The Department of Homeland Security is closing the controversial Port of Whitetail, Montana. This, according to a news release by Senator Jon Tester (D-MT).
Tester initially bragged about securing over $15 million in funding for the project, before the Whitetail Port made national headlines as an example of government largesse. Then, word broke that Canada was closing the port on their side of the border across from Whitetail.
While announcing DHS’ decision to close the port, Tester had this to say:
“Some folks told me upgrading the port was the right thing to do, others felt the upgrade was too expensive,” said Tester, a member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee. “The days of protecting the United States from terrorism by putting orange cones in the road are over—and that used to be the case at Whitetail. We can’t keep open an unsafe port that doesn’t meet today’s security needs, and with Canada’s recent decision, we can’t afford upgrading it.”
Meanwhile, Congressman Denny Rehberg (R-MT)- a longtime critic of the proposed port expansion- had this to say:
“This is one more example of politicians shooting from the hip when it comes to wasting stimulus dollars on projects that weren’t properly vetted or monitored. No one bothered to investigate the Whitetail Port or talk to the Canadians before deciding it was worth millions to fix it up. While I’m glad that CBP heeded my demands to stop wasting this money, I think the taxpayers in Montana would have preferred that these kinds of decisions had been made before more than a million unrecoverable stimulus dollars were put into it in the first place.”
First off, I am a little slow getting this and other updates out- as I am off on the East Coast for a couple weeks of training- so I am only allowed to research and update the website at intermittent times.
The latest with the Whitetail “Port of No Return:” Top officials with US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are flip flopping over whether or not to close the port. As we broke the news here Wednesday, CBP was planning to allow for construction to resume on the Port of Whitetail. Then, once we posted the story here on The Flint Report, Congressman Denny Rehberg (R-MT) blasted the move, and other media began making calls- all of a sudden CBP announced that they would not allow construction to resume before they finish talks with Canadian officials.
“U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said construction on the Port of Whitetail remains on hold despite a statement by Congressman Denny Rehberg on Wednesday criticizing the agency’s decision to move forward with the project,” as The Great Falls Tribune’s John Adams reports.
All this after a memo came from CBP Headquarters in Washington, DC notifying Congress that construction would resume.
That being said, I spoke with Canadian Border Services media representatives last week, and couldn’t even get an answer as to whether or not both governments have even discussed the issue yet.
Here’s what Rehberg had to say about the CBP flip flop:
“Unfortunately for taxpayers, the bureaucrats at Homeland Security are beginning to resemble the Keystone Cops more and more every day. This is a solution in search of a problem. It’s pretty simple. Construction should be stopped permanently and not one more penny of taxpayer dollars should be spent on this port.”
Montana Congressman Denny Rehberg is criticizing the decision by US Customs and Border Protection to resume construction at the Whitetail Port of Entry, adding that the decision by the Canadian government effectively makes the Whitetail port available only for Canadian entry into the United States.
Here’s what Rehberg had to say in a prepared statement Wednesday afternoon.
“It’s unbelievable how hard this Administration has worked to keep wasting our tax dollars on a one-way port that virtually no one wants or needs. True to expectations, federal bureaucrats seem intent to keep funding this project merely because they have already allocated the funds. The decision is nothing more than throwing good money after bad. For taxpayers, the added expense of flying the federal bureaucrats out for photo-ops and kangaroo listening sessions only adds insult to injury.”
POSTED 11:30 AM MST
Just got word from a trusted source that construction will resume at the Whitetail, Montana border port today (Wednesday.) Apparently US Customs and Border Protection has received word that the Canadian government has given a commitmentto find a solution to the issue.
Earlier this summer, The Daniels County Leader broke the news that Canada officially planned to close the Big Beaver, Saskatchewan Port of Entry, even as the US was moving forward on an $8.5 million dollar construction project on the US side at Whitetail.
Here’s what Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) had to say earlier this month regarding Whitetail:
“Sen. Jon Tester says he doesn’t see any choice but to close a Montana-Saskatchewan border crossing now in the middle of an $8.5 million upgrade if Canada makes good on its promise to shutter its side in April,” as The Associated Press reports.
Tester’s (D-MT) remarks came after finally holding a listening session in Northeastern Montana Tuesday afternoon. This, following criticism of the multi-million dollar Whitetail border project by CNN and Congressman Denny Rehberg (R-MT). State Senator John Brendan (R-Scobey) piled on the pressure during a visit to Great Falls and Havre by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. Brendan said the Senator and Sec. Napoltano appeared to be “dodging Northeastern Montana” because they would be “laughed out of the country.”