They may be getting out a little bit earlier this year, but this is practically the storyline of the health care bill all over again. Senator Jon Tester (D-MT), sensing the incoming Montana Legislature is likely to outright oppose his wilderness plan, and a change in Congress that will block the move anyway- instead is working to shove the controversial piece of legislation through at the last minute as a rider to the omnibus spending bill. Apparently the folks back in Washington, DC are rejecting the most recent election results and are now stuffing through all sorts of controversial pieces of legislation, not to mention dramatic spending proposals.
According to the latest omnibus bill draft– legislation creating hundreds of thousands of acres of new wilderness in Montana has now been added to the package. One other interesting angle: key stakeholders back in Montana haven’t even been able to look over the details of the legislation that has recently been changed. Apparently all that campaigning for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid paid off.
Here’s what Congressman Denny Rehberg had to say in a prepared statement this afternoon:
Rehberg hosted 22 public meetings specifically about this legislation across the impacted region. He posted the comments and ideas he heard in the “Transparency Center” portion of his congressional website.
“This is government at its worst. Montanans have had zero input on this new wilderness bill. It hasn’t even had a public hearing in Congress. What’s more, Senator Tester is jamming his unpopular bill into yet another trillion dollar spending bill jam packed with pork. These are exactly the sort of underhanded tactics the American people rejected in November. Apparently, the message didn’t get through. There’s not enough time to read this bill, let alone seek out public input. This is nothing but a shameful attempt to force-feed Montanans another dose of big-government before the clock runs out on the Pelosi regime.”
I don’t typically advocate specific legislation on my show, but here’s what I have to say. Members of Congress, particularly in the US Senate: if you have to eat Christmas dinner on the Capitol Steps- do it. Block this bill. $575 million per page on this omnibus spending bill as The Washington Times is now reporting? Senator Tester shoving through a controversial piece of wilderness legislation without local support? Members of Congress: this Christmas season- think of those Americans who have sacrificed multiple Christmases away from their families- now sacrifice one of your own. Do your duty, stay as long as it takes, and block this bill.