Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - President’s Day brought a big event to the Montana Legislature, as all four of the state’s federal representatives were on hand to traditionally address the state’s lawmakers as they near the midway point of their session.

All the Federal Speakers received Standing Ovations by the Legislators

First to speak was senior Montana Senator Jon Tester and he mentioned the Chinese spy balloon that caused such a worldwide spectacle.

“Three weeks ago, we witnessed an unacceptable incursion into our airspace by China,” began Senator Tester. “This Chinese spy balloon, which by the way, if you think it was a weather balloon, I've great got some great beachfront property and Big Sandy to sell you.(laughter)  It came across our state and saw some things that it had no business in seeing because as Montanans we value our privacy. We do not want anybody spying on us, especially not the Chinese Communist Party. We have to ensure that this never happens again.”

For his part, Montana’s junior Senator Steve Daines also brought up the Chinese spy balloon. 

“And now this Chinese spy balloon fiasco, which many Montanans saw firsthand with their own eyes,” said Senator Daines. “In fact, had it not been for Larry Mayer at the Billings Gazette and his friend Chase, I'm not sure the federal government might have ever acknowledged what passed over our ICBM silos here in Montana.” 

Daines also brought up the recent State of the Union address by President Biden and his controversial remarks about American energy needs. 

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“If you watched the President's State of the Union Address, President Biden said we might need oil for 10 more years,” said Daines. “I was sitting there and I asked, ‘did the President of the United States say 10 more years?’ Listen, Joe Biden and the Senate Democrats are living in a green hallucination. They are unrealistic about our domestic energy needs. Here are the facts. According to Joe Biden's own Department of Energy over the course of the next 25 years, global energy demand is going to increase 50 percent from where it is today.”

Congressman Ryan Zinke was next to address to the legislature and emphasized the love of country that can help bring Americans together, despite their deep differences.

“On the national level, on foreign shores we have problems in Afghanistan, in Ukraine and in Taiwan,” said Zinke. “We have problems domestically with energy, inflation, homelessness, the southern border and we have problems culturally that deal with respect. You know, as a Navy Seal, it didn't matter to me whether a person was Democrat or Republican. It really doesn't matter me today, but it does matter whether you love the country.”

The last to address the state legislature on President’s Day was Congressman Matt Rosendale, representing the eastern district, who looked back on the tumultuous start of the most recent session of Congress after a hotly contested vote put Kevin McCarthy in the Speaker’s chair.

“The Monday after the speaker's race, the rules were passed. And everybody asked, ‘oh my gosh, is Congress going to be able to function?’, asked Rosendale. “Well, I will tell you, you want to talk about unity. Here's the unity that took place the following week. We voted to defund 87,000 IRS agents, that's we voted for and we voted to pass the born alive act to protect infants in the mother's womb. How about that? And as you heard previously, we voted to denounce socialism. Unfortunately, everybody in that room wasn't with us.”

Also addressing the combined houses of the state legislature was Tom McDonald, President of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribe.

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