I hope you’ve had a wonderful and safe holiday season thus far, and that you’re ready to ring in the New Year very soon!
Before this year comes to a close, I wanted to take a moment to round it out by sharing some of my highlights for 2021. We’ve had quite a year here in the United States Senate, and all along I’ve been focused on delivering real results for Montanans.
Here are a few results we’ve accomplished together:
1. The signing of my bipartisan infrastructure package into law.
No surprise here, my top highlight is the bipartisan infrastructure package, which delivers urgently-needed investments to Montana that will support our small businesses, lower costs for working families, and grow our economy—all without raising taxes on Montana families.
This package, which I worked closely with 5 Republicans, 4 Democrats, and President Biden to negotiate over much of this year, is going to create hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs and help us maintain our economic advantage over China by upgrading our roads, bridges, airports, high-speed internet, water systems, electrical grid—you name it.
This is a good bill, and it’s because of the bipartisan work Montanans expect from their leaders that we were able to get it done.
2. Combatting consolidation and boosting competition in the Ag industry.
As the Senate’s only working farmer, I’ll always fight for our family farmers and ranchers. This year, with the help of Montana’s ag associations, we got bipartisan support for many of our priorities to level the playing field and increase market transparency—bills like our American Beef Labeling Act, our Meatpacking Special Investigator Act, our New Markets for State-Inspected Meat and Poultry Act, one on spot pricing, and recent legislation to suspend foreign imports that threaten our markets. These bipartisan bills will make a real difference for Montana producers, and I’ll keep fighting to get them across the finish line.
3. Securing disaster relief for Montana producers facing historic moisture and drought.
I knew from the bad harvest on my own farm that producers needed relief, so I joined Montana farmers and ranchers in pushing the USDA to get assistance directly into the hands of folks who needed it—with programs like the Livestock Forage Program, the Emergency Livestock Assistance Program, and the Conservation Reserve Program. I’m still working to get more relief out the door for ranchers transporting livestock to feed, and I’ve introduced bipartisan legislation to permanently increase this much-needed assistance.
4. Passing the American Rescue Plan.
The American Rescue Plan allowed us to rapidly get shots in arms for anyone who wanted them. It helped keep small businesses afloat and rural hospitals and schools open. The relief this legislation provided will positively impact Montana’s economy for generations to come.
5. Getting the Northern Border reopened.
The shortsighted decision to keep the U.S.-Canadian border closed was hurting Montana’s families and businesses ability to fully recover, so I stood alongside them and fought to get this unnecessary restriction lifted as quickly and safely as possible.
6. Crafting the United States Innovation and Competition Act.
This landmark science legislation will support cutting edge research that will power development and create good-paying, 21st century jobs. The bottom line is that our national security depends on ensuring America remains the world leader in scientific and technological innovation to counter growing threats from our adversaries like China. I’m proud of the work we did to pass this bipartisan bill out of the Senate, but especially proud of securing an amendment that guarantees rural America will have a seat at the table when it comes to a new innovation hub.
7. Leading the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
Our fighting men and women deserve the support and benefits they’ve earned. We were able to get 8 of my bills signed into law to meet the evolving needs of our vets here at home, and connect more folks with the health care, benefits, and respect they’ve earned. And we’re going to keep up the good fight in Washington to ensure we live up to the promises made to our men and women in uniform.
Our work didn’t stop there. Whether it’s action on these issues or on other crucial fights, I’m proud of all we’ve accomplished this year. But we all know we still have very important work ahead.
This action starts with the folks on the ground, letting us elected officials know how and where we can better serve you—so I encourage all Montanans to reach out to my office to let me know what we can do for you in 2022.
As always, it’s an honor to serve you every day in the United States Senate, and I’m looking forward to the New Year, and with it, all the new opportunities to continue delivering for Montana.
Stay safe, be well, and Happy New Year!