Montana Public Radio

Steve Daines

This week on "Campaign Beat:" Governor Bullock's presidential race is over - but Democrats still hope he jumps into the Senate race. Both primaries in the governor's race have strong challengers to the frontrunners. And U.S. House candidate Corey Stapleton comes under fire for a controversial newsletter.

 

The U.S. Senate on Tuesday passed the $738 billion national defense spending bill and with it, federal recognition of the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians.

U.S. Capitol
iStock

The House of Representatives Wednesday will debate and vote on two articles of impeachment against President Trump; one for abuse of power and the other for obstruction of justice. Where do Montana's 2020 House candidates stand?

Correction December 12, 2019: This article has been updated to include that Sen. Jon Tester is a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Environmental advocates and political leaders across Montana are pushing for full funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund at $900 million, an amount the country hasn’t been close to since 1998.

 

The U.S. Senate will consider expanding access to healthcare for Native American veterans and streamline the hiring process for tribal law enforcement. That’s after two bills passed out of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Wednesday.

The Senate has confirmed a top Justice Department lawyer with ties to Montana as a federal appeals court judge, despite a “not qualified” rating from the American Bar Association and sharp opposition from his home-state senator.

An informational sign at the entrance of the National Bison Range near Moiese, MT.
Josh Burnham

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes would manage the National Bison Range in exchange for concessions on water rights, according to draft legislation Montana Sen. Steve Daines is expected to introduce in Congress. 

Bison at the National Bison Range.
USFWS

A bill proposing to settle long disputed water rights claims between the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and the federal government includes a massive new bargaining chip: transferring the National Bison Range to control of the tribes. U.S. Senator Steve Daines is expected to introduce a bill to do that as early as this week.

Watering a field.
iStock

Montana Senator Steve Daines and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes announced Thursday that they have come to a new agreement that would settle thousands of the tribes’ water rights claims.

Daines says he will introduce legislation next week that, if approved by Congress, will bring more than a decade of negotiation over the tribes’ water rights to an end. Daines was not available for an interview, but provided this recorded comment.

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes Water Compact narrowly passed the state Legislature in 2015 after more than a decade of negotiation. It settles water rights in and around the Flathead Reservation.
David Wiley (CC-BY-2)

Two top officials in the Trump Administration offered support for one of the state’s final remaining tribal water agreements last week.

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes Water Compact narrowly passed the state Legislature in 2015 after more than a decade of negotiation. It settles water rights in and around the Flathead Reservation. Now, it needs to pass in the U.S. Congress.

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