MTPR

Donald Trump

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.
Nicky Ouellet

The fate of over two dozen national monuments on federal land will be determined in just over a week. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke will present his recommendations to President Donald Trump on August 24. They’ll outline which national monuments should be left alone, which should be scaled back, or perhaps even scrapped altogether.

Trump called the monument areas "a massive federal land grab" by previous administrations.

Gov. Steve Bullock in his office in Helena, MT.
Corin Cates-Carney

As Governor Steve Bullock begins his final term, the Democrat is starting to raise money with ambitions of stepping onto the national political stage. 

On Sunday President Donald Trump sent out a tweet that some interpreted as encouraging violence against reporters. In a short video clip from Trump’s 2007 appearance in a pro wrestling match, he can be seen bodyslamming a man with the CNN logo superimposed over his face.

Citing potential threats to human health, ecosystems and the economy, Whitefish Mayor John Muhlfeld said the city will make mitigating climate change a priority.
Nicky Ouellet

Whitefish joined a growing number of U.S. cities pledging to uphold the Paris Climate Agreement Monday night. Citing potential threats to human health, ecosystems and the economy, Whitefish Mayor John Muhlfeld said the city will make mitigating climate change a priority.

"The City of Whitefish will increase its efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions, create a clean energy economy, and stand for environmental justice," Muhlfeld said.

The Environmental Protection Agency designated the former Columbia Falls Aluminum Company as an official Superfund site in September 2016.
Courtesy Columbia Falls Aluminum Company

The Environmental Protection Agency’s new chief wants to prioritize and streamline the nation’s major Superfund cleanups. And that makes at least one watchdog organization nervous. EPA chief Scott Pruitt says America’s Superfund cleanups take too long to start and too long to finish.

Montana, especially rural Montana went big for Donald Trump in the 2016 election, but a lot of farmers and ranchers disagree with him on big, multi-country trade deals.
PD

Montana, especially rural Montana went big for Donald Trump in the 2016 election, but a lot of farmers and ranchers disagree with him on big, multi-country trade deals.

Scientists measuring the terminus of Grinnell Glacier, in Glacier National Park.
Glacier National Park

Montana Governor Steve Bullock describes President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Accord as, “short sighted and dangerous.”

Bullock, a Democrat, released a statement Thursday saying climate change is real and poses a direct threat to Montana’s way of life and economy.

Wheat prices in Montana have declined by 38 percent since 2014.
(PD)

New U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue is in Montana today and tomorrow for an agriculture summit being put on in Great Falls by Republican Senator Steve Daines.

So-called “robo-calls” are prohibited by state law, but whether these calls are strictly illegal is hard to sort out.
(PD)

Some Montanans are getting phone calls with pre-recorded messages from President Donald Trump and others urging them to vote for Republican U.S. House Candidate Greg Gianforte. So-called “robo-calls” are prohibited by state law, but whether these calls are strictly illegal is hard to sort out.

The Republican National Committee is paying for robo-calls by President Donald Trump, according to a report from CNN.

U.S. House candidate Greg Gianforte at a "meet and greet" with supporters in Great Falls, MT, May 23, 2017.
Corin Cates-Carney

The candidates in Thursday's election for the state’s lone seat in the U.S. House are anticipating a close finish, and it’s fueling a final push for voter turnout in the final days on the campaign trail.

The GOP’s Greg Gianforte held the first of three "meet and greet" events Tuesday morning in Great Falls. He stood among a couple dozen supporters under a pavilion at a city park, where local Republican leaders supplied coffee and donuts for the chance to mingle with the candidate.

Montana's special election is getting lots of attention from the national media. That includes NPR, which sent national political correspondent Don Gonyea here for coverage that will air this week. Gonyea stopped by MTPR to talk about the American political scene now from his perspective. He spoke with MTPR News Director Emeritus Sally Mauk.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue
PD

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told Congress this week that American farmers are facing plenty of challenges and deep uncertainty.

“Our farm economy is down by about a 50-percent drop in net income from where it was in 2013 as you all were contemplating the ’14 Farm Bill" Perdue says. "We’ve got several members who – particularly younger farmers – have levered up in this situation where their revenue is not supporting their debt structure and they’re in some dire straits.” 

A coal mine on the Crow Reservation was the first stop for Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to Montana.

After Air Force Two landed, Pence climbed into a waiting vehicle and went directly to the Crow Reservation.


PD

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s carefully and seriously considering a request from the premier of British Columbia to deny U.S. coal exports through Vancouver.

During a campaign rally in Hamilton, MT April 21, Donald Trump Jr. told his father's supporters, many wearing  red ‘Make America Great Again Hats’, that if they liked Trump, they'd like Greg Gianforte, a software entrepreneur from Bozeman.
Corin Cates-Carney

Donald Trump Jr. will make a return trip to Montana to stump for Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte. Trump Jr. was in Montana two weeks ago on Gianforte's behalf for two days of campaigning, fundraising and gopher hunting during a four-city tour.

Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument.
Bureau of Land Management

President Donald Trump signed an executive order today directing his Interior secretary to review the designation of dozens of national monuments on federal lands. Trump called the protection efforts "a massive federal land grab" by previous administrations.

PD

The largest and longest-running trade dispute between the U.S. and Canada may be coming to a head on Tuesday.

It could cause a big pinch for our neighbors to the north and it’s likely to drive up the cost of lumber for homebuilders and consumers in the U.S. But it could be a positive for Montana timber mills.

“It would put a little more light at the end of the tunnel for all of us," Gordy Sanders, a resource manager with Pyramid Mountain Lumber in Seeley Lake, says.

During a campaign rally in Hamilton, MT April 21, Donald Trump Jr. told his father's supporters, many wearing  red ‘Make America Great Again Hats’, that if they liked Trump, they'd like Greg Gianforte, a software entrepreneur from Bozeman.
Corin Cates-Carney

The Republican candidate for Montana’s vacant seat in the U.S. House flew around the state with the son of the U.S. President Friday and Saturday, rallying the voting base that turned Montana a dominant red in November.

Greg Gianforte failed to ride that conservative wave of support that gave Republicans sweeping victories statewide and nationally, losing the governor’s race and gathering the fewest votes of any of his party’s candidates who ran for statewide or federal office here.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

President Trump signed a bill today to temporarily extend a troubled program designed to allow veterans to get medical care in the private sector.

It's a fix that hasn't fixed much, but the troubled Veterans Choice program has been extended anyway.

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump signed a bill extending the program intended to speed veterans' access to health care beyond its original August end point.

Sen. Steve Daines.
Courtesy photo

Montana Senator Steve Daines says he thinks Asia respects President Donald Trump’s recent hardline stances in North Korea and Syria.

"In other words, the peace through strength doctrine of Ronald Reagan is starting to be heard a bit more over in Asia," says Daines. "We have a president now that I think is regaining the respect of the world to its leadership."

NPR Politics team will live blog the Senate Judiciary Committee's hearings on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court. The live blog will include streaming video, with posts featuring highlights, context and analysis from NPR reporters and correspondents.

President Trump's pick for the Supreme Court is testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. It is Day 2 of what is expected to be three days of hearings on Judge Neil Gorsuch's nomination. If confirmed, Gorsuch would fill the high court seat left vacant in February 2016, after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

Sally Mauk, Chuck Johnson and Rob Saldin review the legislature's busy week as the state budget heads out of the House and on to the Senate. They also discuss how the debate over healthcare and the Trump administration's proposed federal budget is affecting Montana's upcoming special election in May.

The "Capitol Talk" crew reviews the first half of the legislative session and previews the budget and infrastructure debates still to come. They also look at the front-runners for each party's nomination to fill the state's vacant U.S. House Seat, and speculate about Tim Fox's political ambitions. Join Sally Mauk, Chuck Johnson, and Rob Saldin for "Capitol Talk."

Senator Jon Tester
Eric Whitney

Senator Jon Tester asked for an opportunity to speak to Montana Public Radio listeners. In this interview we ask him about investigations into the Trump administration's contacts with Russia, his takeaways from President Trump's address to Congress Tuesday, and his thoughts on the May special election and his re-election campaign in 2018. 

Ryan Zinke's confirmation as secretary of the Interior spurred into motion a 10-day political tournament between more than a dozen candidates hoping to fill his now vacant U.S. House seat.
whitehouse.gov

Montana’s political parties are getting ready for a sprint race to fill the seat of former Congressman Ryan Zinke. Zinke was confirmed as secretary of the Interior Department for the Trump administration this morning. Shortly after, Zinke released a letter resigning as Montana's lone voice in the U.S. House.

Vice President Mike Pence swears in Ryan Zinke as secretary of the interior during a March 1, 2017 ceremony at the White House, with Zinke's wife Lola looking on.
WhiteHouse.gov

Montana’s former Republican Congressman Ryan Zinke is now President Donald Trump's secretary of the Interior.

Zinke sailed through his Senate confirmation vote today with a 68 to 31 vote. Both Montana senators, Republican Steve Daines and Democrat Jon Tester, supported Zinke's confirmation.

Glacier National Park Entrance At St. Mary
Flicker user GlacierNPS (CC-BY-2.0)

The National Park Service learned yesterday that seasonal employees for the agency have been deemed exempt from a federal hiring freeze. 

Last week, both of Montana’s senators held virtual town-hall meetings to connect with constituents. Questions ranged from Trump’s pick for Secretary of Education, to the Affordable Care Act and Russia.

Sen. Jon Tester
U.S. Senate

Senator Jon Tester announced Friday he will host an online town hall meeting Wednesday, Feb. 15.

The Democratic Senator says the town hall is in response to an unprecedented volume of phone calls, emails and letters from Montanans, who want to engage in policy discussions.

Pages