Montana businessman Tim Sheehy, who is trying to unseat Democratic Sen. Jon Tester, received a $210,000 grant from the Democrats’ American Rescue Plan — a federal COVID-19 relief package that Sheehy campaigned for. Have been repeatedly condemned during this period.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
Sheehy is the founder of Bridger Aerospace, a Bozeman-based aerial firefighting company that relies almost entirely on federal contracts. In March 2022, Bridger was awarded $210,000 from the American Rescue Plan’s Workforce Training Grant Program, which provides money to businesses to train employees.
The grant, part of $1.5 billion in American Rescue Plan funds allocated to Montana, was not previously reported.
Since launching his Senate bid in June, Sheehy has repeatedly condemned what he considers wasteful spending by the Biden administration, including the $1.9 trillion pandemic stimulus package.
In an interview with Montana radio station KGVO shortly after announcing his campaign, Sheehy said COVID taught his state that the federal government “is not the solution to our problems.”
“This is not the solution to educating our children. This is not the solution to our health care. This is not the solution for our economy,” he said. “Because when the government injects trillions of dollars into the economy, we get inflation, which has had an extremely targeted impact on rural states like Montana.”
In an interview with Breitbart News in July, Sheehy criticized Biden’s economic agenda, dubbed “Bidenomics”, which is part of the American Rescue Plan.
“Fortunately, Bidenomics coincides with bad economics – ‘Bedemonics,’ I guess we could call it,” he said. “If we’re going to inject trillions of dollars of government fiat money into the economy, everyone said, ‘Hey, there’s going to be massive inflation behind this. No, it won’t. It’ll be transitory, just a few weeks.’ No, it’s going to be a fundamental shift in our interest rate base, because when you literally inject trillions of dollars of essentially artificial currency into our economy, inflation is going to come. And of course, it did, because when that way This is pretty basic math when it comes to the economic swing model.
Sheehy declared that Democratic policies during the pandemic “made it clear what the Democrats wanted in their utopia, in their ideal world, we saw what they wanted when they had full control over their emergency powers.” He then aired a long list of right-wing, culture war-related complaints.
“Fortunately, Bidenomics coincides with bad economics – ‘Bedemonics,’ I guess we could call it.”
Sheehy’s campaign did not address HuffPost’s specific questions about the ARP money, instead providing a statement full of deflections.
“Tim Sheehy, a job creator in Montana and decorated combat veteran, knows that Democrats like Joe Biden and Jon Tester in Washington are ruining our children’s future with their uncontrolled spending,” a campaign spokesperson said in an email. “While we know the Huffington Post will never ask Jon Tester why he voted for the American Rescue Plan – which did not create the 4 million jobs promised by the Biden administration and left our country with record high inflation and a debt burden Suppressed by – When Tim Sheehy is in the US Senate, he will be proud to rein in government spending and find areas to cut our bloated bureaucratic budget.”
(This publication is no longer called The Huffington Post. It was renamed HuffPost as part of a rebrand in 2017.)
It’s not clear exactly how the money will be used for Bridger. The contract simply states that the funding is for “new job training activities.” The Montana dashboard for the American Rescue Plan fund reads that $210,000 has been awarded but has not yet been paid to Bridger Aerospace.
Sheehy is benefiting from federal aid now that he argues inflation is rising, the latest example of him and his company doubling down on partisan issues.
As HuffPost previously reported, Bridger has repeatedly promoted himself as a leader in the fight against climate change and planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions, and has secured millions of dollars in federal contracts along the way. Sheehy, meanwhile, has followed the Republican Party line on climate, railing against the so-called “climate cult,” “radical environmentalists” and the “disastrous socialist Green New Deal.”
He also frequently criticizes his company’s largest customer, the federal government. As HuffPost reported, Bridger reported revenue of more than $46 million last year — 96% of which came from federal contracts. That same year, Sheehy earned approximately $5 million in salary and bonuses as CEO of the company, and his stock in the company is valued at more than $50 million.
In an interview with Fox Business in June, the GOP candidate said, “They’ve seen the power of the free market” and that Montanans “don’t want any more government in their lives, whether it’s state government or federal government.”
“They want to be left alone to live their lives,” Sheehy said. “The federal government needs to stay the course.” He said the government’s COVID-19 stimulus policies “have really hit the bottom line of Montana and people are disappointed.”
But in Sheehy’s case, I’m not so disappointed that I couldn’t apply for and receive stimulus money.