Following Stimulus Votes, Montana’s U.S. Delegation Heads to the Flathead

By Beacon Staff

Following their votes on one of costliest bills ever approved by Congress, Montana’s entire U.S delegation will be in the Flathead this week to talk about the economy.

Democratic Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester will be meeting with business and community leaders Tuesday at the Kalispell Chamber of Commerce office. The senators say they will be discussing the stimulus package, also dubbed the “Jobs Bill,” and how it will affect Montana.

Baucus and Tester both supported the $787-billion measure, which passed the Senate Friday 60-38 – the exact number needed for passage. Baucus, chair of the Senate Finance Committee and a key architect of the bill, told the Associated Press following the vote that President Barack Obama “now has a bill to sign that will create millions of good-paying jobs and help families and businesses stay afloat financially.”

Tester, who was the only Senate Democrat to vote against the automobile bailout and both bank bailouts, became an outspoken supporter of the Jobs Bills, saying, “You’re either for jobs. Or you’re against jobs.”

Montana’s lone Congressman Denny Rehberg will also be in Kalispell this week. He will be hosting an economic roundtable Wednesday at Flathead Valley Community College. He said it will be an opportunity for the public and local business community to discuss the area economy.

Rehberg joined his Republican colleagues in opposing the stimulus bill in the House last week, arguing that it is “wasteful,” will “bloat the federal government” and doesn’t focus enough on funding infrastructure projects. The bill passed the House 246-183 on a largely party line vote.

Obama is expected to sign the legislation Tuesday.

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