Montana Politics

Rehberg the Bold Doesn’t Know Again


I’m not sure how long the Montana media plans to let Representative Rehberg explain every vote and position he takes by saying he doesn’t really understand the ramifications of the bill, but as a constituent, it’s getting pretty tiresome. Rehberg was one of four House Republicans to vote against the Ryan budget today and he did it with typical Rehbergian leadership and lack of knowledge:

“This budget — the first one we have even considered in two years — has a lot of good things in it that I fully support,” among them, simplifying the tax code and reducing non-security discretionary spending to below 2008 levels.

“But there are still too many unanswered questions with regard to Medicare reform,” he said, “and I simply won’t support any plan until I know for a fact that Montana’s seniors will be protected.”

Rehberg also said he objected to the fact that Ryan’s plan — which was just unveiled on April 5 — was being “rushed through with little to no public input.”

A lot of interesting stuff to unpack there. You might recall that Rehberg told Montana reporters last week that he had plenty of time to read through the budget. You might also recall that Rehberg’s rash, poorly-conceived plan to defund the Obama health care plan would actually have hurt 25% of Montana Medicare recipients. You might further recall that Representative Rehberg IS ON THE DAMN APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE, a spot, that if he used it, could have addressed his concerns and answered his questions. In fact, his the chair of the subcommittee in charge of Medicare:

Rehberg, Montana’s only House member, was appointed Friday by the new Republican leadership in the U.S. House as chair of one of 12 subcommittees on the powerful House Appropriations Committee.
He’ll be chairing the House Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies, which his office said oversees nearly one out of every four dollars of discretionary federal spending.
It includes spending Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security and other programs.

Rehberg is the living embodiment of the Peter Principle. He’s failed his way to the U.S. House. Please, Montana, let’s not let him rise to another level of incompetence. For how many more bills can Rehberg just proclaim his ignorance as an answer?

Even his allies in the TEA Party see Rehberg for what he is—a coward with no political conviction nor the intellect to lead. Even someone who clearly can’t count membership numbers can see through Rehberg:

Eric Olsen, co-founder of the Tea Party group Montana Shrugged, is worried that the Rep. is dropping some of his conservative positions in the process. He said that his group, which claims to be the largest Tea Party organization in the state, believes Rehberg should have voted for Ryan’s budget plan.

“I think he’s trying to vote for a political election now, instead of voting with his heart,” said Olsen, who says his 5,000 members helped re-elect Rehberg for Congress.

About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is a seventeen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.


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