Tester Announces $1 Million in American Rescue Plan Funding for Columbia Falls Montana State Veterans Home

Pandemic relief funding is part of $250 million secured by the Chairman to help State Veterans Homes combat the COVID pandemic, protect veterans

(U.S. Senate) – Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Jon Tester today announced $1 million in American Rescue Plan funding for the Montana Veterans’ Home in Columbia Falls to ensure high-quality care for veterans during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Long-term care facilities emerged as one of the most vulnerable settings for outbreaks throughout the COVID-19 crisis, leaving providers stretched thin in their fight to protect Montana veterans,” said Tester. “That’s why I fought tooth and nail to make sure the American Rescue Plan provided state-operated homes like the one in Columbia Falls with the resources they need to keep veterans safe. These additional funds will help ensure facility staff remain laser-focused on our veterans’ health while working to recover from the pandemic.” 

As Chairman, Tester fought tirelessly to secure billions in the American Rescue Plan to deliver targeted relief to veterans in Montana and across the country during the COVID-19 crisis, and was the only member of the Montana delegation to vote for this legislation. This package includes $250 million in COVID relief funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to increase pandemic response, staff and veteran safety, and preparedness at State Veterans Homes across the nation. The emergency funding announced today can be used to support veterans during the ongoing coronavirus crisis by enhancing cleaning services, procuring personal protective equipment or other equipment, and temporarily expanding staffing levels.

Tester also successfully delivered nearly $20 billion as a part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and $60 million in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to strengthen VA’s response to the outbreak last year.