When there are several stories out there to comment about, I combine them into a “potpourri” column!
Today I provide commentary about revising the Montana House dress code, Senator-elect Steve Daines’ new committees and his plans as a senator, State Rep. Jesse O’Hara’s alert, plus one senator blocking a Veterans’ suicide prevention bill.
Montana House Dress Code:
House Speaker Austin Knudsen, R-Culbertson, told Lee Newspapers Monday “he is in discussions with Democratic leaders on how to modify a controversial new House dress code that has drawn widespread criticism and national media attention.”
It’s too late; Knudsen has already made an ass of himself and the Montana Legislature.
All across the fruited plains people are probably wondering where Montana gets their legislative leaders. I already predicted that the 2015 Montana Legislature would be “the best circus ever” and it has not disappointed so far.
Senator-elect Steve Daines received some great committee assignments for his first term. Daines will have a seat on Energy and Natural Resources, Indian Affairs, Appropriations, and Commerce, Science and Transportation.
These committees are all important to Montana, and with the GOP having the majority in the senate, Daines can do a lot of good things for Montana through these committees.
Senator-elect Steve Daines told Lee Newspapers this week what his plans are for the next Congress – a Congress where he will be near the bottom in seniority.
Since the Republicans control the House and the Senate, there are only a couple things keeping the Republicans in check. The first is that the senate needs 60 votes to pass legislation and the second is that the President is a Democrat. So it won’t be a free-for-all.
Daines also talked about ObamaCare:
Daines said Republicans will try to “put a repeal bill on (the president’s) desk,” realizing Obama will veto it, but also will work on changes that might be acceptable by both parties.
Daines called the ACA a “complex, tangled mess” that should be repealed and has become increasingly unpopular, but said Americans expect something to replace it. Republicans don’t yet have a legislative plan for a replacement, he said.
“We’re going to have to find something that is bipartisan,” he said, adding that there was “nothing bipartisan” about the ACA.
It’s good to see that Daines realizes something will have to replace Obamacare if it is ever repealed.
In looking at the big picture, Daines is saying all the right things – but this is before the game starts.
I would urge Daines to stay away from Ted Cruz and Rand Paul.
State Rep. Jesse O’Hara:
O’Hara has an opinion piece in today’s Great Falls Tribune about a proposed rule change in the Montana Legislature that he says, “would wrest power from individual members of the Legislature and consolidate it in the hands of the speaker of the House.”
It’s worth the read and something about which Montanans should be concerned.
I look forward to more of O’Hara’s views on the circus that starts next month in Helena.
Veteran Suicide Prevention Bill:
Thumbs down to U.S. Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) for blocking the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans (SAV) Act (S.2930). The bill passed the U.S. House last week and Coburn is blocking it from a vote in the senate.
It’s sad that every day 22 veterans commit suicide. This bill could help. Coburn is leaving the senate at the end of this Congress. It looks like screwing over veterans one more time is his goal – so shame on him.