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Q&A: Ric Holden, Republican candidate for U.S. House District 02

Ric Holden

We are gathering information from all statewide candidates as a resource for the 2024 Primary Elections. Responses were limited to 200 words per question. Political attacks may have been removed, but otherwise, the responses are published unedited.

What is your full name as it will appear on ballots?
Ric Holden

What is your age?
62 years

Where do you live?
Rural Dawson County- Glendive MT- ranch location

What is your education background?
Graduated from Absarokee High School- 1980, Graduated from Montana State University – 1984. Major degree: Business Management, Double Minor – Business Finance, Business Marketing, concentration- Economics - Graduated with Honors

Please list your current and previous occupations.
Current occupation: farmer/rancher for 33 years, part-time insurance adjuster

Previous occupations: Assistant Mgr. Kmart Corporation, carpenter, land surveyor, Beekeeper.

What motivated you to seek a seat in the U.S. House?
Two reasons really. I served for 8 years in the Montana State Senate and was term limited out. Over the past two years I have watched on television as thousands of illegal aliens stormed across our southern border. I could not believe that the will power in Washing DC was so weak that our elected representatives would not close down the border and develop a immigration policy that would work. That was a trigger point for me.

Secondly, Montana’s largest industry is agriculture. We are a farm state. However, we do not have anyone in Washington DC sitting on the House Ag committee. So Montana is largely unrepresented in the agriculture debates that take place each day in Washington. I will make it a priority to get placed on the full House Agriculture committee. Our Montana interests need to be represented.

What, if anything, should Congress do to ease impacts of inflation and cost of living in Montana? 
The best thing we can do in congress is to combat inflation and high interest rates. Currently, the congress has allowed special interests to fight the use of fossil fuels like oil and coal. The Biden administration has done whatever it can to eliminate the use of coal and to reduce the drilling of oil. Montana has both of these natural resources in abundance. If oil and coal are allowed to be used to fuel our economy the nation will flourish. We will cut our energy reliance on foreign countries. Only three years ago under the Trump administration, we were not buying any foreign oil. We have millions of gallons of oil to drill right here in Montana. The economy will recover quickly if we return to a policy of using our own natural resources. The dollar will regain its value and Montana will be on the road to reducing the cost of living.
[EDITOR'S NOTE: Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows that the United States imported an average of 9 million barrels per day of oil and crude products from foreign countries, between 2018 and 2020.]

Yes, or no, do you support a federal ban on abortion? 
I believe that the courts ruled correctly in turning the abortion issue over to the states to determine the abortion laws. I will not support abortion. I have always been endorsed by the Right To Life organizations. Congress needs to stay out of the way on this issue for now.

What changes, if any, should be made to the way elections and campaigns are funded? 
Currently we have so many laws to regulate campaign funds that I can’t keep them all straight. I don’t think we need to pass more laws until we understand all of the laws we currently have on the books. One area that is going to need adjusting is the limits that lobby groups can donate to candidates. It is to large right now.

What, if anything, should Congress do to improve the nation's immigration laws and security at the southern border? 
The boarder needs to be shut down immediately until congress can negotiate terms to a new immigration policy. I don’t support chain immigration of allowing every family member to immigrate to the US just because one member of the family was granted citizenship. I don’t approve of illegal aliens running across the border and then having children in American and claim them as a way of gaining citizenship. I certainly don’t agree with illegal aliens getting free debt cards, cell phones, motel accommodations and free travel to their favorite sanctuary city.

What should be the top priorities when managing public land?
Public land must be managed as multi-use property. This means the land should be used for everything possible. Like recreation, grazing, timber production, mining, hunting, fishing and any other compatible and reasonable use. The top priority for public lands is just what is says, Public Lands. To be used by the public.

What, if anything, should Congress do to address climate change?
Climate change is not anything to be concerned about. Al Gore said that Florida would be under water by about 2020. That did not happen. Satellite images show that the shoreline height of the worlds water lines has never changed since the inception of satellite photography. [EDITOR'S NOTE: Satellite sea level observations from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center show 103.3 millimeters of rise since 1993. According to NASA, "Global sea levels are rising as a result of human-caused global warming, with recent rates being unprecedented over the past 2,500-plus years."]

The temperatures have not changed here in Montana. [EDITOR'S NOTE: According to the Montana Climate Office, average temperatures in Montana have increased across the state by 0.42°F (0.23oC) per decade since 1950, which is faster than the US average (0.26°F [0.14oC]).]

This has all been used as a tool to shut down Montana coal miners and oil drilling. Now the climate doomsdayers are claiming that the gas coming out of the back end of my cows are killing the world. What we need to do is fight pollution. Keep our waters clean and the land free from unneeded trash. If we just do what we can to cleanup around the state then the climate change debate will be much weaker. We need to do what we can to keep a clean environment for the next generation.

What, if anything, should Congress do to ensure Social Security and Medicare benefits meet the needs of older adults? 
I am 62 years old and have always paid into Social Security since I got my first paying job stacking square bales back in 1977. I will be collecting Social Security benefits in the near future. I have no intention of making Social Security weaker or destroying the system that I have been paying into for so many years. I would change some things in the system, concerning unproven payments to family members of a decided senior. Using benefits to pay those who have never paid into the system. We need to shore up the Medicare benefits payments and make them meaningful to those that receive the benefit. Cutting benefits and increasing the age to receive the benefits is not the right thing to do to seniors that have already be paying into the system for 40 plus years.

What, if anything, should the federal government do to address law enforcement challenges on American Indian reservations? Should Congress increase/decrease/leave unchanged funding for law enforcement in tribal communities?
Tribal people have a federal contract called a Treaty. This is nothing more than a binding contract that was even approved by the US Congress. So it has a high standard of priority given to the language in the contract. The tribal governments have been given the right to determine many policies special to their culture. The local tribal government can determine what level of law enforcement they should have on their reservation. I don’t fell like we should be doing anything more special on tribal land concerning police presence. The tribal government needs to decide to protect and pay for the cost of the police at a level they can afford. Tribal government must decide to protect their people.

What, if anything, would you do if elected to build trust in Congress?
Once elected I plan to provide Montana common sense to topics that we debate. I was brought up by my parents to do unto others as you would have them do to you. Integrity and honesty will go a long way towards building relationships with other congressmen. Sometimes the best thing you can do is study your bills assigned to your committee, become informed. Surprisingly what I found as a state senator was that your fellow members will respect and work with you on issues important to Montana. That strategy can work in congress just as it will work on a local board in your hometown. Congress needs to rachet down the bickering and get to work on important issues.