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Senator Baucus talks issues in Three Forks

By Eric Turcio, Reporter, eturcio@ktvm.com
Published On: Feb 18 2013 06:41:20 PM MST
Updated On: Feb 18 2013 06:59:02 PM MST
Senator Baucus
BOZEMAN, Mont -

Senator Max Baucus is home from Washington, D.C., talking about a variety of issues during the recess.

One of the major issues he discussed with constituents was the $85 billion in cuts set to take effect at the end of the month. The cuts could affect everything from defense spending to schools.

Baucus tells NBC Montana overall spending must be controlled and leaders in Washington, D.C., need to keep a close watch on the issue.

"Get spending under control. A sequester helps in some areas, maybe too severe in others. But frankly we can't take our eye off the ball and the eye on the ball is to get that debt down," Baucus explained.

Baucus said lawmakers need to be reasonable when reviewing the cuts.  He says taking the time the look over options is necessary.

Another topic -- jobs and agriculture. Baucus says one in five Montana jobs rely on agriculture and the industry generated some $2.6 billion on nearly 30,000 farms and ranches.

"Interesting that one out of five Montana jobs is related to agriculture in our state one way or another," said Baucus.

Baucus says he wants to promote agriculture production whether it's wheat, barley or livestock. He chose Wheat Montana for one of his work days because of the role it plays in Montana's economy.

"Wheat Montana represents agriculture in Montana. I'm here to show how much I care for agriculture," said Baucus.

We also asked how Baucus was preparing for the 2014 elections. One challenger, Republican Corey Stapleton, has already declared he's running for Baucus' seat.

Baucus responded by saying Montana has always had a great system and explained he is confident Montanans will elect the right person for the job.