Montana Public Radio

Steve Daines

U.S. Capitol
Eric Whitney / Montana Public Radio

Last Thursday both of Montana’s U.S. senators were in Missoula for a ceremony honoring the late David J. Thatcher, a World War Two veteran from the city who flew on the famous Doolittle Raid that struck Japan in retaliation for Pearl Harbor.

The ceremony was to put Thatcher’s name on a Veterans Administration health clinic; and veterans health is going to be a big issue this year as Congress gets back to work.

Sen. Daines visiting the US-Mexico Border on Feb. 10, 2019
Sen. Daines' office

On Wednesday Montana's Republican Senator Steve Daines held a pair of roundtables in Montana focused on the state's methamphetamine crisis. I had a chance to talk to him briefly afterwards. 

Tonight on Capitol Talk: Medicaid politics; how Sen. Tester has moved to the center; and what's Gov. Bullock doing in Iowa again? Tune in now for these stories and more from the state Capitol, with Eric Whitney, Holly Michels and Rob Saldin.

US Senate Passes Major Public Lands Package

Feb 12, 2019
Emigrant Peak in Montana's Paradise Valley. The valley is north of Yellowstone Park near the location of two gold mines proposed in 2015.
Eric Whitney / Montana Public Radio

A major package of public lands legislation has passed the U.S. Senate. It includes permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and the Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act.

"Today is — it’s one of the greatest days of my life. It’s amazing, and it really restores faith in the system, too," says Colin Davis, owner of Chico Hot Springs.

'Capitol Talk:' Socialism, A Sales Tax, And A Swipe At Gianforte

Feb 8, 2019

Sen. Daines equates Democrats to Venezuelan socialists; Lawmakers hear a massive sales tax bill; And House Democrats take a not-so-subtle dig at Montana's U.S. Rep.

Sally Mauk, Rob Saldin and Holly Michels discuss these stories and more, right now on "Capitol Talk."

CSKT Policy Analyst Jami Pluff is spearheading the formation of a work group to address missing and murdered indigenous women and girls on the Flathead Reservation. Jan. 7, 2019.
Nicky Ouellet / MTPR

As Congress and Montana lawmakers consider laws to address high rates of missing and murdered Native American women and girls, people in Indian Country have a question for the law enforcement officers and government officials tasked with protecting them.

Briana Lamb and Senator Jon Tester
Courtesy Senator Tester's office

Among those at the State of the Union address in Washington, DC last night was was a 29-year-old stay-at-home mother of two from Missoula. Briana Lamb is also an activist on the issue of missing and murdered indigenous women. She was Senator Jon Tester’s guest.

Montana’s U.S. senators expect a bill that would permanently re-establish the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) to move forward this week. The LWCF expired in September due to congressional inaction.

Toll Of Government Shutdown Still Being Tallied At National Parks

Jan 30, 2019
Visitors to Yellowstone National Park explore the boardwalks near Old Faithful.
Courtesy National Park Service

Update: The original story, published Jan. 30, was updated on Jan. 31, with an additional statement from Sen. Steve Daine's office.

WEST YELLOWSTONE — Federal employees have returned to work at public lands throughout the nation, but the cost of keeping national parks open during the record-length partial government shutdown remains unknown.

iStock

Montana’s Democratic U.S. Senator, Jon Tester, is only cautiously optimistic about the deal to end the 35 day partial government shutdown. In a statement released Friday, Tester described it as, "Only a short-term fix to this irresponsible government shutdown." 

The Republican members of Montana’s delegation, Rep. Greg Gianforte and Senator Steve Daines, issued separate statements of support for the deal, saying it will give both parties a chance to negotiate in good faith.

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