Act 1: Healthcare & Retirements
Statewide, it is important that voters know that Greg Gianforte has voted against Social Security and Medicare and has supported dangerous healthcare policies that will harm Montanans.
Healthcare. Greg Gianforte supported dangerous health care repeal bills that would allow insurance companies to discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions. The bills would have also increased premiums for older Americans and kicked tens of thousands of Montanans off their coverage.
- Gianforte has been shifty on healthcare. He has refused to outline any plan to reduce healthcare costs. When the press dared to push him on this important issue, we all know what happened.
- Gianforte Supported the Graham-Cassidy Health Care Plan. On a tele-townhall on December 12, 2017, Gianforte said “I’m a fan of block grants to the states, this Graham-Cassidy bill that was in the Senate, that would have returned a lot of the Medicaid money to the states and let the local state deal with it; I think that’s right.” [Youtube]
- Gianforte supported AHCA ("Trumpcare") on a private call with D.C. lobbyists: “When Greg Gianforte, the Republican running for an open House seat in Montana, was asked on Thursday whether he would have supported the bill repealing the Affordable Care Act that passed the House that day, he declined to answer. … But on the same day, during a private conference call with Republican-leaning lobbyists in Washington, Mr. Gianforte offered a more supportive view of the health bill. Making the case for the ‘national significance’ of the Montana election on May 25, Mr. Gianforte said: ‘The votes in the House are going to determine whether we get tax reform done, sounds like we just passed a health care thing, which I’m thankful for, sounds like we’re starting to repeal and replace.’” [New York Times, 5/05/17]
- He voted against a funding bill that included critical Alzheimer’s and cancer research, resources for rural Community Health Centers, programs to battle opioid and drug addictions, and nursing training programs [H.R. 6157, Vote #405, 9/26/2018].
- At the same time, Gianforte has invested over $3 million in drug companies that have been sued for fueling the opioid crisis [analysis].
Retirement. Greg Gianforte has criticized retirees, saying that people have “an obligation to work” regardless of age and that it is “not biblical” for seniors to take the Social Security benefits they’ve earned. And in Congress, Gianforte has voted for budget plans that threaten the stability of Medicare and Social Security. He even supported a plan to end Medicare as we know it by turning it into a voucher program.
- At a Feb. 2015 talk at the Montana Bible College, Greg Gianforte said: “There’s nothing in the Bible that talks about retirement. And yet it’s been an accepted concept in our culture today. Nowhere does it say, ‘Well, he was a good and faithful servant, so he went to the beach.’ It doesn’t say that anywhere… How old was Noah when he built the ark? 600. He wasn’t like, cashing Social Security checks, he wasn’t hanging out, he was working. So, I think we have an obligation to work. Now, The role we have in work may change over time, but the concept of retirement is not biblical.” (Huffington Post,Jun. 9, 2015)
- Gianforte Voted for Balanced Budget Amendment that Threatened Social Security.In April 2018, Gianforte voted for H J Res 2, proposing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. The legislation failed to gather the 2/3 majority support necessary to pass. [H J Res 2,Vote #138, 4/12/18]
- National Committee to Preserve Social Security & Medicare: “Seniors Dodge Devastation of Balanced Budget Amendment.”The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare opposed the legislation “ because it would significantly harm the economy, result in a government default and force severe cuts in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other vital federal programs. [National Committee to Preserve Social Security & Medicare,4/13/18]
- Gianforte Voted For FY 2018 House Republican Budget Resolution.In October 2017, Gianforte voted for: “Adoption of the concurrent resolution that would provide for $3.2 trillion in new budget authority in fiscal 2018, not including off-budget accounts. It would assume $1.22 trillion in discretionary spending in fiscal 2018. It would assume the repeal of the 2010 health care overhaul law. It also would propose reducing spending on mandatory programs such as Medicare and Medicaid and changing programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (also known as food stamps). It would call for restructuring Medicare into a “premium support” system beginning in 2024. I would also require the House Ways and Means Committee to report out legislation under the budget reconciliation process that would provide for a revenue-neutral, comprehensive overhaul of the U.S. tax code and would include instructions to 11 House committees to trigger the budget reconciliation process to cut mandatory spending. The concurrent resolution would assume that, over 10 years, base (non-Overseas Contingency Operations) discretionary defense spending would be increased by a total of $929 billion over the Budget Control Act caps and non-defense spending be reduced by $1.3 trillion.” The concurrent resolution was adopted, 219-206. [H Con Res 71,Vote #557, 10/5/17; CQ, 10/5/17]
- AP: House Budget “Reprises A Controversial Plan To Turn Medicare Into A Voucher-Like Program.”“The House on Thursday passed a $4.1 trillion budget plan that promises deep cuts to social programs while paving the way for Republicans to rewrite the tax code later this year. The 2018 House GOP budget reprises a controversial plan to turn Medicare into a voucher-like program for future retirees as well as the party’s efforts to repeal the “Obamacare” health law. Republicans controlling Congress have no plans to actually implement those cuts while they pursue their tax overhaul.” [Associated Press, 10/5/17]
Act 2: Public Lands
Statewide, voters need to be reminded about Gianforte's abysmal record on public lands.
