When it comes to deciding whether he’ll represent the people of Montana or defer to President Trump’s misguided policy, there’s no debate for Congressman Gianforte: the President, no matter how bad his plans are for the people of Montana, is always right.
American Ledger is reporting that Gianforte has remained silent about the President’s plan to shift $3.8 billion from fighter jets, ships, and other vehicles to fund the construction of his border wall.
Among the programs slated for cuts is the F-35 program, a plane that could not be built without Montana business. Just ask Senator Steve Daines, who in August said that the program is responsible for 190 jobs and $16 million in economic impact:
Montana congressional leaders were at the Helena Regional Airport on Monday, where they were given the chance to virtually pilot the F-35 fighter jet.
Pioneer Aerostructures, based in Helena, makes the bulkheads that support the F-35 and is one of three companies in the state to make parts for the aircraft.
“We estimate there’s 190 direct and indirect jobs produced because of what’s going on right now at Pioneer Aerostructures. That’s a 16 million dollar economic impact for the state of Montana,” said Senator Steve Daines, R-Montana.
Gianforte himself appeared at a press event to tout the F-35 program and call for swift Congressional action:
“It’s now on the shoulders of Congress to ensure that we buy enough of these aircraft and deliver them fast enough,” said Congressman Greg Gianforte, R-Montana.
But Gianforte, who has stood by the President’s disastrous trade policy despite its impact on Montana agriculture and his tax cut that added over a trillion dollars to the deficit, has refused to stand for the program or the national security and state economic benefits he touted just months ago.
Even a Texas Republican far closer to the Mexican border had the courage to rebuke the Trump administration for its decision, as Politico notes:
A chorus of Democrats swiftly condemned the money grab, as did the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Mac Thornberry of Texas.
In a statement, Thornberry dinged the Pentagon for shifting money specifically allocated by Congress and said the move “undermines the principle of civilian control of the military and is in violation of the separation of powers.”
“The re-programming announced today is contrary to Congress’s constitutional authority, and I believe that it requires Congress to take action,” Thornberry said. “I will be working with my colleagues to determine the appropriate steps to take.”
A small measure of courage or independence to defend a program he called critical for Montana and the nation is all it would take for Greg Gianforte to question the President’s decision. And if he had the influence over Trump he claims on the stump, perhaps he could even help reverse this decision.
But Greg Gianforte just can’t be trusted, either to tell us the truth or stand up for Montana. And we can’t trust him to lead us as our governor.