We owe it to future generations of Montanans to reduce our debt and deficit. You and I both know what it’s like to work hard and balance our household budgets, and we should expect no less from Congress. That’s why one of my first tasks as a Senator was to sign on to a responsible balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution. We must balance our budget and can do it without hurting our most vulnerable neighbors.
In order to get our fiscal house in order we must identify the parts of our budget that are wasteful and no longer working. This should be a top priority of all our elected officials and I am working each day as your Senator to lower the federal deficit.
Agriculture is Montana’s top industry, and I am focused on implementing the new 5-year Farm Bill quickly and efficiently so Montana farmers and ranchers have the certainty they need to thrive.
I am also gravely concerned about the effects of climate change on the future of Montana agriculture and am committed to protecting this important industry for the long run.
We must defend every woman’s right to make her own health care decisions, and fight against efforts to criminalize medical care. Government does not belong in our doctor’s offices.
My wife Janet has lived with Diabetes for most of her life. Both of her pregnancies with our boys were tough and our doctor advised that we might have to make difficult decisions if her condition continued to decline. Our sons arrived healthy, but we were fortunate to have options and must protect this right for all families.
I’m proud to have earned the endorsements of Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro Choice America for my lifelong support for women’s choice.
I am proud to stand with all of those fighting to secure equal work for equal pay, and make sure that women who face pay discrimination have the tools to correct the injustice. I was proud to support the Paycheck Fairness Act and disappointed that partisan politics blocked a vote on such a fundamental civil right. We will continue our fight to ensure women receive the compensation they deserve.
I was the first person in my family to graduate college, attending Carroll College, The University of the State of New York, and the US Army War College. My wife, Janet, works in our public school system. My family and I know the importance of ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to receive a quality education. I am committed to improving our education system and public schools in Montana because that’s how we will set up our youth for future success.
I am proud to have earned the endorsement of the MEA-MFT, Montana’s largest union, and I look forward to always fighting for stronger public education in Montana and across our nation.
As a former commander in the Montana National Guard, I know that our federal Armed Forces must do much more to protect women and men in uniform, and the civilians who support them, from sexual misconduct and assault.
I was also an early supporter of legislation to reform the way sexual assaults are prosecuted in the military by removing these cases from the chain of command. I remain committed to doing everything we can to make end sexual violence, care for survivors and hold offenders accountable to the law.
I am a staunch supporter of Social Security & Medicare. We must never privatize these initiatives, which provide critical security to thousands of Montanans and millions of Americans.
In the spring I held several roundtable discussions with seniors across Montana to discuss how to strengthen both Social Security and Medicare—as well as important programs like Meals on Wheels.
While the House of Representatives has twice passed legislation to hurt Montana seniors by privatizing Medicare, it has also voted to make huge cuts to Meals on Wheels—in order to protect tax breaks for millionaires and big corporations that outsource American jobs. Those priorities are wrong for Montana and fail our neighbors. We deserve better.
I served in Montana’s National Guard for over 33 years, moving up the ranks from a Private to leading the Montana National Guard as Adjutant General. During that time, I commanded the 1-163 Infantry Battalion, an element of the 116th Brigade Combat team in Iraq.
I know how important it is that we keep our promises to our nation’s service members and veterans. They – and their families – have sacrificed and fought to protect our way of life. It is a very personal responsibility for me to ensure that they receive the benefits they earned and deserve.
One of my first pieces of legislation was the Suicide Prevention for America’s Veterans Act. This important bill addresses what I consider a unacceptable crisis: the fact that more than 22 American veterans take their own lives every day.
These brave men and women must have access to education benefits, health benefits and mental health services. We should fully support the GI Bill and help our veterans who are returning home transition from active duty to civilian life, including helping them to apply their skills in good-paying jobs.
As a proud gun owner and sportsman I am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and will always stand up for Montanans’ right to bear arms.
In Montana, we know how important it is to protect our civil liberties and freedoms from the federal government.
My very first bill as a United States Senator was the Civil Liberties Protection Act, to restrict the ability of federal security agencies to secretly collect phone records and other personal data on U.S. citizens and to issue gag orders with no judicial oversight. I also signed on to the USA Freedom Act, which, a bill that would reform the NSA’s phone record collection so the agency targets spies and terrorists, not law-abiding Americans.
While it is imperative that we maintain our national security and protect ourselves against acts of terrorism, we cannot do so at the expense of the freedoms that we hold dear, including our right to privacy.
In Montana, we have a long and proud history of utilizing our tremendous natural resources and lands, both for recreation and as a vital part of our economy. We have a diverse landscape that allows people to hike, fish, hunt, and more. We must protect our federal lands and ensure that our National Parks continue to flourish.
I am proud to be called a responsible conservationist and to have earned the endorsement of Montana Conservation Voters. We can continue creating jobs through responsible resource extraction, from mining to energy to wood products, as long as we do it in a sustainable way. Growing up in the mining city of Butte, I know full well nobody visits Butte to see the Berkeley Pit Superfund Site.
We must protect Montana’s clean air, clean water and public lands for future generations. As a father and a grandfather, I am also very concerned about the consequences of climate change, and I believe we must never turn our backs on opportunities to invest in and create jobs from renewable energy.
I strongly support initiatives like the Land and Water Conservation Fund, the Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act, the Forest Jobs and Recreation Act, and the North Fork Watershed Protection Act—made-in-Montana proposals that responsibly protect our clean air and clean water.
Public access goes hand-in-hand with preserving our beautiful outdoors. I will never allow Washington to sell off the lands we hunt, hike and fish.
The Indian Tribes in Montana have a long and rich history in our state, but currently face challenges that need to be addressed. In many of the tribes, unemployment rates are unacceptable – oftentimes more than quadruple the Montana or national averages. We need to help these communities create good-paying jobs and develop a well-trained workforce. I will help every tribe in Montana develop its sovereign capacity to create and maintain jobs through its own unique economic assets.
We must do everything we can to prevent a government shutdown like the one last year that had disastrous consequences for Montana’s Indian nations. Hundreds of employees were furloughed and essential services including nutrition assistance, bus service for rural areas and home health care for the elderly were stopped.
Supporting the services that the tribes count on is vital. Critical food assistance programs must be preserved, as should the Indian Health Care Improvement Act. I will support both of these initiatives to help our Indian nations thrive and prosper.
It is also imperative to do everything we can to make sure the Little Shell tribe is recognized by the federal government.