HELENA, MT – Today, Montana Conservation Voters (MCV), Planned Parenthood Advocates of Montana (PPAMT), and SEIU held a press conference on the walking mall outside Congressman Greg Gianforte’s Helena office to discuss Congressman Gianforte’s dangerous record and lack of leadership on conservation, women’s health, and health care during his first 100 days in office.
In the months since he became Montana’s Representative in the U.S. House, Congressman Gianforte has voted to cut $500 million dollars from the Environmental Protection Agency, defund Planned Parenthood, reduce funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and cut the Title X Family Planning program. These positions would severely and negatively impact the rights, health, and wellbeing of people across Montana.
However, on other critical issues, MCV, PPAMT, and SEIU members have been unable to find Congressman Gianforte’s position. He has not said if he supports any of the bills to repeal the Affordable Care Act or if he supports Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s plan to alter National Monuments. Furthermore, he has not held a single town hall to meet with members and other concerned constituents.
“Congressman Gianforte’s lack of leadership to protect Montana’s outdoor way of life has been alarming,” said Neal Ullman, Program Director for Montana Conservation Voters. “From rolling back protections for clean drinking water, jeopardizing public lands programs like the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and staying silent on a risky plan to shrink America’s national monuments, Gianforte doesn’t seem to be representing core Montana principles of protecting our right to a clean and healthful environment.”
“Congressman Gianforte does not trust women and holds extreme positions on access to reproductive health care that are out of step with Montana values,” said Laura Terrill, Vice President of External Affairs for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Montana. “In his first 100 days in office, Gianforte has already voted against Montana women and Planned Parenthood. He is staunchly anti-choice and believes politicians and government should be making women’s health care decisions. Planned Parenthood Advocates of Montana and our thousands of supporters across Montana call on Congressman Gianforte to trust women and work to ensure Montana’s can make private health care decisions.”
“Representative Gianforte, where are you? During your first 100 days in Congress we haven’t heard from or seen Montana’s newest Congressman,” said Jacquie Helt, Montana State Director for SEIU 775. “At a time when we’ve experienced vicious attacks on health care for tens of thousands of Montanans, where is our Congressman? Montanans have a right to know where he stands on the issues.”
MCV, PPMAT, and SEIU will continue to advocate that Congressman Gianforte reverse his positions on conservation, public lands access, and women’s health, and that he hold open, public forums where he can hear from Montanans in person.