Tester, Rehberg continue fight over cancer-prevention funding

2012-07-25T06:00:00Z 2012-07-25T06:22:49Z Tester, Rehberg continue fight over cancer-prevention fundingBy MIKE DENNISON Missoulian State Bureau missoulian.com

HELENA – Sen. Jon Tester and Rep. Denny Rehberg continued this week to trade bitter charges over their records on federal cancer-prevention funding, as Rehberg’s office released documents showing he voted last week to increase money for a federal cancer-screening program.

Rehberg’s campaign said the documents – a few pages from an internal House Appropriations Committee summary of a spending bill endorsed by a panel chaired by Rehberg – show that Tester is making false suggestions that Rehberg voted to cut money for cancer screening by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Denny wrote and voted for legislation just last week that increases funding for this life-saving cancer detection program by over $13 million,” said Chris Bond, spokesman for the campaign. “Senator Tester, on the other hand, wasted an opportunity to increase funding for that program when it came before his Senate committee.

“Montanans are going to remember this fact every time they hear Tester falsely claim Denny wants to ‘eliminate’ or ‘cut’ those funds.”

The documents showed that the spending bill from a House panel chaired by Rehberg funded the CDC cancer program at $218 million for fiscal year 2013, a $13 million increase over this year. The Senate Appropriations Committee – on which Tester sits – funded the same program at $205 million, or no increase from the current year.

Tester’s campaign, however, said Rehberg is trying to obscure his overall record of voting to cut or eliminate other pots of federal money used for cancer research, screening and prevention.

“It is important for all Montanans to know that Congressman Rehberg has an irresponsible record when it comes to funding cancer research and early detection,” said Dayna Swanson, deputy campaign manager for Tester.

The Tester campaign pointed to Rehberg’s votes this year and last to eliminate federal family planning funds, which sometimes help women detect breast or cervical cancer, and to defund the federal Prevention and Public Health Fund, which has some cancer prevention programs.

Tester, a Democrat running for re-election to a second term, is being challenged by Rehberg, a Republican, and Libertarian Dan Cox. The Tester-Rehberg tilt is one of the most closely watched U.S. Senate races in the country, because it could determine party control of the Senate.

***

The cancer kerfuffle began two weeks ago, when the Tester campaign began running a TV ad featuring cancer survivor Lisa Jones of Whitefish, who said Rehberg voted to “eliminate funding for breast-cancer screenings,” including money that went to a Kalispell clinic where she had an examination leading to discovery of her cancer.

A Missoulian State Bureau analysis of the ad noted that Rehberg voted to eliminate federal Title X family planning and other funding for the Kalispell clinic, including money used to help women detect cancer.

But the analysis also noted that Rehberg had supported the CDC funding, which is dedicated to paying directly for breast and cervical cancer screenings.

Rehberg’s campaign said the Tester ad was false, because Rehberg had supported the CDC funds, and therefore hadn’t voted to “eliminate funding for breast-cancer screenings.“

Late last week, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network stepped into the fray, asking each candidate to state whether they will support funding for the CDC program.

Rehberg pointed to his vote last week to increase the funding; Tester said he would support increased funding.

Tester also told the cancer group that Rehberg’s spending bill from last week reduced the “account” that funds the CDC program and other disease prevention efforts by $389 million.

Aaron Murphy, a Tester campaign spokesman, said Rehberg should release the entire internal summary of the spending bill, so the public can see where all of this money is allocated by Rehberg’s panel. He also suggested that Rehberg supported the CDC breast and cervical cancer screening increase for political cover, in the wake of the Tester attack ad.

Bond dismissed this last charge as “just as dishonest as Senator Tester’s false attack ad.”

Missoulian State Bureau reporter Mike Dennison can be reached at 1-800-525-4920 or at mike.dennison@lee.net.

Copyright 2015 missoulian.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(7) Comments

  1. montanamuralist
    Report Abuse
    montanamuralist - August 02, 2012 11:46 am
    The facts...and I know you Rush clones have a very difficult time with facts, unless they fit your agenda, the facts are that we had a surplus when CONSERVATIVE George Bush took office...a large surplus, right wing obstructionists. He deregulated the banks and sent this country in to economic ruin. Now we have to dig our way out of that mess...created by your conservative agenda...while the rich get richer you get upset because people need help now because business has record profits and workers in the middle class are getting LESS money. Yet prices continue to climb. I have a gasoline pipeline that runs through my property out here..I do not get one cent for them to push product through here. The Republicans and idiots like these right wing fools on here say it is because it " is for the public good". NO!!! It is for Conoco's good boneheads. So live in denial cause you don't like the color of the Presidents skin or whatever...but 50,000 people per year die of lack of health care because of Republican support for a crappy medical delivery system. Oh, and deny global warming. People that are not looking out for their kids and obstruct EVERYTHING in Congress with no compromise as the GOP has done since Obama took office are EVIL>>>sorry you are evil cause you are not thinking about your kids and their welfare..you are thinking about your own pocketbook..selfish and disgraceful people and has nothing to do with left or right or comedian Rush talking points...It has to do with facts Rush clones...No one should vote Republican this year just because of right wing selfish nuts like you read on these pages...Thanks..Ill get back out to fixing the house..LOL And to the point of this article..tell Rehberg and these clowns to quit pushing their own moral agenda on the rest of us who just want to have screenings and not get sick...They dont want us to have insurance and they don't want us to have screenings...and they dont want to pay us a fair wage..Selfish evil people...
  2. PapaBear
    Report Abuse
    PapaBear - July 25, 2012 4:46 pm
    What is crazy is the $16-trillion debt for the nation. What is crazy is an additional trillion deficit every year added to it. Progressive social spending has driven us to the edge of total economic disaster. You, a member of the hard left, will feel the pain as will everyone else. Your children, grandchildren, great grandchildren are faced with disaster if this crazy spending continues. Cutting all of Title X is a small step in the right direction..but only a small step. We need many more programs eliminated. Rehburg didn't cut deeply enough.
  3. sallymander
    Report Abuse
    sallymander - July 25, 2012 2:45 pm
    Don't you know that talk like that just makes you look like a crazy person?
  4. PapaBear
    Report Abuse
    PapaBear - July 25, 2012 12:52 pm
    Issue is "Will Jon Tester and leftist allies lie in their advertising?" Does a bear dump in the woods? Of course it's a lie. Same as the incredible chutzpa of Trillion Dollar Tester's ad about Rehburg's debt limit votes. Tester voted for trillions in new debt for Obamacare, stimulus, and trillion dollar deficits. He (and Max Tax) are simply leftist/socialist Obama clones. Of course he would lie.
  5. onemontana
    Report Abuse
    onemontana - July 25, 2012 10:09 am
    Isn't that how all politicians in D.C. vote? They vote the way their special interest contributors say until right before election time.
  6. sallymander
    Report Abuse
    sallymander - July 25, 2012 8:32 am
    Pretty obvious the Denny voted for increased funding last week only because Tester pointed out how he voted to cut funding two weeks ago. Denny only votes in the common Montanan's interest when he thinks someone is watching and an election looms near.
  7. PelosiGalore
    Report Abuse
    PelosiGalore - July 25, 2012 12:41 am
    Another missleading headline and story. It should read, "Rehberg cuts funding to Planned Parenthood" That is what this story is really about. Democrats funnel taxpayer money to Planned Parenthood, and Planned Parenthood funnels money back to Democratic candidates..........
    Any questions? Did you ever hear the one about the fetus who couldn't wait to grow up so that it could have an abortion one day?
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