- After he moved to Montana, he sued the state to block public fishing access at the East Gallatin River. In 2009, Congressman Gianforte sued the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks to eliminate a one-acre easement providing access to the East Gallatin River near Cherry River Fishing access north of downtown Bozeman [Bozeman Daily Chronicle, 6/5/2009; Case Number: DV-09-502C, Gallatin County District Court].
- When he got to Congress, he voted the gut the Antiquities Act, used by Republican and Democratic presidents since Theodore Roosevelt to protect public lands as national monuments including the Upper Missouri River Breaks [AP, 10/11/2017].
- He proposed legislation, with no public input, that would eliminate protection for over 700,000 acres of public lands with in wilderness study areas. His proposal is deeply unpopular with Montanans [Missoulian, 5/10/2018].
- Siding with an extreme fringe of the House, he voted against a funding bill to avert another government shutdown. The shutdown would have included our National Parks and further delayed critical maintenance of campgrounds, roads, and land management [AP, 9/28/2018].
Act 3: Corruption (BIL)
In Billings, voters should know that Gianforte is in the pocket of special interests.
- To win the 2017 special election, Greg Gianforte said he wouldn't accept a penny from special interests, but earlier this year he broke his word. Now Gianforte is pocketing campaign cash from corporations and PACs and voting to de-regulate their industries [Roll Call, 2/7/2018].
- Gianforte has over $3m in personal investments in drug companies that have been sued for contributing to the opioid crisis [analysis].
- Meanwhile, he's voted to allow politicians to fly on luxury private jets like his at taxpayer expense.
Gianforte Voted For Blocking A Bill To Ensure That Senior Political Appointees Did Not Spend Federal Funds On Private Air Travel. In April 2018, Gianforte voted for: “Woodall, R-Ga., motion to order the previous question (thus ending debate and possibility of amendment) on the rule…” According to Rep. Torres, “if we defeat the previous question, I will offer an amendment to the rule to bring up Representative Lieu’s H.R. 3876, the SWAMP FLYERS Act. This legislation will ensure that senior political appointees are not using Federal funds for official travel on private aircraft.” A vote for the motion was a vote to block consideration of the amendment. The motion was agreed to by a vote of 225-190. [H Res 839, Vote #150, 4/25/18; CQ, 4/25/18; Congressional Record, H3518, 4/25/18]
Gianforte Voted Against Extending Whistleblower Protections Pertaining To Employees Who Disclose Information About Improper Use Of Aircrafts By Government Officials. In October 2017, Gianforte voted against: “O'Halleran, D-Ariz., motion to recommit the bill would extend the whistleblower protections in the underlying bill pertaining to employees who disclose information about the improper use of aircraft by government officials.” The motion was rejected 232-190. [S 585, Vote #567, 10/12/17; CQ, 10/12/17, DemocraticLeader.gov, accessed 11/13/17]
About Kathleen Williams
1) Healthcare. At a young age, Kathleen Williams was a caregiver for her mother with early onset Alzheimer's. She understands how important access to affordable health care is for Montana families. In the state legislature, Williams required insurance companies to cover life-saving cancer treatments. In Congress, Williams will fight for affordable health care coverage, letting Medicare negotiate for lower prescription drug prices and allowing Americans 55 and older to buy into Medicare if they want to [link].
2) Public land. Kathleen Williams has spent decades protecting Montana’s outdoor heritage, recreation and natural resources. As a state legislator, she stood up to proposals that would have privatized public lands. In Congress, Williams will protect Montana’s outdoor heritage by defending protections for air, water, and public lands that are being rolled back or threatened.
3) Education. As a proud product of public schools, Kathleen Williams will fight for a quality education for all Montanans. In the state legislature, Williams helped pass significant investments in Montana’s public schools. In Congress, Williams will fight for wide-ranging, affordable education opportunities and vote against spending our tax dollars on private schools.
4) Anti-corruption. Kathleen Williams has spent her career working for everyday Montanans. Williams refuses to take money from corporate PACs, she’ll fight to get secret money from special interests out of politics, and she’ll hold lobbyists and Congress accountable by supporting tough new ethics laws. Williams will serve all Montanans, not just the wealthy or special interests.