Congressman Daines Gets an F in Geography
Congressman Steve Daines has been ducking debates with US Senate Candidate and Butte math teacher Amanda Curtis. Curtis challenged Daines to 14 debates including one at each of Montana’s seven Indian Reservations.
Daines has not accepted Curtis’ challenge to debate across Montana claiming he wants to debate in Eastern Montana. Three of Montana’s Indian Reservations are in Eastern Montana: Fort Peck Indian Reservation, the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation, and the Crow Indian Reservation.
“Congressman Daines’ lack of geographical knowledge is concerning, you would think the millionaire Congressman would be able to afford a map,” said Bryan Watt, a spokesperson for the Montana Democratic Party. “But I would not want to debate in Indian Country either if I had Steve Daines’ voting record on Native issues. I would stay as far away from Indian Country as possible if I were him.”
- Daines demanded and voted for the government shutdown that hurt Montana’s tribes. The shutdown had a catastrophic impact on Montana’s tribes, halting tribal programs including home health care programs for the elderly and disabled, bus services for rural areas and furloughing hundreds of workers. [Letter to House Leadership, 8/21/13; HJRES59, Vote #478, 9/20/13; Missoulian, 10/26/13; AP, 8/23/13]
- Daines supported the devastating sequester cuts that cut funding for schools and the Indian Health Service. Sequestration cuts had a deva sting impact on tribal communities, cutting funding for tribal schools and the Indian health services and hospitals. When Congressman Daines had the chance to restore funding and replace sequestration, he voted against it. [HR 3547, Vote # 21, 1/15/14; House Appropriations Committee, Interior & Environment Appropriations, 1/13/14]
- Daines would repeal the Indian Health Care Improvement Act. The Indian Health Care Improvement Act was reauthorized as part of the Affordable Health Care Act. Congressman Daines has repeatedly voted to repeal this legislation that improves the Indian Health Service. [Montana Public Radio, 5/07/14; Natural Resources Committee, accessed 1/05/14]
- Daines voted against millions in increased Funding for the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Education and Health Service He voted against the budget deal that increased funding for the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Education by $18 million and the Indian Health service by $78 million. [HR 3547, Vote # 21, 1/15/14; House Appropriations Committee, Interior & Environment Appropriations, 1/13/14]
- Danes twice voted to slash food stamp benefits. In 2013 and 2014, Congressman Daines voted for the Ryan budget that cuts SNAP (Food Stamps) by $137 billion, eliminating assistance to hundreds of tribal communities that depend on food assistance. [Con Res 96, Vote #177,4/10/14; H Con Res 25, Vote #88, 3/21/13; Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 4/04/14]
- Daines voted against funding for Violence Against Women programs for Indian women. In2014, Congressman Daines voted against $44 million in funding aimed at addressing the high victimization rates of American Indian women for the crimes of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking on tribal lands. [HR 3547, Vote #21; NCAI, 1/15/14]