Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) received bipartisan praise for his leadership in helping pass the Great American Outdoors Act through the Senate, a bill to preserve America’s forests and national parks.
The Senate overwhelmingly passed on Wednesday the Great American Outdoors Act, 73-25, which serves as a strong victory for “conservative conservationist” Daines. The legislation would permanently provide $900 million in oil and gas revenues for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which secures land for trails and parks.
The bill also reserves $6.5 billion for ending the maintenance backlog for the country’s national parks.
The legislation served as a victory for Daines, who is up for reelection in November 2020.
Daines said the legislation will help protect America’s natural beauty and preserve Montana’s outdoor pastimes.
“Today, we passed the most important conservation bill for Montana and the nation in decades – one that will increase public access to our public lands, support our national parks and importantly, protect our Montana outdoor way of life,” Daines said in a statement on Wednesday.
“I look forward to seeing it pass the House and getting it onto President Trump’s desk for his signature,” Daines said.
Rep. Greg Gianforte praised Daines’s leadership on the public lands bill. He said in a statement this week:
Senator Steve Daines has done what no other senator, Republican or Democrat, has been able to do – advance meaningful legislation that invests in our existing public lands, increases public access, boosts our recreation economy, creates Montana jobs, promotes energy development, and provides much needed maintenances to our national parks. Our public lands are part of the foundation of our Montana way of life.
Daines’s leadership on helping secure the passage of the Great American Outdoors Act through the Senate even engendered praise from Montana Democrats.
Sen. Jon Tester said on Wednesday, “Tester believes it was that broad support, including a positive conversation between Daines and President Trump, which finally convinced Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to clear the way for the legislation.”
Montana Democrat Gov. Steve Bullock, who is running against Daines in November, said, “I also applaud Steve Daines efforts in helping get this across the finish line”
Daines has long been touted as a conservative who also works to protects America’s forests, waterways, and parks.
The Montana Flathead Beacon profiled Daines in 2015. The paper called Daines a “Teddy Roosevelt” Republican and a “conservative conservationist” who fights for protecting conservative values and America’s natural beauty at the same time.
The Montana GOP thanked Bullock and Tester for praising Daines’s leadership in the spirit of bipartisanship, even though both Democrats have failed to secure permanent funding for the LWCF.
The Montana GOP wrote, “Decency is BACK! Thank you Tester & Bullock for your support… Daines was glad to get done what you both failed to do.”