Gianforte votes ‘no’ on coronavirus relief bill

If Rep. Greg Gianforte, candidate for governor has his way, there’ll be no more economic assistance for Montana’s state and local governments, individuals, small businesses and front-line health care workers.

Here’s the background on the U.S. House’s latest stimulus bill, from NPR:

House lawmakers on Friday approved a Democratic proposal to provide $3 trillion in coronavirus relief which would include a new wave of help for state and local governments, workers and families.

The House voted 208 to 199 — largely along party lines — to pass the measure. The size of the bill represents the biggest ever proposed and it includes another round of direct cash payments to Americans, extends unemployment benefits to the end of January and adds hazard pay for front-line workers. It also expands virus-testing efforts, contact tracing and treatment.

Gianforte voted against the bill, calling it “a liberal wish list.” Both that quote, and the Billings Gazette Story from whence it came, are shallower than a kiddie’s wading pool. Gianforte continues:

“And Montana businesses, desperate to reopen, shouldn’t have to compete with expansive unemployment benefits that run through next spring. This is no CARES Act. It’s careless.”

Go back to work, says Gianforte, because your unemployment benefits are competing with Montana businesses and their ability to reopen. That’s your choice, he reasons: staying safe while receiving some compensation, or torpedoing the national economy.

The House bill is likely dead on arrival in the Senate, and Trump has stated he’ll veto it, but Democratic leadership sees it as an opening to future negotiations.

With nearly $1 trillion in aid to battered states, cities and Native American tribes, and another round of bolstered jobless benefits and direct government payments to Americans, the measure was an expansive sequel to the $2.2 trillion stimulus enacted in March, reflecting Democrats’ desire to push for a quick and aggressive new round of help.

Republicans, and even a few moderate Democrats, called the bill bloated.

The package contained a number of Democratic priorities, including $100 billion for rental assistance and $75 billion in mortgage relief. It would allocate $3.6 billion to bolster election security, and would provide a $25 billion bailout for the Postal Service, a lifeline that the agency has said is critical to its survival, but that Mr. Trump opposes.

It’s unreasonable to advance rental assistance and mortgage relief, election security and saving the USPS, they say. I say it’s a decent start and the few Democrats raising concerns need to get on board, for Chrissake.

But as the second richest member of Congress, Gianforte doesn’t see the need to continue supporting any of this, including funding for Montana’s cities, counties, small businesses and families. Does Greg Gianforte have a clue, since he wants to be our next governor, as to what is best for the future of Montana businesses and families?

That’s a rhetorical question.





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About the author

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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  • The 2.2 trillion aid package includes:
    $500 billion slush fund for DJT to dole out
    SBA loans/grants mostly to certain banks to loan money the wealthy
    PPP loopholes that mostly enrich the established wealth class
    Perhaps 80% of the huge increase in write off of real estate losses, against IRS taxes, will go to people making over $1 million a year. On that point, check out this link.

    GG luvs plutocracy and hates democracy.
    Because of that, plutocrat money outside of Montana $upports GG for Montana governor.

    GG has nil experience at non-partisan working together to achieve compromised solutions.

    • Greg is not a real Montana person. I remember reading Tom McQuane’s people
      stories set in Montana. He didn’t describe people I know here because his crowd was literary. His connections seemed to be about those deep relationships, like
      with the very gifted writerJim Harrison and with Russ Chatham. His fishing stories however ring true because he knew the water and lived that part thoroughly. He’s a fine writer. What does this have to do with Greg? Gianforte is a businessman and never got to know Montana’s regular people. He had 500 employees according to him. He got lucky with the sale of his company and we were the net losers. He has bags of money, no class as a person and reminds many of the person in the White House. Empty of feeling and out of touch with the people of Montana. He and Daines are the same (both from California, too, which does not make them bad, for that reason). Both are devoid of empathy and are simply trying to prove they can buy an office in this backwater, naive, beautiful place we call home. So far, each has been successful. Let’s try to end their “winning” streak.

      • While I agree with most of your comments. I disagree with the idea that Daines and gianforte’s motive is to prove they can “buy an office.”
        While there is no doubt that they are motivated to “buy their offices” mostly with other people’s money. Their goal is to establish greater control of our state and local governments by the plutocracy of which they are members. Gianforte is of course the wealthiest member of Congress.
        Their goal is to control our legislative bodies in a manner that reduces the populace to a meager wage earning group to serve them in their millionaire enclaves in Whitefish, Bozeman, Red Lodge and the like. Private playgrounds where the locals take whatever earnings they can garner and in turn fund the public resources like roads, airports, hospitals etc. that the wealthy need to access their exclusivity.
        Indeed, as the comment says, these people do not understand Montanans in the way we do, they understand them as a dogged resource to exploit for their own pleasure.

