As your U.S. senator, it’s been my top priority to bring Montana common sense to Congress, and in spite of the partisan politics that exist in Washington D.C., I have worked across the aisle this past year to get results for Montanans.
We recently secured the largest pay raise in nearly a decade for our servicemen and women, strengthened our southern border to protect our communities from illegal drugs, empowered law enforcement to combat Montana’s growing meth crisis, protected the mission at Malmstrom, and, finally, federally recognized the Little Shell tribe.
We led the fight for our “Blue Water Veterans” and saw my legislation signed into law that delivers treatment and benefits to veterans harmed by Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. I also worked to ensure we cut red tape that was stopping veterans from receiving proper recognition.
We protected public lands by permanently reauthorizing the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). As a fifth-generation Montanan and an avid outdoorsman, I was honored to secure this historic victory for this program.
We kept the Anaconda Job Corps training center open when closure threatened the livelihoods of those talented students and the staff.
We’ve confirmed over 180 judges appointed by President Trump — a historic record. We secured a critical trade deal with Japan, and will soon take final steps on a deal between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada, and on another one with China. This will help level the playing field, expand market access, and allow our farmers and ranchers to compete fairly on the global stage. But much more work remains ahead. We must stand firm against Big Pharma and lower the cost of prescription drugs for seniors. We need to provide full, mandatory funding for LWCF. We must pass our bill to protect veterans from scam artists. We need to allow Montanans to use college savings programs for apprenticeships. We need to pass my bipartisan legislation to protect Montanans from the dangers of catastrophic wildfires and stop fringe, extreme environmental groups from preventing us from managing our forests.
We cannot give up on the fight to restore fiscal responsibility to our nation. I won’t back down until the first bill I ever introduced, the Balanced Budget Accountability Act, is signed into law. If Congress can’t pass a balanced budget, they shouldn’t be paid. Plain and simple.
As we celebrate the beginning of a new year, I look forward to continuing to bring our values to Washington — where they are desperately needed. Washington, D.C., would be a much better place if it looked a little more like Montana.
U.S. Sen. Steve Daines