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Currently showing results in the 117th Congress.

  • At End-of-Year Hearing, Tester Questions VA Secretary on Department’s Top Goals, Warns of Failure to Fund Veterans’ Priorities

    ***VIDEO*** (U.S. Senate) - Chairman Jon Tester today led a Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee hearing to evaluate the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) ongoing work and future priorities for our nation's veterans. During the hearing, Tester questioned VA Secretary Denis McDonough on the implications for veterans and their families if Congress fails to pass the Senate Appropriations Committee-passed Fiscal Year 2022 VA funding bill-critical legislation to fund government operations. "It ap...

  • At End-of-Year Hearing, Tester Questions VA Secretary on Department’s Top Goals, Warns of Failure to Fund Veterans’ Priorities

    ***VIDEO*** (U.S. Senate) - Chairman Jon Tester today led a Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee hearing to evaluate the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) ongoing work and future priorities for our nation's veterans. During the hearing, Tester questioned VA Secretary Denis McDonough on the implications for veterans and their families if Congress fails to pass the Senate Appropriations Committee-passed Fiscal Year 2022 VA funding bill-critical legislation to fund government operations. "It ap...

  • At White House, Tester’s Bipartisan Bill Expanding In-State Tuition Benefits for Veterans’ Surviving Family Members is Signed into Law

    (U.S. Senate) - Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Chairman Jon Tester today joined his colleagues at the White House for the singing of four veterans' bills-including Tester's bipartisan Colonel John M. McHugh Tuition Fairness for Survivors Act that expands in-state tuition eligibility for the families of veterans who die from service-connected disabilities. This legislation passed the House earlier this month following successful passage in the Senate on June 25, 2021. "Today marks a huge ste...

  • At White House, Tester’s Bipartisan Bill Expanding In-State Tuition Benefits for Veterans’ Surviving Family Members is Signed into Law

    (U.S. Senate) - Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Chairman Jon Tester today joined his colleagues at the White House for the singing of four veterans' bills-including Tester's bipartisan Colonel John M. McHugh Tuition Fairness for Survivors Act that expands in-state tuition eligibility for the families of veterans who die from service-connected disabilities. This legislation passed the House earlier this month following successful passage in the Senate on June 25, 2021. "Today marks a huge ste...

  • On Senate Floor, Tester Blasts Partisan Block of Critical Resources to Support Military and Veterans

    ***VIDEO*** (U.S. Senate) - U.S. Senator Jon Tester, Chairman of both the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense and Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, today blasted his Republican colleagues on the Senate floor for shirking their most fundamental responsibility and blocking must-pass, critical funding legislation to support the nation's military and veterans. "Let's all work together. Let's not play irresponsible political games with our military and with our veterans and with ever...

  • Tester, Moran, Takano Push VA to Clarify New Guidance on GI Bill Rule to Protect Student Veterans

    (U.S. Senate) - To better protect student veterans nationwide, Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Chairman Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Ranking Member Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), and House Veterans' Affairs Chairman Mark Takano (D-Calif.) are urging Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Denis McDonough to review and clarify recent changes to the 85/15 Rule as well as work with schools to ensure VA's new guidelines are implemented correctly, without interruption to veterans' and their dependents' educ...

  • Four Tester Priorities Gain Traction in Committee, Including Efforts to Address the Claims Backlog, Improve Rural Veterans’ Disability Medical Exams, and Strengthen Oversight of VA

    ***VIDEO*** (U.S. Senate) - The Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee held a hearing today to solicit feedback from Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) officials and Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) on 21 pending veterans proposals-including four priorities authored by Chairman Jon Tester to tackle the growing claims backlog, improve rural veterans' disability medical exams, strengthen oversight of VA, and bring parity to National Guard and Reservists' education benefits. During the hearing,...

  • Tester, Moran Champion Bipartisan Bill to Improve Rural Veterans’ Access to Medical Disability Examinations

    (U.S. Senate) - Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Chairman Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Ranking Member Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) are championing bipartisan legislation to improve rural veterans' access to medical disability examinations. Geography or mobility issues often limit rural and housebound veterans' access to quality and timely medical disability examinations. The Senators' Reform and Update Rural Access to Local (RURAL) Exams Act of 2021 aims to address this inequity by increasing transparenc...

  • Tester Celebrates Veterans Day in Butte

    (Butte, Mont.) - U.S. Senator Jon Tester, Chairman of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, today joined veterans, local officials, and community members at the United Veterans Council's annual Veterans Day ceremony in Butte to celebrate and honor Montana's veterans. "Today is about more than just paying our respects-it's about doing right by our fighting men and women both during and after their time in uniform," said Tester. "This means making sure veterans have access to quality health car...

  • Tester, Moran Issue Statement on Military Toxic Exposure Efforts on Veterans Day

    (U.S. Senate) - Following an announcement from the Biden Administration today on a new process for establishing presumptive conditions, Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Chairman Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Ranking Member Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) issued a statement highlighting a historic, bipartisan effort to deliver health care and benefits to all generations of toxic exposed veterans: "We're supportive of VA Secretary McDonough's recent action to establish a new presumptive process that will ass...

  • In Helena, Tester Highlights his Bill to Deliver Health Care and Benefits to Toxic Exposure Veterans Ahead of Veterans Day

    (Helena, Mont.) - U.S. Senator Jon Tester, Chairman of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, today held a press conference ahead of Veterans Day to highlight his historic effort to provide all generations of toxic exposure veterans their due benefits and health care through his Comprehensive and Overdue Support for Troops (COST) of War Act of 2021. He was joined by Montana Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Adjutant Timothy Peters and Vietnam-era veteran Dave Powell. "Decade after decade, our se...

  • Tester Stresses Key Issues at Hearing to Increase VA, DoD Collaboration for Servicemembers and Veterans

    ***VIDEO*** (U.S. Senate) - Chairman Jon Tester yesterday led a Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee hearing aimed at increasing collaboration between the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Department of Defense (DoD) to better support servicemembers and veterans nationwide. At the hearing, Tester pressed VA Deputy Secretary Donald Remy and DoD Under Secretary for Personnel and Readiness Gilbert Cisneros-co-chairs of the Joint Executive Committee (JEC) and responsible for leading interagen...

  • Tester Statement on Biden Administration’s New Strategy for Reducing Military and Veteran Suicide

    (U.S. Senate) - Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Chairman Jon Tester issued the following statement today after the Biden Administration unveiled a new plan aimed at ending veteran and military suicide nationwide: "I'm pleased to see the Biden Administration taking steps to ramp-up suicide prevention efforts among our nation's veterans. The reality is far too many of our servicemembers return home suffering from invisible wounds of war, and we need an aggressive, all-hands-on-deck approach to...

  • Tester Bill Ensuring Transparency for VA COVID-19 Relief Funds Unanimously Passes Senate

    (U.S. Senate) - The U.S. Senate unanimously passed bipartisan legislation this week championed by Chairman Jon Tester of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee requiring the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to regularly report to Congress on emergency COVID-19 relief funding. This legislation now heads to the President's desk to be signed into law. The Senator's VA Transparency & Trust Act of 2021 would direct VA to submit bi-weekly reports to Congress on how COVID-19 relief funds are ...

  • Tester Leads Committee Hearing on Improving Education and Employment Opportunities for Veterans During COVID-19

    ***VIDEO*** (U.S. Senate) - Chairman Jon Tester yesterday led a Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee hearing on expanding veterans' access to education, employment, and home loan guarantee programs under the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Department of Labor (DOL). During the hearing, Tester questioned the Director of Veterans Services at Montana State University (MSU), Joe Schumacher, on how VA can better support schools and student veterans and their families during the COVID-19 pande...

  • Tester, Murkowski Renew Legislative Push to Support Survivors of Military Sexual Trauma

    (U.S. Senate) - Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Chairman Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) reintroduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation this week to improve military sexual trauma (MST) survivors' access to benefits and health care, as well as bolster MST claims processing. The Servicemembers and Veterans Empowerment and Support Act of 2021 would modify the burden of proof for survivors applying for VA disability benefits, given that many assaults during milit...

  • During Hearing, Tester Underscores VA’s Role in Delivering Veterans Quality Health Care: ‘No ifs, ands, or buts’

    (U.S. Senate) - During a Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee hearing today to consider 18 pending bills, Chairman Jon Tester solicited feedback from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and underscored its role in helping Congress advance critical legislation to improve veterans' health care nationwide. Responding to various legislative concerns highlighted by VA officials at the hearing, Tester said: "I'm all with working with the Department to ensure we have a bill that's workable. If it's ...

  • Tester, Moran Push VA to Bolster Emergency Response and Supplies for Veterans

    (U.S. Senate) - Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Chairman Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Ranking Member Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) are urging Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Denis McDonough to improve the use and management of VA's emergency cache system to support veterans during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. "We write today to inquire about the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) emergency cache system, its efficacy during the COVID-19 pandemic, and your plans for the cache system mo...

  • Tester Statement on Inaugural VA Advisory Committee on Tribal and Indian Affairs and Appointment of Montana’s Jestin Dupree

    (U.S. Senate) - The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has appointed its first-ever Advisory Committee on Tribal and Indian Affairs, including Jestin Dupree of Poplar, Montana. In response, Chairman Tester released the following statement: "Native Americans serve our nation in uniform at the highest rates, and it's critical these veterans are well represented at VA and empowered to shape Department policy to meet the needs of all veterans living in Indian country," said Tester. "This is a grou...

  • Tester Announces More Than $158,000 in Adaptive Sports Grants for Disabled Veterans in Montana

    (U.S. Senate) - U.S. Senator Jon Tester today announced $158,500 has been awarded by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to help disabled veterans in Montana improve their independence, well-being, and quality of life through adaptive sports and therapeutic arts programs in Billings and Whitefish. "Too many of our nation's men and women in uniform return home with seen and unseen wounds of war, and we have a duty to ensure they are connected with every avenue possible for treatment and re...

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