Montana Public Radio

Steve Daines

'Capitol Talk' is MTPR's weekly legislative analysis program.
Montana Public Radio

COVID leads to the cancellation of floor sessions at the Legislature as the Republican leaders are in a subpoena standoff with the state Supreme Court. All this as a bill to ban abortion dies in the Senate, the governor tries to prohibit "vaccine passports" and a Montanan may become the next head of the Bureau of Land Management.

Listen now on Capitol Talk with Sally Mauk, Rob Saldin and Holly Michels.

A Montanan is reportedly expected to be President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the Bureau of Land Management. Several news outlets, including E&E News and the Associated Press, report the administration’s decision to nominate Missoula’s Tracy Stone-Manning to the post.

Montana’s congressional delegation wasted no time in reacting to President Joe Biden’s newly announced gun control measures.

President Joe Biden Thursday ordered a half-dozen executive actions aimed at addressing what he calls an "epidemic and an international embarrassment" of gun violence in America. Biden’s announcement follows several mass shootings across the U.S. in recent weeks.

Montana’s Sens. Steve Dianes and Jon Tester join new U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough for a roundtable discussion at Fort Harrison, April 7, 2021.
Shaylee Ragar / Montana Public Radio

The Biden Administration's new secretary for the Department of Veterans Affairs joined Montana’s congressional delegates for a visit to Fort Harrison in Helena Wednesday. The officials are urging veterans to get vaccinated for COVID-19. 

A grizzly bear mother and cub in Yellowstone Park.
iStock

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Wednesday recommended continued federal protections for grizzlies in the continental U.S. Federal officials say the bears still face threats from human population growth and habitat loss. But the report doesn't rule out removing protections for bears in specific regions in the future.

Tester Votes Yes, Daines No On Haaland Confirmation

Mar 16, 2021

Montana U.S. Senators split their votes Monday along a largely party-line vote to confirm Pres. Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the Department of the Interior.

In a 51-40 vote, Senators confirmed Deb Haaland to be the first Native American Cabinet Secretary in U.S. History.

A member of the Laguna Pueblo tribe, the 60 year old New Mexican Congresswoman received strong support from many tribal nations in Montana, including, most recently, the Crow Nation.

Capitol Talk: COVID Windfall, 'Religious Freedom' And Fossil Fuels

Mar 12, 2021

Montana Republican leaders think the COVID relief signed into law this week is a mistake. The Legislature now has to figure out how to spend the COVID windfall. Montana's attorney general joins a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security. It looks like Gov. Gianforte will sign a "religious freedom" bill if it reaches his desk. And Sen. Daines says the Interior Secretary nominee will harm Montana's "way of life" if she's confirmed.

Listen now on Capitol Talk with Sally Mauk, Holly Michels and Rob Saldin.

U.S. Capitol
iStock

Montana’s congressional delegation split directly along party lines over passage of the $1.9-trillion COVID relief bill.

Montana Sen. Steve Daines followed through on his promise to vote against Rep. Deb Haaland’s nomination as Secretary of the Interior today but the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources advanced her nomination despite GOP opposition.

In an 11 to 9 vote, the committee voted to favorably report Congresswoman Haaland’s nomination as Secretary of the Interior.

Business owners and community members in northeastern Montana say they were looking forward to the added tax dollars and customer base the Keystone XL pipeline would have brought into the area before President Joe Biden cancelled a vital permit for the development.

Last week Montana’s governor visited Glasgow in Valley County and held a roundtable with local officials and business people there.

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