The Montana Republicans are beginning to turn on themselves
House Speaker Matt Regier, R-Kalispell, speaks to the press about the 2023 legislative session on May 3, 2023, a day after lawmakers adjourned. Behind him are Republican Reps. Steve Gist, Jennifer Carlson, Brandon Ler, Denley Loge, and Neil Duram. (Photo by Blair Miller, Daily Montanan)
You just can’t make this stuff up.
Only weeks after Montana’s chaotic 90-day legislative session ended, and guess what? The Republicans, who held a two-thirds supermajority in both the Senate and House are lamenting the lack of due diligence they gave to the laws they passed and by which all Montanans must now live.
First, let’s put it in perspective. There were two Republicans for every Democrat in the session. Given that historic domination, the majority could do anything it wanted without a single Democrat vote.
They could and did pass the budget with whatever they wanted while basically ignoring what Democrats may have wanted. They could and did pass any bill, regardless of it’s cost, because they controlled the appropriation process top to bottom.
They could and did gut the laws that protect Montana’s legendary environment, land, air, fish and wildlife in total disregard of the state’s constitutional mandates to the contrary.
They could and did close the Capitol’s galleries to members of the public, so we couldn’t even observe their actions during debate.
They could and did kill any Democrat bill before it even cleared committee —although the Democrat “agenda” was so pitiful it didn’t take much effort on the GOP’s part.
And they could over-ride the governor’s veto without a single Democrat vote.
But now, with the post-session confessions flowing, it blatantly points out that the Republicans who were totally in charge failed to prudently manage their power. They basically let their members run wild.
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