Montana's US House members have gotten no legislation passed in current Congress - TAI News
Skip to content

Both members of Montana’s delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives, Matt Rosendale and Ryan Zinke, were elected after claiming to be effective politicians who could deliver for the state. But more than a year into the 118th Congress, neither Republican has gotten a single piece of legislation passed.

Rosendale ran in 2020 after serving as majority leader in the state Senate and as Montana’s state auditor. 

“I’ve always said that all I want to do is serve where I can be most effective for the people of Montana,” he told Montana Public Radio in an October 2020 interview. “I have demonstrated over the last several years in working in the Legislature, or as a state auditor, I have the ability to listen to people, to take input from a very diverse group of folks, that are located across our state to identify the problems that they bring to me and then to generate a consensus to solve those problems.”

Zinke, who had served a previous stint in Congress and was President Donald Trump’s first interior secretary, ran in 2022 touting his record of accomplishments on forest restoration, oil and gas production, and public safety. “I got it done for Montana once and will do it again,” he said in one campaign ad. 

Both won their races and joined a new Republican House majority in January 2023.

According to Congress.gov, Rosendale has filed 37 bills in the current Congress, along with a resolution to impeach Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. Those proposals include bills to limit law enforcement’s access to gun purchase records; disarm IRS agents; defund communities deemed “lawless jurisdictions,” that is, jurisdictions that impose limits on the actions of law enforcement; and increase the availability of tax-free health savings accounts but prohibit patients from using those funds to pay for abortion care.

Zinke has filed just four bills. One would expand access to National Parks and National Forests. One would increase mental health care options for veterans. Another would bar Palestinian people from receiving visas to come to the United States, and the last would move water from the Hungry Horse Reservoir to Flathead Lake.

To date, none of Rosendale’s or Zinke’s proposals have become law, passed out of the GOP-led House, or even come up for a floor vote.

Neither immediately responded to requests for comment for this story.

Though Republican leaders promised that if they won back the majority, they would pass new legislation to improve the economy, protect public safety, boost government accountability, and protect individual liberty, they passed only 34 bills and resolutions that became law in 2023, including stopgap federal funding extensions, the authorization of a commemorative coin honoring the U.S.Marine Corps, and the renaming a Department of Veterans Affairs clinic in Michigan.

The average number of bills passed in Congress that have become law each year since January 2003 is 195, according to data from the website GovTrack, including in periods with a divided government, with full Republican control of all branches of government, and with full Democratic control. 

Arizona Republican Rep. Andy Biggs acknowledged his party’s lack of legislative accomplishments in an interview earlier this month.

“We have nothing. In my opinion, we have nothing to go out there and campaign on,” Biggs told the right-wing network Newsmax. “It’s embarrassing.”

Related articles


Share this article:
Subscribe to our newsletter

The Montana Independent is a project of American Independent Media, a 501(c)(4) organization whose mission is to use journalism to educate the public, giving them the information they need about local and federal issues.