posted on August 02, 2010 14:22 :: 1818 Views
Here is audio of Congressman Rehberg released Monday afternoon, pledging to fight wasteful spending at Whitetail.
Click to Listen
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Fresh off of townhall meetings in Northeastern Montana, and news that Canada is closing its port on the opposite side of the border, Congressman Denny Rehberg (R-MT) slammed the Whitetail border port construction project as "wasteful stimulus spending."
Rehberg hosted townhall meeting "listening sessions" in Daniels and Sheridan Counties. In a prepared statement released Monday, Rehberg had this to say:
"You might expect the folks actually living near the Whitetail Port to be the port modernization’s biggest cheerleaders, but after personally talking with many of them, that's just not the case. As taxpayers, they're on the hook to pay for these wasteful projects, and they're not happy about it.
As for how Canada's decision to close the Big Beaver Port of Entry will impact operations on the border at Whitetail, Rehberg added this:
With the news that the Canadian government was closing its side of the border, the Whitetail Port will now only allow cars to enter the United States from Canada. U.S. travelers will be unable to enter Canada at that crossing. However, the Scobey Port of Entry remains open, just 12 miles away.
Here is a statement released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection HQS:
CBP is currently in the process of modernizing the Whitetail port of entry to address critical post-9/11 infrastructure needs and we do not have any plans to close the Whitetail port of entry at this time. We are working closely with the Canada Border Services Agency to ensure that any actions taken meet the continued security interests of both countries.
Just got a note from Emilie Boyles at KXGN in Glendive, telling me about this story breaking on Montana's Northern border.
The Leader confirmed that the Canadian government is planning to close the Big Beaver, Saskatchewan Port of Entry. Big Beaver is the counterpart to Whitetail, Montana's port of Entry.
According to Burl Bowler with The Daniels County Leader:
This creates quite a pickle for the U.S. On the American side of the border, within a few hundred feet of Big Beaver POE, the port of Whitetail is getting a controversial, extensive, several million dollar make-over. Contracts were awarded this spring for the new American facility. Work is underway and it appears the American officials are, or were oblivious to the new development until our contact. Or, maybe, they just are not commenting.
We suspect comments from the US side of border will be forthcoming, now that the closure has been confirmed.
Public Service Commission candidate, and blogger at the Electric City Weblog, Travis Kavulla wrote this piece for National Review a while back. You may also recall the Whitetail border post controversy from last summer, as CNN crews highlighted the remote location and the proposed multi-million dollar new facility. Here's that piece: