At a U.S. Senate Committee hearing, Senator Steve Daines stressed how the Democrats’ reckless, multitrillion tax and spending spree bill will kill mining jobs by imposing burdensome new taxes and fees on small businesses.

To begin the hearing, Daines introduced David Brown, President and CEO of WYO-BEN, which is headquartered in Billings and mines bentonite. He asked for Brown’s input on the impact that Democrats’ tax proposals could have on his business and the nation’s supply of bentonite.

“WYO-BEN is a family-owned bentonite mining and manufacturing business that supports nearly 200 indirect and direct jobs in Montana and Wyoming,” Daines said. “Mining provides high-paying jobs and provides much needed local and state revenue for schools and emergency services.”

Daines then discussed America’s dependence on China for critical minerals, which are used in everything from smart phones to cars to solar panels. Daines stressed that Democrat proposals would take us in the wrong direction by increasing U.S. reliance on China for these minerals rather than supporting mining in states like Montana.

“Of the 35 Minerals that are considered ‘critical’ for our national security and domestic use, 17 of them come from China. These numbers are only going to get worse as demand for critical minerals and materials increases. If the United States is serious about building more renewable energy, then we must be serious about increasing domestic mining,” Daines said.

In May, Daines cosponsored a bill to streamline the permitting process for domestic critical mineral production.

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