Montana Politics Steve Daines

Steve Daines Is Already Following Denny Rehberg’s Tiny, Petty Steps in Washington

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Americans take care of each other in times of crisis. That’s what we do. When communities are stricken with disaster, the nation comes together to help those afflicted. Most Americans, even some Republican members of Congress, understand that.

Not Steve Daines, though, who today voted against disaster relief for the victims of Hurricane Sandy.

Don’t agree with me that we have an obligation to help those affected by the hurricane? Ask New Jersey Republican governor Chris Christie:

"I would say the Republican Party has said it is the party of family values," he said. "Last night it turned its back on the most essential value of all, and that is to provide food, shelter, clothing and relief for people who have been hit by a natural disaster. And I would say that the Republican Party has turned its back on those people."

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Daines would turn his back on Americans in need, but it is damn disappointing.

About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is a eighteen-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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  • I becomes hard to expect our elected officials to act responsibility when they are treated as they are here. How do we get Congress to clean up it’s pork act when they receive no encouragement? A vote against this bill was NOT a vote against Sandy, put taking a stand against what’s wrong with business as usual.

    Congressman McClintock remarks from the floor of the House below:

    Rule on Hurricane Sandy
    January 15, 2013 5:56 PM

    Rule on Hurricane Sandy
    House Chamber, Washington D.C.
    January 15, 2013

    Mr. Speaker:

    This rule brings us a spending package of more than $50 billion that is supposed to be for emergency repairs in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

    That averages $450 from every household in America. $450.

    These families have a right to expect that this money is being used for genuine emergency relief. But it’s not.

    According to the Congressional Budget Office, more than 90 percent won’t even be spent this year. That’s not emergency relief.

    Sixteen billion is to quintuple the size of the Community Development Block Grant Program. That’s the slush fund that pays for such dubious projects as doggie day care centers – and it doesn’t even have to be spent in the hurricane area.

    Two billion is for highway repairs anywhere in the country – including up to $20 million each for Guam, American Somoa and the Mariana Islands that aren’t even in the same ocean as Hurricane Sandy.

    I offered amendments to restrict funding to emergency relief for this year. Future year expenditures should be included in the normal appropriations process where they can be given scrutiny and evaluated in relation to all the other demands on spending.

    These amendments were refused. Worse, this rule overrides the house rules requiring spending offsets, against unauthorized appropriations, and most telling of all — against mixing non-emergency funding in an emergency bill.

    A tragedy like Hurricane Sandy should not be used as an excuse for a grab-bag of spending having nothing to do with emergency relief.

    At the Rules Committee hearing, I was told, “Well, you just have to understand that’s the way these things are done.”

    Mr. Speaker, Republicans were supposed to change the way these things are done. Clearly, we have not.

  • I don’t find any of these rationalizations for the hee-haw anti-east-coast votes by Daines persuasive. He’s just a Tea Party hack who’s going to do whatever the most extreme members of his party want him to do.

    We need to identify and get behind a strong opponent against Daines in 2014. Maybe this person can get some funding from ordinary people in New York and New Jersey, who have good reason to be against him. Montanans and pissed-off easterners should be enough to offset Daines’ money machine (a handful of billionaires and corporate front-groups).

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