Thursday, February 25, 2010

Unnecessary tinkering

Posted on Thu, Feb 25, 2010 at 4:00 AM

Why would Rep. Denny Rehberg propose changes to Sen. Jon Tester’s Forest Jobs and Recreation Act when Montana mill owners say it won’t work?

During his tour of southwest Montana, Rehberg told Montanans he wanted to “fix” the bill by adding complicating provisions. But Sherm Anderson, owner of Sun Mountain Lumber in Deer Lodge and a former Republican state legislator, said he fully supports the bill as it is. Anderson also said he doesn’t think Rehberg’s plan would work. Anderson said the proposal would upset the compromise and be impossible to sell in Congress. He’s right. Not one single bill with trigger language has passed in Congress. After 10 years in Washington, Rehberg must know his plan won’t work.

 

Tester’s bill is supported by a broad spectrum of Montanans, including mill owners and respected Republican leaders such as former Gov. Marc Racicot, former Senate Majority Leader Bob Brown and state Sen. Dave Lewis.

Rehberg’s suggestions would do nothing more than maintain the status quo and keep Montana in gridlock, losing good jobs in the woods and mills. As Rehberg himself said, “Doing nothing is not an option.” Montanans need leadership, not politics.

Leticia Romero

Missoula

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