I read and hear rhetoric aimed at our new Congressman Steve Daines, blaming Daines for the sequester cuts. I wanted to point out some facts in defense of Mr. Daines because the truth hasn’t made its way out from the fray just yet.
Mr. Daines is serving his first term as Montana’s only U.S. Congressman, and he was sworn in to office in January. The sequester was a plan crafted by President Barack Obama and the 112th Congress — sponsored by Tom Harkin, a Democrat from Iowa. Mr. Daines serves in the 113th Congress. I may sound like a guard dog, but Mr. Daines wasn’t at the table when the sequester was planned, nor was he one of the magnificent eight who failed to come up with an alternative plan. Note — Sen. Max Baucus was one of the eight.
Congressman Daines has private sector experience in balancing and producing budgets that work. If he were at the table when the sequester was proposed, I imagine the outcome would have been different and would have had common sense approaches to curbing spending. We have a new congressman, and I hope we can move ourselves away from the partisan bickering that prevents us from solving problems in Washington.
Mr. Daines has already proven that he is a level-headed leader by voting for the Violence Against Women Act, and he has remained stalwart in the effort to balance the budget.
Not many states have a representative with the background of Mr. Daines. We have the opportunity to have our values represented by an individual who knows how to get results. The sequester is about three weeks old — let’s give Mr. Daines the support he needs to help provide a budget that reflects responsibility for the future and influence from an experienced private sector problem solver.
Kristen Stirling Talbert