MT-01: Ryan Zinke (R)
New Seat Following 2020 Census[i]
US Department of the Interior (Secretary); US House of Representatives (Representative, MT-At-large); Continental Divide International (Chief Executive Officer); Montana State Senate (State Senator, District 2); US Navy (SEAL Officer)[ii] [iii]
BS, University of Oregon; MS, University of San Diego; MBA, National University[iv]
A Strong Economy; Healthy Forests & Wildfire Prevention; Border Security; Fixing Our Broken Education System; Public Access to Public Lands; Keeping Our Promise to Veterans; Hunting & Fishing[v]
ON THE ISSUES
A pro-life Republican who says he “understands life is not perfect and that banning abortion is not an option,” Zinke has voted to restrict abortions after 20 weeks and said he supports exceptions in cases of “rape, incest, to protect the life of the mother, and other severe circumstances.”[vi] He has stated that he “applaud[ed]” the recent Dobbs decision and argued regarding the ruling, “there is no constitutional right to murder an unborn child.”[vii]
ECONOMY, JOBS & TAXES:
To help spur the economy and reduce inflation, Zinke has called for passing “additional tax reform,” stopping “out-of-control government spending,” and cutting “red-tape and government mandates on businesses and job creators.”[viii]
HEALTHCARE & SOCIAL SAFETY NET:
Although he did not consistently discuss healthcare issues on the campaign trail, Zinke has been a vocal opponent of the Affordable Care Act, arguing that the law needs to be repealed and replaced. However, he has also acknowledged that “government will always have a role in healthcare.”[ix] [x] [xi]
IMMIGRATION & BORDER SECURITY:
Zinke has argued that there is “no southwest border” between the US and Mexico and that the area is “completely open.” He has called for finishing the border wall; funding and implementing Migrant Protection Protocols, Border Control, and ICE; labeling cartels as foreign terrorist organizations; fining and defunding sanctuary cities; maintaining “third country asylum agreements signed with Central American countries to solve the regional migration problem;” deporting individuals who miss hearing dates or are convicted of crime; and requiring immigrants to test negative for COVID-19 and be fully vaccinated.[xii]
CRIME & PUBLIC SAFETY:
Zinke is an opponent of “radical defund police policies,” and he criticized the FBI’s August 2022 search of former President Trump’s home, Mar-a-Lago. Zinke argued the search showed that the Bureau and IRS “can do whatever they want without cause.”[xiii] [xiv]
GOVERNMENT INSTITUTIONS & ELECTION SECURITY:
On his campaign website, Zinke condemned teaching Critical Race Theory in schools and claimed that “Political activists and out-of-touch teacher unions have taken over the U.S. Department of Education and they are working to control what our children read and learn.” He has said that he opposes a Democratic plan to “redefine” Title IX, which he said would “put girls and young women at a clear disadvantage in school sports,” supports “dismantl[ing]” the Department of Education and replacing it “with a downsized office under the Office of Management and Budget,” and advocates for implementing national school choice. He also believes that schools that receive federal funding should follow a Parents’ Bill of Rights, which he said would allow parents to “see, on-demand, the assignments, reading material and lesson plans, and observe classes.”[xvii]
CLIMATE CHANGE, ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT:
An opponent of cancelling the Keystone XL pipeline and the “ill-fated moratorium on energy development on federal lands,” Zinke supports American energy independence. [xviii]
A self-proclaimed “vocal supporter of our Second Amendment,” Zinke has argued that “Red Flag” laws lead to “unconstitutional gun grabs” and has expressed opposition to a federal assault weapons ban. During the campaign, Zinke pledged, “The only 2A legislation I would vote for would be legislation to expand and protect law abiding Americans Constitutional rights to keep and bear arms.“ [xix] [xx]
In March 2022, Zinke called for providing US support to Ukraine via drone weaponry and by air-dropping humanitarian aid to cities.[xxi]
[i] Mara Silvers, “Who holds the keys to Montana’s Western congressional seat?,” Montana Free Press, May 19, 2022, available at https://montanafreepress.org/2022/05/19/how-will-voters-define-montanas-western-congressional-district/.
[vii] Ryan Zinke Facebook, May 2, 2022, available at https://www.facebook.com/ryanzinke/posts/pfbid0ffL79RAq2Ku6yXhnRr5ZoJ5vVwCyNBdj4HNn1x6KaehT1aySocNtwFQG94jpDPGYl.
[viii] “A Strong Economy,” Zinke for Congress, accessed October 7, 2022, available at https://www.ryanzinke.com/issues/a-strong-economy/.
[ix] Ryan Zinke Twitter, April 29, 2014, available at https://twitter.com/RyanZinke/status/461313097358397440?s=20&t=VLeKp3G-iNx-oyTvhFibHQ.
[x] Ryan Zinke Twitter, September 1, 2016, available at https://twitter.com/RyanZinke/status/771522268744724480?s=20&t=VLeKp3G-iNx-oyTvhFibHQ.
[xi] Phil Drake, “GOP warned not to kill Obamacare without a Plan B,” Florida Today, December 22, 2016, available at https://www.floridatoday.com/story/news/local/2016/12/21/gop-warned-kill-obamacare-without-plan/95725590/.
[xiii] Ryan Zinke Twitter, January 28, 2022, available at https://twitter.com/RyanZinke/status/1487092098620817409.
[xiv] Ryan Zinke Facebook, August 8, 2022, available at https://www.facebook.com/ryanzinke/posts/pfbid02ntuxycKgYm5RtTmBdNs8xtcVRm4HWd7U5bTzrNEjkiotBdu6yLDmTxpHJX5g6vZfl.
[xv] Ryan Zinke Facebook, January 10, 2022, available at https://www.facebook.com/ryanzinke/posts/pfbid021LFMJgtMheRLD7HxduSRYBHJw1TojCBiS8aeCcdiQBeCdgbruCpFvRqbgFaWHib2l.
[xvi] Ryan Zinke Facebook, April 8, 2022, available at https://www.facebook.com/ryanzinke/posts/pfbid02xBsB7mwU3xvcU6eKWLxwtr9UXhsfTB1gB5jb6ihjoZbngmnFvUpmrNGe8kRVhjU8l.
[xvii] “Fixing Our Broken Education System,” Zinke for Congress, accessed October 7, 2022, available at https://www.ryanzinke.com/issues/fixing-our-broken-education-system/.
[xviii] “A Strong Economy,” Zinke for Congress, accessed October 7, 2022, available at https://www.ryanzinke.com/issues/a-strong-economy/.
[xix] “Hunting and Fishing,” Zinke for Congress, accessed October 7, 2022, available at https://www.ryanzinke.com/issues/hunting-and-fishing/.
[xx] Ryan Zinke Facebook, July 29, 2022, available at https://www.facebook.com/ryanzinke/posts/pfbid0bTaCj4bruSmm2Xg1PELz1ipKquqaixXgSbTP1SexsuzQENcxYxm7Hp5RhA6GQqTgl.
[xxi] Chris Peterson, “Zinke say humanitarian aid should be air dropped to Ukraine” Hungry Horse News, March 16, 2022, available at https://hungryhorsenews.com/news/2022/mar/16/zinke-says-humanitarian-aid-should-be-air-dropped-/.