Tester on the Flathead, Stimulus Plan and Partisanship

By Beacon Staff

Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., was in town Tuesday to host an economic roundtable at the Kalispell Chamber of Commerce office. Beforehand, he stopped by the Beacon office to talk about his vote for the $789-billion stimulus plan, also known as the “Jobs Bill.”

While the Beacon staff will be writing more about this in the coming week, I wanted to post a few excerpts from his interview. I will do the same tomorrow after speaking with Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont., who voted against the bill.

From the Tester interview:

On Flathead’s piece of the stimulus pie:
“There’s going to be some opportunity here … There’s money for the (National) Park Service. That money can be used for mine cleanup. That money can be used for partial reconstruction of the (Going-to-the-Sun) road – it depends how the park service has it prioritized … I think there’s potential with the roads. On the (U.S. 93) bypass, I think if you got some easements done, I think it would move.”

On Washington, D.C., in the wake of the bill passing:

“I think right now it’s pretty partisan. I think there are some folks who would like to see Obama fail. And, unfortunately, if they are willing to vote against jobs and willing to vote against tax relief, that pretty much proves it. You’re putting politics as usual ahead of what’s going on in the economy.”

On when it could create jobs:

“I think you’re going to see job creation out of this bill within 90 days.”

On tax cuts vs. spending:
“I think this [the Jobs Bill] is a nice balance.”

On if the bill was rushed:
“It’s an ongoing process. It’s not like you have to read the bill every time an amendment is brought up, because the only thing that’s changed is that amendment …”

“The truth is, you pick the bill up when it’s in bill form; wide margins, wide headers, wide footers, big print with big spaces between the font – so it’s not like reading ‘War and Peace.’”

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