The Senate passed a $1.7 trillion bill to fund the government through September 2023, a bill receiving little support from Montana’s congressional delegation.
There was key spending in the bill for Montana, including $916 million to repair flood damage in Yellowstone National Park, and $471 million for drug task forces in High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas. HIDTA funding is the backbone of regional law enforcement agencies in Montana. More than $100 million was directed to conservation in Montana watersheds and deferred maintenance on federal forests and rangeland in Montana.
Natural disaster assistance for Americans impacted by flooding, fire and weather events, totaled $40 billion.
The bill also directed the Department of Interior to begin building hydroelectric generation at Gibson Dam in Northcentral Montana. The Sun River Project would be the first federal investment in Montana hydroelectric power in decades.
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Democratic U.S. Sen. Jon Tester voted for the bill. In an interview Wednesday, he pushed back against lawmakers opposing the legislation, which is the funding mechanism for many bills passed in 2022, including the “Honoring our PACT” Act, a sweeping law granting veterans health coverage for exposure to toxic substances previously