MT Lowdown Podcast – Episode 18: A view from the right

John Adams/Montana Free Press

Rep. Derek Skees, R-Kalispell, listens to debate during a House floor session.

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Republican firebrand Derek Skees on conservative losses in the 2019 Legislature

House Majority Whip Rep. Derek Skees is among the group of conservative Republicans — the self-described “38 specials” — who resisted efforts by 20 or so members of the so-called Solutions Caucus to pass major legislation during the 2019 legislative session.

John Adams / MTFP

Rep. Derek Skees

“I honestly think we suffered more losses than we did gains,” Skees said in a wide-ranging Montana Lowdown podcast interview. “It was summed up perfectly in the minority leader’s speech on the House Floor: Democrats got everything they wanted.”

From Medicaid expansion to infrastructure bonding to the state budget, the Solutions Caucus, along with minority Democrats, managed to override the House Republican leaders in 2019.

“It’s the arrogant attitude of these people, behind the scenes, treating us with disdain…that pissed off everybody on my side of the group,” Skees said.


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