The Billings Outpost

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GOP breaks Congress

Washington, D.C., appears to be broken, and Congressman Dennis Rehberg’s conduct in recent weeks exemplifies the problem.

We saw similar dysfunctional tactics firsthand in Helena during the legislative session. Time and time again, Republican legislators stalled bipartisan solutions so they could pursue a narrow, partisan (even extremist) ideology.

Montana Republicans ignored good news about the Montana economy so they could make unnecessary, damaging and ideological cuts to education, health care and more.

So it came as no surprise when Republican legislators wrote a letter to Rehberg asking him to pursue the same destructive economic policies.

Congressman Rehberg seems to have taken their advice — he was one of a handful of representatives who voted against a bipartisan plan that took our country off the brink of economic ruin.

The plans Congressman Rehberg has supported in recent days amidst the madness in Washington could wipe out Medicare and Social Security, while protecting tax breaks for millionaires and big oil companies.

It parallels the lack of vision Republican legislators held for Montana when they made irresponsible cuts to education and middle class families, but maintained tax giveaways for out-of-state corporations.

Favoring the super-rich over Montana families is wrong, whether you’re making laws in Helena or Washington.

The Rev. Michael Livingston, past president of the National Council of Churches, said it best: “Our elected officials are protecting corporations and wealthy individuals while shredding the safety net for millions of the most vulnerable people in our nation.”

Keeping up our responsibility to Montana families will mean generating revenue to fund Medicare, Social Security, and education. That means all of us — families, individuals, and big corporations — will have to pay our fair share.

It would take courage for Congressman Rehberg and Republican legislators to stand up to their closest allies — millionaires, big oil companies, and Wall Street — but that’s what Montanans expect from our elected officials. And that’s what it will take to protect our economic future.

The contrast could not be clearer: Sen. Jon Tester knows the value of a dollar and he’s the only candidate in the Senate race who is working with both parties to find solutions.

Montanans are counting on Jon to take a responsible, bipartisan approach that protects Medicare and Social Security for future generations.

Unfortunately, Congressman Rehberg and Republican legislators are playing a dangerous game with the future of our state and our country. While the ideological attacks they’ve launched on Medicare and Social Security are bad, the damage they’re doing to our democratic process is far worse.

Rep. Margie MacDonald



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