2020 Montana US Senate Candidate Guide

Steve Bullock (D) vs Steve Daines (R)

US Senate | Election | Nov 10, 2020

The Candidates

Steve Bullock

Steve Bullock

Democrat

Steve Daines

Steve Daines

Republican

Incumbent

The Issues

Abortion

Legal or ban?

Steve Bullock (D)

Legal. “The most basic human right is the freedom to decide what happens to your body.” As governor, vetoed a bill prohibiting abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy.

Affordable Care Act

Support Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare?

Campaign Finance

Limit campaign spending? Require political ads to disclose their largest funders?

Climate Change

Consider human-caused climate change a serious threat?

Address as a top priority by taxing or limiting output of greenhouse gases?

Steve Bullock (D)

Mostly yes. Created council for Montana to achieve greenhouse gas neutrality by 2035 and joined U.S. Climate Alliance. Felt Obama climate plan was overly restrictive toward coal, so backs carbon capture technologies, along with investing in renewables.

Steve Daines (R)

No. Backed Trump repeal of Clean Power Plan as “a first step in trashing President Obama’s war on coal and the good-paying jobs it supports.”  Criticizes Bullock’s Climate Solutions Council for considering a carbon tax or cap, instead of focusing on innovation, like carbon capture.

COVID-19

Support Bullock’s response as governor to coronavirus spread?

Steve Daines (R)

No. Containing the virus was important but economic reopening was too slow. Tourist-dependent towns near Yellowstone missed Memorial Day weekend, because Wyoming entrances opened two weeks earlier.

Education

Use public funding for private and/or for-profit schools?

Environment

Tighten or loosen environmental regulations?

Steve Daines (R)

Mixed. Says EPA regulations are “killing Montana jobs.” But co-sponsored major bill funding public lands management.

Financial Regulation

Tighten or loosen regulation of banks and credit card companies?

Gay Rights

Support same-sex marriage?

Steve Bullock (D)

Yes. First governor in Montana history to officiate a same-sex marriage.

Gun Control

Enact more restrictive legislation on guns?

Steve Bullock (D)

Yes. “I’m a gun owner.” “Public health issue, not a political issue.” Supports background checks, assault weapon ban, “red flag laws to keep guns out of the wrong hands.”

Steve Daines (R)

No. Introduced bill to “protect Second Amendment.” Opposes “red-flag” laws, more background checks. “Knee-jerk reactions and more gun laws are not the solution.”

Immigration

Create path to citizenship for “DACA” residents brought to U.S. as children?

Steve Bullock (D)

Yes. As governor, signed letter to congressional leaders urging that DACA participants be protected from deportation.

Steve Daines (R)

No. Voted against amendment authorizing permanent resident status for “DREAMers” in exchange for border security funding. Called DACA “an unconstitutional act.”

Supported U.S. Senate calling witnesses and voting to convict President Trump?

Steve Bullock (D)

No. Wants “border security” and an “orderly immigration system.” Expanded border wall is “a waste of taxpayer money,” better spent on rural broadband.

Steve Daines (R)

Yes. Tougher border security would reduce illegal immigration and drug trafficking, “including by building a border wall.” Introduced bill to extend Trump COVID immigration restrictions.

Iran

Oppose military attacks on Iran without Congressional approval?

Marijuana

Legalize or ban? Position on I-190 & I- 118 recreational marijuana initiatives?

Steve Bullock (D)

Unclear. Decriminalization should be a state decision. Defended state medical marijuana law. No position found on I-190 and I-118.

Steve Daines (R)

Unclear. VA can prescribe medical marijuana. States decide on medical. No position found on I-1190 and I-118 or recreational.

Minimum Wage

Raise federal hourly minimum wage above current $7.25?

Steve Daines (R)

No recent position found. In 2014 said states rather than Congress should set minimum wage.

Planned Parenthood

Allow Planned Parenthood’s receiving public funds for non-abortion care?

Steve Bullock (D)
Steve Daines (R)

Labor

Can Planned Parenthood receive public funds for non-abortion-related care?

Steve Daines (R)

No. Co-sponsored legislation to withdraw federal funding for Planned Parenthood.

“It’s an important priority for me personally.”

Police/Community

Restrict police use of force and increase public oversight?

Student Financial Aid

Support free or subsidized tuition for lower income individuals, and forgiveness of student loans?

Steve Bullock (D)

Yes. As governor, froze public college tuition. Supports free community college and need-based financial aid. Proposed tax credits to employers who help grads pay off debt.

Steve Daines (R)

No position found. Supported aid for higher education in CARES Act COVID relief bill that Senate passed unanimously.

Supreme Court

Supported Brett Kavanaugh nomination?

Steve Bullock (D)

No. Concerned about Kavanaugh’s stands on health care, voting rights, and workers’ rights. See CEEP Supreme Court guide.

Taxes

Support administration’s $1.9 trillion (2017) tax cuts?

Steve Bullock (D)

No. Tax package increased national debt, giving huge tax breaks to corporations and the wealthy. “This isn’t tax reform, it’s a tax scam that hurts workers and families.”