Senators unite to fight robocalls, protect public access

Print Article

Red state, blue state. Left, right. With us, against us.

In today’s polarizing political climate, it’s not often we hear about Republicans and Democrats coming together in support of a common cause. When it does happen, it’s certainly worth noting.

Last week we were pleasantly surprised to see not one, but two examples of honest-to-goodness bipartisanship from both of Montana’s senators.

U.S. Sens. Steve Daines and Jon Tester cosponsored the TRACED Act, legislation that takes on illegal — and supremely annoying — robocalls.

We’ve all gotten these calls. Often it appears to be a local number, when in fact it’s just a bad actor looking to take advantage of innocent consumers. They’re out to get our money and/or personal information. Experts say it’s best to screen these calls — don’t pick up.

A whopping 26 million robocalls were placed in the U.S. last year alone, and this legislation does a lot to silence these scammers with increased fines and other stiff provisions. It also mandates that wireless carriers take steps to implement new technology that can decipher if a call is from a legitimate number or a phony phone.

The act passed the Senate 97-1 on Thursday — finally something (nearly) everyone can agree on.

Montana’s two senators also joined forces last week in demanding the Trump Administration fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund. It was just a few months ago that we cheered the passage of a public lands package that permanently reauthorizes the federal fund that invests earnings from offshore oil and gas leasing to help protect public lands and waters.

Unfortunately, a 98 percent cut to LWCF funding is proposed in the fiscal year 2020 budget. Daines sharply called out the funding slash as “a slap in the face to Congress.”

“The numbers that came from the administration were very disappointing,” Daines told Interior Secretary David Bernhardt at a hearing last week, noting that 70 percent of Montana’s fishing access points are funded through the LWCF.

Tester called on Bernhardt to reverse course and support new legislation that ensures LWCF receives its fully authorized amount of $900 million annually.

As we’ve noted previously, the fund has invested more than $579 million to protect Montana’s open spaces, historic sites, and to increase recreation access. Locally, it has protected places such as Glacier National Park and Lone Pine State Park. 

Thankfully, it has the full support of Montana’s congressional delegation. Let’s hope their united voices are heard.

Print Article

Read More Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor June 24

June 24, 2019 at 5:00 am | Daily Inter Lake Bear news Does it bother anyone about the direction of our society when every bear death in the sate of Montana becomes a front-page newspaper article and the lead story in local television news, wh...

Comments

Read More

Simple fixes to bridge the digital divide

June 23, 2019 at 5:00 am | Daily Inter Lake Like many areas across rural America, whether it is a student struggling to gain access to online educational resources or a business struggling to make their products or services available online,...

Comments

Read More

Wildlife data must be protected

June 23, 2019 at 5:00 am | Daily Inter Lake Montana has for decades been at the forefront of wildlife conservation among states in the West. We have the best hunting and angling in the country, and Montana has long set the standard in huntin...

Comments

Read More

Close the southern border

June 23, 2019 at 5:00 am | Daily Inter Lake Trump should close down the southern border until that crisis is completely under control. Otherwise, we may go into an economic recession or even a civil war with those illegal immigrants or possi...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(406) 755-7000
727 East Idaho
Kalispell, MT 59901

©2019 Daily Inter Lake Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X