As a first-term representative in Congress from Montana, Steve Daines ranks pretty low in seniority in the U.S. House. That means he does not have a lot of say in the committees on which he serves. When the leaders of those committees do throw him a crumb, he has to do his best with what they give him. In other words, Daines has to sell it to his constituents.
I do have to applaud Daines because when he was interviewed on the Voices of Montana radio show about a U.S. House field hearing scheduled in Billings (MT) Wednesday afternoon, he seemed very excited. He was downright giddy.
This committee field hearing is so huge a deal that Daines is using taxpayer funds to advertise it on the radio.
So what is this important committee hearing about? Is it about Syria? Nope. Is it about Veterans health care and the massive backlog of claims? Nope. Military benefits? Nope. Is it about Obamacare? Nope. Is it about the national debt? Nope. Is it about wildfires? Nope.
These are very important issues, but apparently they don’t stack up to the Greater Sage-Grouse – the Greater Sage-Grouse.
For those of you who are not quite up on your sage grouse knowledge, it’s a bird.
The House Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing about the “potential impacts of listing the Greater Sage Grouse under the Endangered Species Act.” The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service believes “that the greater sage-grouse warrants protection under the Endangered Species Act.”
Part one of the hearing will be held in Wyoming so the lone representative (Cynthia Lummis) from there will feel some love. The hearings are open to the public, but witnesses testify by invitation only.
Joining Daines for the hearing are Doc Hasting of Washington, chairman of the committee; Congressman Kevin Cramer of North Dakota; and Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming.
They are all Republicans, so we should get the whole story.
I’m thinking that Cramer will get to host a field hearing in North Dakota about another bird at a later date.
There are some folks who will find the hearing useful, and they will applaud Daines for his work on this issue. Let me be the first to say that I am overjoyed.
But in the big scheme of things…
Read Daines Press Release about the field hearing HERE.
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