gorsuch in Helena visit

Daines

U.S. Sen. Steve Daines addressed the Montana House of Representatives last week, touching on his role in Washington, his backing of the Keystone XL Pipeline and his support for the appointment of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Daines repeatedly said he and other Republicans in Washington are seeking less federal power and more states’ rights. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Prairie Lights: Op-ed defense of Daines aims low, falls flat

Sumner

I know my colleague David Crisp has already written about Sen. Steve Daines’ role in silencing Sen. Elizabeth Warren on the floor of the Senate, but David’s piece was published on Wednesday. That same day, state Rep. Jeff Essmann of Billings, chairman of the Montana Republican Party, also wrote about the Daines-Warren incident in an op-ed for the Billings Gazette. Essmann’s piece was so crowded with misstatements and misleading information that it demands a response. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Daines shows weakness in Warren debacle

DC

Steve Daines, the freshman U.S. senator from Montana who sits on the back-benchers’ back bench, got a rare taste of notoriety last week. He posted a video of his 15 seconds of fame on his Facebook page, so he must have been proud of it, but the episode showed Daines’ political weakness, not his strength. Daines was presiding over the Senate when, in concert with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, he blocked Sen. Elizabeth Warren from finishing a speech against Sen. Jeff Sessions’ confirmation as attorney general. He and McConnell convicted Warren of violating Rule 19, which says that “no Senator in debate shall, directly or indirectly, by any form of words impute to another Senator or to other Senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a Senator.” (more…) Continue Reading →

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Opinion: Senators, be careful with replacing ACA

Rice

In the fall of 2012, I was diagnosed with a rare cancer of the bladder. At that time my partner worked full time as a teacher in public schools. I was under-employed (an adjunct instructor) at two institutions and had a third job when I was diagnosed with cancer. I had no access to employer-provided insurance at that time because of my part-time designation at each place. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Tester seeks input on Obamacare

Has the Affordable Care Act made your life better? If so, U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., wants to know. Tester has set up a website to gather input from Montanans about what the ACA, better known as Obamacare, has done for them. The goal is to thwart plans by Republicans to repeal the law once Donald Trump takes office as president. “I know our healthcare system isn’t perfect,” Tester said in a news release. Continue Reading →

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Zinke’s mixed, or mixed up, record on environment

DC

To say that Ryan Zinke has a mixed record on the environment may sound like saying that pouring a shot of tequila into a gallon of orange juice makes a mixed drink. U.S. Rep. Zinke, R-Mont., is the apparent nominee to serve as secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior. His confused record on public lands, climate change and America’s energy future is drawing predictable outcries, but he may turn out to be the most environmentally sensitive member of President Trump’s cabinet. True, that’s in part because Trump is filling top jobs with people who tread around the environment like a fresh cow patty. The secretary of state nominee has spent his career with a company that funded climate skepticism. Continue Reading →

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Opinion: ‘Entitlement’ critics, please meet Jane Doe

Politicians, pundits and other smart alecks make me peevish whenever they bloviate about “entitlements.”

And more annoyance is just around the corner as campaign noise gives way to policy debate. How the entitlements arguments proceed is an open question. Paul Ryan, speaker of the House of Representatives and anti-entitlements smart-aleck-in-chief, favors reductions; President-elect Trump has been coy. (more…) Continue Reading →

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TPM: Zinke serving in ‘Snow Job Caucus’

U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-Mont., has been placed in the “Snow Job Caucus” by Talking Points Memo. The caucus, according to TPM, consists of members of Congress who have used “Word Salad to Avoid Giving a Position” on House Speaker Paul Ryan’s plan to replace Medicare with some sort of private insurance and voucher system. Zinke “told a TPM reader that there was no plan to phase out Medicare, therefore he does not support a plan to phase out Medicare,” the liberal web site reported. Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., was placed on the “We’ll Get Back to You:” list of those “whose offices were caught unaware, or claimed they would pass on constituents’ concerns.”

Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., was listed as opposing the Medicare changes. TPM disputed Zinke’s claim that there is no plan to replace Medicare: “What Zinke’s office says isn’t true. Continue Reading →

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