US Politics

Conrad Burns: Not Bringing It Home to Montana

It would appear that Conrad Burns might not ‘deliver for Montana’, after all. Jonathan Allen reports in The Hill that ol’ Senator Sellout is facing an uphill battle moving his spending bill in the Senate:

The interior spending bill, including about $60 million he earmarked for Montana, looks like a bad bet to see Senate floor action before voters go to the polls in November.

The interior bill and the other domestic spending bills face a whole set of hurdles in the Senate, where conservative Republicans see them as a low priority. But the competing needs of securing money for his home state and avoiding pitfalls on the floor create an unusually tricky election-year paradigm for Burns.

You see, Burns’ own political allies are worried that it might seem a bit unbecoming for the Senator to be so blatantly hauling the pork out on the Senate floor in an effort to shore up his waning support, and some Republicans are even trying to stay consistent with their ideological belief that the federal government shouldn’t be paying for all of these pet projects. Most importantly, though, they’re holding it back because they know Burns is in trouble:

Republican leaders are weighing whether to “hold it back until his seat is safer,” one Appropriations aide said.

They “don’t want to expose Burns that way” another aide said. They are “willing to give him a pass” and let him “stay under the radar.”

Despite the fact that the bill may not even make it to the floor because of Burns’ political weakness, he is still taking credit for projects, large and small, across the state, in press releases designed to trickle out, day by day, in a cynical effort to buy votes. Senator Burns wouldn’t really issue press releases touting money that might not make it back to Montana, would he?

You bet:

The bill is not going to be up before the August recess and September is still “up in the air,” according to a GOP aide.

Whether the bill gets a vote on the floor may not matter much to Burns, who, as one Appropriations staffer noted, already “put out the press release” on the projects.

Not only is Conrad trying to buy your vote, he’s lying about it.

If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.


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Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is an 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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