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Congressman Daines Fails to Tell Truth in Billings Senate Debate

(Helena, MT) - Congressman Steve Daines once again tried to pull the wool over Montana voter's eyes, failing to tell the truth about his voting record in Washington. 

"In tonight’s debate, Congressman Daines failed to tell the truth to Montanans, once again demonstrating that he stands with his corporate special interests that destroyed America’s economy. Montanans have a clear choice on November 4th: Amanda Curtis who will fight for equal pay for equal work, protecting our public lands and strengthening Social Security and Medicare or Congressman Steve Daines who is out of touch with Montanans. This election we have the opportunity to elect a Montana’s first female senator and a person who is truly one of us,” said Andrea Marcoccio, executive director from the Montana Democratic Party. 
 
FACT CHECK
 
FACT: VOTED TO SHUTDOWN THE GOVERNMENT
  • Daines Demanded the Government Shutdown. In August 2013, Daines signed onto to a letter to Boehner threating to shutdown the government. [Letter to House Leadership, 8/21/13]
     
  • Daines Voted for the Shutdown. In September 2013, Daines voted for an extreme House Republican continuing resolution that the Associated Press reported would “likely result” in the shutdown of the federal government. [HJ Res 59, Vote #478, 9/20/13; Missoulian, 10/26/13]
     
    • 16 Day Shutdown of National Parks Cost Montana $1.6 Million Per Day. According to the Center for Western Priorities says the 16-day shutdown of national parks alone cost Montana’s economy nearly $1.6 million per day. Moody’s analytics, calculated the shutdown to cost Montana’s economy $45 million. [Moody's Analytics, 10/21/13; Bureau of Economic Analysis, 9/17/13]
       
    • Businesses Across the Country Lost $500 Million in Visitor Spending. “All told, the National Park Service closed 401 locations across the country and furloughed more than 20,000 employees. Businesses that rely on park tourism lost an estimated $500 million in visitor spending, according to a report by the Office of Management and Budget. [KAJ18.com, 3/20/14]
       
    • “Glacier NP Business, Tourism Suffer from Shutdown.” The government shutdown hurt businesses in Glacier National Park. Business owner Monica Jungster said they counted on October for regular business. [KPAX, 10/09/13
       
    • “Yellowstone Shutdown Brings ‘Overwhelming’ losses to Small Businesses.” “Locally owned small businesses around Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks are facing “overwhelming” financial losses in the wake of the continuing government shutdown, but their concerns have not found traction in Washington, D.C. In small towns around the parks, the tourism industry has been hit hard by cancellations, shortened trips and a sudden drop in business that has ranged from 50 percent to almost 100 percent in the case of one food and lodging business in Cooke City, near Yellowstone Park’s Northeast Gate.”
       
    • Shutdown Hurt Small Business Loans. “The government shutdown threw a wrench into U.S. Small Business Administration lending programs, which have provided government guarantees on about $30 billion in loans in each of the last three years. Because the loans require approval from furloughed agency personnel, many loans couldn’t be funded during the shutdown, which lasted nearly three weeks. SBA loan volumes in the first four weeks of October were down 35 percent from the previous year, according to a report published on Tuesday by Experian (EXPN) and Moody’s Analytics (MCO).” [BusinessWeek, 11/05/13]
       
    • Daines Voted To Pay China Ahead Of Small Businesses In The Event If A Default. In 2013, Daines voted for a bill that would prioritize paying bondholders – including in China, Iran and the Cayman Islands – if the nation were to default on its debt payments, instead of American troops, veterans, doctors and hospitals, and American small businesses.  [Huffington Post, 5/07/13; Roll Call,6/13/13; HR 807, Vote #142, 5/09/13]  
       
FACT: Daines Voted to Turn Medicare Into a Voucher System and Increased Medicare Eligibility Age
  • Daines’ Voucher system would Increase Out-of-Pocket Costs for Seniors by 50 percent. In 2014, Daines voted for the proposed budget by Rep. Paul Ryan that turns Medicare into a voucher system turning it over to a premium support plan. The Congressional Budget Office found that under a premium support plan, premiums would increase by 50 percent for traditional Medicare.  [Billings Gazette, 4/10/14; National Council on Aging, 4/09/14; AmericanProgress.org, 2/05/14]
     
  • Daines Budget Increases Medicare eligibility from age 65 to 67. In 2013 and 2014, Daines voted for the proposed budget by Rep. Paul Ryan that would raise the Medicare eligibility from age 65 to 67 shifting costs to Medicare beneficiaries and leave many 65 and 66 year olds without health coverage. [Billings Gazette, 4/10/14; H Con Res 25, Vote #88, 3/21/13; Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 4/08/143/15/13]
     
FACT: Seniors Organizations Slammed Plan Daines Voted Twice For
  • AARP: Ryan Plan “Shifts Costs Onto Seniors and Future Retirees.”AARP VP Nancy LeaMond said “Removing the Medicare guarantee of affordable health coverage for older Americans by implementing a premium support system and asking seniors and future retirees to pay more is not the right direction.” [AARP, 4/01/14]
     
  • NCPSSM: Ryan Plan “Destroys Medicare.” From the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare: The Ryan Plan “would end traditional Medicare, make it harder for seniors to choose their own doctors, and increase health care costs for both current and future retirees.” [National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, April, 2014
     
FACT: Daines Voted to Sell Off Public Lands
  • Daines Voted for the “Disposal of Excess Federal Lands Act” that Would Sell Millions of Montana’s Public Lands. In 2013, Daines voted for the Paul Ryan budget that endorsed Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s “Disposal of Excess Federal Lands Act of 2013,” which would mandate 3.3 million acres of public lands in the west including in Montana be sold off to the highest bidder as a way of reducing the deficit. [H.R. 2627, 1/28/14; Billings Gazette,9/04/14
     
FACT: Daines Supports Turning Federal Managed Lands to State, Opening  It Up to Privatization
  • Daines Supports Turning Federal Managed Lands to State, Opening It Up to Privatization. In 2014, Daines said he supported turning over federal managed land to the state. Given the state’s limited resources, turning over the land to the control of the state would open it up to it being privatized. [Billings Gazette, 5/07/14]
     
  • Voted to Limit LWCF Funding, Hurting Conservation Efforts. In 2014, Daines voted for the proposed budget by Rep. Paul Ryan that mandated LWCF funding be used for maintenance and operations before acquiring new land and would also limit lands that could be purchased using BLM funding. [E&E Publishing, 4/01/14; House Republican Budget FY 2014]
     
FACT: Daines Pushed for a Land Grab Bill Without Any Input from Montanans
  • Daines Pushed a “Land Grab” Bill That Opens Unprecedented Development on Public Lands.  Daines bill, HR 1526 would prioritize logging over all other multiple uses, mandating a timber harvest of 380.5 million board feet per year, a six-fold increase from the 62.5 million cut in 2012. Daines did not include any input from sportsmen groups before sponsoring the legislation. [Bozeman Daily Chronicle, 2/17/14; KPAX,1/15/14]
     
FACT: Daines Voted to Cut Ebola Funding
  • Daines to cut $6.9 Billion from the CDC. Daines voted against $6.9 billion for funding the Center for Disease Control and Prevention while voting for tax breaks for corporations that ship jobs overseas. The funding included $30 million to support initiatives that would enhance the CDC’s ability to find and stop infectious disease outbreaks such as Ebola. [HR 3547, 1/15/14]

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