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Government & Politics

U.S. Candidates Hold First Debate in Frazer

Jackie Yamanaka

  Montana’s U-S House candidates took traditional party stances when questioned about how they would balance the federal budget.

The comments came during a debate on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation.

Democratic challenger Denise Juneau said as state school superintendent she runs one of the largest agencies in the state, the Office of Public Instruction.

“And we do a fantastic job of making sure that those funds are distributed, so I get budgeting,” she told the crowd.

Juneau said the problem with the federal budget is corporate tax loopholes.

“If we cut corporate tax loops we would get $600 billion into the coffers over 10 years and those are areas we need to look at,” she said.

“Same old formula, tax and spend,” replied Republican incumbent Ryan Zinke.

He added Juneau’s OPI budget has grown as has the federal budget.

Zinke said it will take more than budget cuts to balance the federal budget.

“The only way we’re going to get out of this is to grow the economy,” he said. “You can’t cut enough to balance the budget.”

The former state legislator from Whitefish says the federal government has to get out of the way and let innovation grow the economy.

The debate at Frazer school was the first of four debates scheduled for the U.S. House candidates before the November general election.

Libertarian Mike Fellows was invited, but declined citing health reasons.

The next debate is September 1, 2016 at Petro Theater at MSU Billings and October 5, 2016 at Heritage Hall at Great Falls College MSU.