Just before heading to his weekly ‘Montana Coffee’ with Montana visitors to the Capitol, Senator Steve Daines spoke with KGVO News on a variety of subjects, from impeachment to the U.S. MCA and even water issues in the state.

Daines said the articles of impeachment issued this week were part of what he called the ‘impeachment obsession’.
“The Democrats have been obsessed with impeachment since the day of  President Trump’s election,” began Daines. “This is three years in the making. It’s no surprise and it will come over to the Senate, but I think we all know the outcome in the Senate where very few if any Republican Senators will support removing the President from office.”

Daines said the good news this week was the intention of the U.S. House to finally pass the U.S. MCA trade agreement.

“I think the reason that Nancy Pelosi has finally decided to move this forward is the American people, as she’s been watching the polling data, where support for impeachment is fading, especially in key states for the upcoming 2020 election, her members urged her to do something positive for the American people,” he said. “This trade deal has been languishing in the House and Montanans have been eagerly awaiting this trade agreement. Here are a couple of quick stats. It’s projected to create over 180,000 new jobs for Americans, and it’s expected to boost our GDP by another $70 billion, that’s billion with a ‘b’.”

Daines said President Trump has secured trade deals with Japan and South Korea, but the trade agreement with Mexico and Canada will convince China to come to the table, as well.

“I think having these deals with other countries does put pressure on China to come to the table and get something done with the United States,” he said.

Daines was also proud of a new bill that will help to craft a new agreement over water with the CSKT.

“We’ve been working for a couple of years on a new agreement,” he said. “This is a much better agreement than was passed by the Montana Legislature several years ago. This new agreement protects the water rights for all Montanans. It permanently relinquishes 97 percent of all the CSKT’s water rights claims. It relinquishes all the claims in the Flathead. It saves the taxpayers another $400 million versus alternative proposals.”

Daines said the original deal was not good for Montana.

“I was not going to let a bad deal mover forward that would generate generational bitterness, and that’s what would happen if we don’t get the water rights issue sorted out correctly and protect the water rights for all Montanans,” he said. “I appreciate the concessions the Tribes are willing to make and we’re crossing the ‘t’s and dotting the ‘i’s’. We have the support of the Trump administration. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt is behind this as is Attorney General William Barr. We have over 10,000 water rights in the state of Montana that will be affected if we don’t get this right. We have a good deal, and we’re moving it forward, and it’s time to get this settled.”


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