  • Just had a couple of stray thoughts…………

    Do you suppose if we name a Post Office after Gianforte, he’d stop demanding that the Postal Service be privatized?

    If Biden’s campaign promises that, if elected, he would immediately nominate Daines as ambassador to China, do you think he might drop his candidacy for the Senate?

  • And now the Democrats want to step up. Interesting. Democrats massive Heros Act $3 trillion corona virus relief bill. You have to be kidding. Republicans in both chambers of Congress have mocked the bill as bloated with Democrat demands. The enormous Democratic measure would cost more than the prior four corona virus bills combined. The bill is the most expensive spending bill ever passed in the history of the House of Representatives. Some congressional aides said the Democratic bill’s real price tag could breach $3.5 trillion. 14 Democrats voted against this. Republicans have flatly rejected passing the HEROES Act.

    $1 trillion in emergency relief to struggling state and local governments. Yes, Montana tax payers get to help bail out mismanaged New York and California. Including 750 million dollars of New York taxpayers in a solar panel company that went bankrupt, state employee retirement plans in trouble. The measure includes provisions to support multi-employer pensions. This would force fiscally responsible states to bail out the fiscally irresponsible, largely Democratic states in areas such as badly handled pension funds.

    $25 billion bailout for the Postal Service. What the heck does this have to do with crono virus?

    $3.6 billion to bolster election security including help to the states to do all mail-in election ballots. What the heck does this have to do with corona virus?

    Provides money to people in the country illegally.

    Shield illegal immigrants from deportation. Allow illegal immigrants to work when more than 30 million Americans are out of work.

    It would overturn some of the restrictions in previous bills to allow for bailouts for Planned Parenthood and provide taxpayer funding for abortion, even though Americans oppose taxpayer funding for abortions by 55 percent to 29 percent.

    Block voter identification laws – even though 80 percent of Americans favor such laws.

    Give a tax cut to the richest Americans in blue states.

    Assisting marijuana businesses to allow cannabis businesses expanded access to bank accounts and loans.

    The package also includes a bipartisan bill related to the collection of hate crimes data.

    If you can support this a with clear conscious, then I have some land for you in the Bob Marshall Wilderness Area.

    • @mark00-
      What the heck did TWO TRILLION DOLLARS in bailouts for airlines, cruise lines and fossil fuel companies have to do with the corona virus? Oh, right!!! They all sent lobbyists to rent rooms at Trumpsky’s hotels, pouring more millions into his greedy pockets.
      Q – What’s the difference between Greenland and Trumpsky?
      A – Greenland’s not for sale.

      • Here is your leader. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi toured San Francisco’s Chinatown February 25th to send a message, that there’s no reason tourists or locals should be staying away from the area because of coronavirus concerns. January 16: CDC says US will screen passengers arriving from Wuhan. January 21: First US case confirmed. January 29: US coronavirus task force created. January 31: Trump blocks travel from China.

        • Fun fact: Chinatown isn’t in China. Bonus fun fact: There is more than one Chinatown in this country.

          Fact check from the rightwing Moonie Times:

          “That the Trump administration “banned flights,” “closed the borders,” or “stopped flights” from first China and later the European Union to halt the spread of COVID-19 has become a staple of its defense of its response to the pandemic. But it simply isn’t true. At no time through the course of this awful period have flights even once been halted between either China and the U.S. or Europe — including even Italy — and the United States.

          The Trump administration did impose travel restrictions between China and the U.S., and later Europe and the U.S., but both actions have loopholes large enough to fly a 777 through. In the case of China, on Jan. 31 — weeks after it was known that the coronavirus was a serious problem — the administration restricted travel for “foreign nationals who had been in China in the last 14 days.”

        • Nancy Pelosi is a goddess. Smart, eloquent and very feminine.
          She raised a family, then went into politics. She carried Barack
          Obama’s health care plan through Congress, ending with a perfect vote count. She is dignified and compassionate, and can ride circles around her male counterparts, all the while creating commonweal with them for the country. She epitomizes grand and carefully
          wrought leadership.

        • @markdown –
          2 weeks AFTER the Pelosi visit you complain about, the guy with a dead weasel glued on his head was blustering that within a week or two there would be “near ZERO” active cases.
          You need to quit spending so much time listening to the AM radio idiots and watching Fox Fraudcasting – there was a very rigorous scientific study that proved that people who do that know and understand LESS than people who don’t pay any attention to news at all.

    • The USPS will run out of money by September. Trump wants to punish Jeff Bezos who owns Amazon because he also owns the Washington Post which posts facts that he doesn’t want the American people to know about HIS incompetence.

      “The Postal Service is not losing money because of Amazon. It’s losing money because in 2006, the Republican-led Congress passed a law forcing it to prepay its pensions for 75 years, which no other corporation does.

      This was meant to bankrupt it so it’s business could be privatized for profit. Without this law, the Postal Service would be turning a profit.”

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