An open letter to Senator Daines:
Tourism is a leading industry here in Montana. It continued its strong economic performance in 2017 supporting over 53,000 jobs. According to the Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research (ITRR) preliminary report, non-residents spent over $3.4 billion in Montana in 2017. The lodging taxes deposited into Montana's general fund for 2017 are expected to have exceeded $20,000,000. Senator Daines, tourists are not going to visit Montana if the parks are closed and the airports are in turmoil because TSA Agents understandably are not going to work because they are not being paid. Families planning their upcoming vacations are not going to come to Montana when your President tells the nation repeatedly that this shutdown "could last for many many months maybe even years."
You represent Montana Senator Daines NOT Mitch McConnell, not Kentucky, not the Republican Party and not the Trump family. While we urgently need your leadership on this issue your silence has been deafening. Senator Tester is already working for Montanans to end this silly shutdown. Wont you join your fellow GOP Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado and fight for your constituents? Put Montanans before your party and stop putting our local economy in jeopardy!
Jim Driscoll, Kalispell