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Montana politics, elections and legislative news

Q&A: Joel Krautter, Republican candidate for U.S. House District 02

Joel Krautter

We are gathering information from all statewide candidates as a resource for the 2024 Primary Elections. Responses were limited to 200 words per question. Political attacks may have been removed, but otherwise, the responses are published unedited.

What is your full name as it will appear on ballots?

Joel G. Krautter

What is your age?


Where do you live?

Billings, MT

What is your education background?

Graduate of Liberty University (B.S. Govt.) and the University of Montana School of Law (J.D.)

Please list your current and previous occupations. 

Attorney and small business owner

What motivated you to seek a seat in the U.S. House? 

I’m running for Congress because we need a new generation of leadership in Washington, that will crush chaos and work to restore stability to our nation, so we can get things done for Montana. I also think my background as someone who has previously lived and represented rural Montana, as a legislator and attorney in Sidney, and now living in Billings, gives me a unique and informed understanding of the needs across the eastern and central Montana congressional district.

What, if anything, should Congress do to ease impacts of inflation and cost of living in Montana?

Congress needs to rein-in federal spending to help reduce inflation. Congress should also use its oversight abilities to shine a spotlight on price-gouging and anti-competitive conduct that can also be contributing to inflation.

Yes, or no, do you support a federal ban on abortion? 

I think the issue should be determined by the people of each state, like has been happening through state referendums on the issue, rather than a one-size-fits-all federalized approach. 

What changes, if any, should be made to the way elections and campaigns are funded? 

We need significant reforms to our campaign finance system, starting with a Constitutional Amendment to overturn the disastrous Citizens United decision that has opened the flood-gates of corporate spending in our elections and contributed to the gridlock in Washington. We also need to look at reforms that make it easier for regular citizens to run for office and be competitive, such as through public financing options. The outsized influence that mega-donors and super-pacs have on our elections should be alarming to everyone and I support reforms that put more power back in the hands of the people. 

What, if anything, should Congress do to improve the nation's immigration laws and security at the southern border? 

The chaotic U.S. southern border is a national security issue and I will support the funding and personnel needed to secure the border and reduce the chaos, which includes more border patrol agents, immigration officers and judges, together with reinstatement of the “Remain in Mexico” policy.

What should be the top priorities when managing public land?  

The top priority for management of public land should be that it can be accessed and used for the benefit of the public. I also believe that more public land management decisions should be informed by credible data and reliable science, from state and local officials, together with local public input.

What, if anything, should Congress do to address climate change?  

We have an obligation to be good stewards of the beautiful place we are lucky enough to live in. I do support responsible development of Montana’s natural resources that also complies with the Montana Constitution’s guaranteed right to a “clean and healthful environment.” I do think climate change is happening and that there are areas Congress can work on, such as by providing incentives in the forms of tax credits or grants, for businesses and individuals to adopt more sustainable practices, promote innovative carbon reducing or capturing practices, invest in energy efficiency, and reduce waste.

What, if anything, should Congress do to ensure Social Security and Medicare benefits meet the needs of older adults? 

The federal government must keep the promises made to those who have worked hard and paid into system, while making sure benefits keep up with inflation and cost of living.

What, if anything, should the federal government do to address law enforcement challenges on American Indian reservations? Should Congress increase/decrease/leave unchanged funding for law enforcement in tribal communities? 

I’ve spoken to former and current prosecutors about law enforcement challenges in Indian Country and what I’ve been told is that the federal government’s Bureau of Indian Affairs is struggling to recruit and keep the law enforcement officers needed on the reservations to combat crime, illegal drugs and cartel activity. I’ve also been told that unaddressed crime in Indian Country spills over into population hubs near reservations, like Billings and Great Falls.  In Congress, I’ll support the resources and funding that law enforcement needs to increase public safety in Indian Country.

What, if anything, would you do if elected to build trust in Congress?

In Congress, I will bring thoughtful and principled leadership, that stives for statesmanship. I would be accessible and responsive to all of the people of central and eastern Montana and I would quietly work to deliver results for the district without seeking the fanfare or celebrity status that often characterizes other members of Congress.

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