UPDATE---1:00 p.m. Wednesday, January 22

The U.S. Department of the Interior today announced its decision to allow TC Energy to build the Keystone XL pipeline across 44 miles of federal land in Montana.

Gianforte provided the following comment.

“President Trump and his administration are delivering on their promise to get this critical infrastructure project moving after years of unnecessary delays. The Keystone XL pipeline will create good-paying Montana jobs, boost our local economies, increase American energy security, and help keep energy prices down.”

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Montana Congressman Greg Gianforte was in the KGVO studio along with his wife, Susan, on Wednesday as part of a swing through western Montana.

One of the first questions for Gianforte was about what he was doing in Congress to cut out-of-control government spending that has led to a burgeoning federal deficit. He began with a couple of examples of the way the U.S. Government wastes taxpayer money.

“Did you know that we drop mice filled up with drugs from airplanes in Guam to kill tree snakes?” asked Gianforte. “You pay taxes to drop mice out of aircraft. Last year we sent checks to 6.9 million Americans who were over the age of 112. I introduced a piece of legislation to address that called ‘Stop Paying Dead People’.  I am part of the GEAR Task Force. GEAR stands for Government Efficiency and Accountability Reform. We had all the major think tanks come in, like Cato, Heritage, CEI and give us their best ideas for government reform and we bucketed them in three areas to get back our Article 1 authority from the administration to Congress so that we can actually legislate again. Secondly, practices, which is where the mice out of planes example came from. The third focus is on civil service reform.”

Gianforte said that later in the day (Wednesday) he and his wife would be honoring a veteran in Missoula.

“We’re going to be honoring Justin Bradley from Lolo for his service as a Marine,” he said. “He than came back to work as a parole officer in the community. I fly a flag over the U.S. Capitol building in his honor and I’ll present that to Justin. I read a little bit of his bio into the Congressional Record so he’s now a permanent part of American history. I’ve done 60 of these all over the state.”

The interview transitioned from his work as a Congressman to his current run for the Republican nomination for Governor.

He reacted to the criticism he has received from fellow Republican and current Attorney General Tim Fox.

“When I started this race, I made a personal commitment to Tim Fox, who’s a friend, and to Dr. Al Olszewski that I would abide by Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment, which is Thou Shalt Not Speak Ill of a Fellow Republican’. I’ve hunted with Tim; I’ve stayed in Al’s house. They’re friends, and I think this race ought to be competed based upon our ideas and our vision for the state.”

There will be a gubernatorial debate between the three Republicans Thursday evening in Billings, hosted by the Northern News Network.