A reality based independent journal of observation & analysis, serving the Flathead Valley & Montana since 2006. © James Conner.

22 January 2018 — 1916 mst

Short shutdown & net neutrality in Montana

Shutdown. Democrats criticizing Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) for agreeing to a reopen the government deal that does not protect the Dreamers might want to temper their disapproval. Democrats never had the votes to pass progressive legislation on immigration. And they won’t have the votes until they win the White House and a working majority in both houses of Congress.

But in exchange for agreeing to fund the government another three weeks, they got a six-year extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Under the circumstances — the GOP controls Congress and the White House — that’s an acceptable outcome. It would have been a better outcome had community health funding been included, and had the continuing resolution not included another $31 billion in tax cuts.

Net neutrality. Gov. Steve Bullock announced today that companies contracting with the State of Montana must agree to protect net neutrality. Montana is the first state taking this step, but it won’t be the last. Whether the requirement holds up in court remains to be seen, but from both a political and policy standpoint it was the right thing to do.