Montana Senator Steve Daines called into the KGVO Newsmakers Line on Thursday specifically to address the inflation report just released by the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics which showed a sharp rise to 9.1 percent.

“This was another crushing report,” began Senator Daines. “9.1 percent and this goes back 41 years since we've seen numbers like this. I remember those years and you probably do too Peter, coming right off of the Jimmy Carter years. I was just starting school at Montana State University and remember we got an 18.6 percent 30-year fixed mortgage. I remember restaurants closing all over, Montana businesses closing, and farms and ranches being lost because of the high-interest rates.”

Daines referenced legislation that would encourage the U.S. to compete for new silicon chip manufacturing facilities to be built here, rather than overseas.

“The biggest supply chain constraint right now for automobiles is silicone chips, that’s the computer power that is in vehicles today,” he said. “We've got to move that chip manufacturing back to the United States. We've got a huge risk in a country like Taiwan that produces most of the chips. China is racing to develop more chip manufacturing, and Europe is as well. We've got to onshore that. We need made-in-America silicon chips.”

After praising the swift response to the flooding in Yellowstone Park and surrounding communities, Daines then warned residents in the area about scammers claiming to represent FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency).

“You've got people who will be calling Montanans, and it's happening right now, impersonating FEMA personnel,” he said. “They basically are trying to extract financial information. They will ask for bank account numbers and social security numbers. If anybody calls you and asked for this information, and if they're saying they are a FEMA Administrator or staff member, that is a fraudster, if you've heard this, if you've seen it, call local law enforcement. Call Montana Disaster Emergency Services, but the first thing I would do is to remember to just call law enforcement and report it.”

Daines also supported a bill that would allow concealed carry permit holders to travel from state to state with their firearms.

“What I have put in place here allows reciprocity,” he said. “It ensures that if one state allows concealed carry, then another state should honor that if they've been approved by their state. According to their state laws, there should be reciprocity on that. You know, increasingly we're seeing more crime across this country, so if Montanans are traveling out of state, in my opinion, they have to have the ability to protect themselves.”

Daines also sent a letter to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy seeking answers on the reported severe delays and interruptions of postal service to Montanans in the Bozeman area.

Hundreds of my constituents have not received any mail in over seven days and cannot reach any full-time USPS employee in the area. Rural and urban Montanans rely upon the USPS for the timely delivery of everything from essential prescriptions, jury summons, bills, and letters that enable rural small businesses to compete on the global stage and keep families connected,” Daines wrote. “I respectfully ask that you rectify the interruption as soon as possible and take steps to ensure that any future interruptions are avoided.” 

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