Missoulian: Interview: Jon Tester on gridlock and his wilderness, logging bill

U.S. Sen. Jon Tester was giving his grandson a ride on the combine at his Big Sandy farm earlier this week when a rear spindle snapped.

“Hey, grandpa, there goes your tire,” the 5-year-old said as the rear wheel rolled past the cab. The first-term senator said it reminded him of progress in Congress this year.

“I got to thinking how crazy that was with the debt-ceiling fight,” Tester said during a visit to the Missoulian on Friday. “People were willing to put the country into a depression. What does that do to the deficit?”

Tester’s found it equally difficult to find a “vehicle” to move through some of his pending legislation in Washington, D.C.

In Capitol terms, a vehicle is a must-pass bill that ends up carrying lots of unrelated issues, such as April’s defense appropriations bill that included the gray wolf-delisting measure Tester co-authored with Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson.

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