Earlier this month, Senator John Walsh tried to pass through the senate a piece of legislation that would protect the North Fork watershed from mining and oil extraction, but it was blocked by a handful of right-wing Republicans. Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma led the effort to derail Walsh’s attempt to pass the popular legislation. This bill has bipartisan support, including all of Montana’s congressional delegation, even Congressman Daines. Supposedly.
However, this move to block the bill this was a thinly veiled political move. By having his TEA Party friends in the senate block the bill, Daines can claim to support its goals, while keeping Senator Walsh from getting credit for doing something that is extremely popular with Montanans. Daines sponsored a similar bill that passed through the house, but rather than allowing Walsh’s bill to pass, and then working together to compromise the two measures, Daines simply called up his Republican party bosses and TEA Party friends in the Senate to block it.
This is the worst kind of partisan politics. Daines claims to support protecting the North Fork, but he is happy to throw the legislation under the bus if it might help him score some points against Senator Walsh.