Donald Trump Greg Gianforte Steve Daines

Furloughed fellow Montanans

This is a short story about a recent acquaintance who works, or did work, for the U.S. Forest Service.

She’s a young woman who was furloughed. She gave birth to a boy about six months ago. She had daycare lined up and was getting ready to go back to work when Trump shutdown one-quarter of the federal government.

Her husband is still employed but with Missoula’s rising cost of living, two incomes are often needed to make ends meet.

She doesn’t appear to be eligible for unemployment benefits. She will get back pay if and when she goes back to work but she also finds it ironic that she’ll be paid for not working — talk about government waste. In the meantime, the bills are stacking up.

In December the Senate voted, unanimously, to keep the government running but Trump torpedoed the deal on advice from Fox News pundits.

We can also thank Montana’s Rep. Greg Gianforte and Sen. Steve Daines for supporting Trump’s shutdown, and making life harder for 13,000 federal workers in our state.

As the shutdown enters its 31st day, the economic fallout is starting to affect markets around the country. From the Chicago Tribune:

…the shutdown adds risk at a time when the economy is already projected to slow, forecasters see the highest recession risk in six years, manufacturing is faltering and consumers and investors are getting more skittish.

That’s not to mention the strain it’s putting on families, like my friends, throughout Montana.


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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  • Thank you so much for writing this. I hear so many stories through my grapevine that most people don’t know about. These need to be told and appreciated. This shutdown must stop. All future shutdowns must stop.

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Pete Talbot

'Papa’ Pete Talbot is first and foremost a grandfather to five wonderful grandchildren. Like many Montanans, he has held numerous jobs over the years: film and video producer, a partner in a marketing and advertising firm, a builder and a property manager. He’s served on local and statewide Democratic Party boards. Pete has also been blogging at various sites for over a decade. Ping-pong and skiing are his favorite diversions. He enjoys bourbon.

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