A spokeswoman for the Senate re-election campaign of Jon Tester contacted the Havre Daily News Thursday before the Havre presentation of Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont., who is challenging Tester in the election.
Alexandra Fetissoff requested the opportunity to respond to comments made by Rehberg and Thursday evening emailed comments, listed below.
• Voting with President Barack Obama 95 percent of the time: “This is an arbitrary number based on a handful of votes selected by Congressional Quarterly, ” Fetissoff said. “Jon is consistently ranked by the National Journal as one of the most moderate members in the Senate.
“Tester always does what’s best for Montana and broke with the Obama administration on numerous issues including his successful fight to remove the grey wolf from the Endangered Species List; his opposition to the Wall Street and auto bailouts; his role in blocking burdensome EPA regulations on Montana agriculture, and his vote for a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced federal budget, ” she added.
• Insurance premiums going up under health care reform: “As a result of the Affordable Care Act’s provision requiring insurance companies to spend between 80 (percent) to 85 percent of premium dollars on care, 25,000 Montanans received an average rebate of $194 from insurance companies this year, ” Fetissoff said, adding that a spending proposal from the budget subcommittee Rehberg chairs would have ended that requirement.
• Stimulus act only having 12 percent for shovel-ready projects: “The recovery act provided Montana with $500 million in tax relief for working families and small businesses, ” Fetissoff said, adding that the act kept police, firefighters, EMTs and teachers employed in Montana, and that Rehberg wrote three letters to federal agencies asking them to approve millions in stimulus aid for projects in Montana and cut the ribbon on a completed road project near Alzada that received $8.6 million from the act.
• Dodd-Frank regulations are stifling banks and loans: “Jon voted to crack down on Wall Street following the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, to prevent a crisis from happening again, ” Fetissoff said. “With a focus on Main Street Montana, Tester supported efforts to prevent golden parachutes and future bailouts — holding Wall Street accountable. ”
• Environmental versus energy policy: “PPL, the company that owns the Corette coal-fired power plant in Billings, is a $17 billion multi-national company that earned $1.5 billion in profit last year. Weeks before Election Day, PPL announced it would close the plant in two years, ” Fetissoff said. “Jon Tester has a powerful record of supporting responsible coal development. ”
She added that Rehberg is “directly to blame for standing in the way of Montana jobs” by helping block Tester’s Forest Jobs and Recreation Act, which she said would guarantee jobs in Montana.
Checking the facts: Baucus comment
In a presentation in Havre Thursday, U.S. Senate candidate Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont., said U. S. Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., said about the health care reform act that “we don’t know whether this is going to cost a trillion dollars or 2.5 trillion. ”
Baucus said Dec. 2, 2009, that, depending on whether people used the 10- year period from the enactment of the bill in 2010, before most provisions went into effect, or the 10 year period starting in 2014, when the provisions were fully enacted, the bill would cost $1 trillion or $2.5 trillion, respectively.
“Without getting into how it’s paid for, it’s paid for, therefore it does not add to the deficit, ” Baucus went on to say.
In a letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, dated July 24, shortly after the U. S. Supreme Court ruled that the health care reform act was constitutional, Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf said his office predicted a bill proposed to repeal the act “would cause a net increase in federal budget deficits of $109 billion over the 2013–2022 period. ”