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Currently showing results in the 116th Congress.

  • Tester, Isakson Honor U.S. Prisoners of War and Those Missing in Action

    (U.S. Senate) - U.S. Senators Jon Tester, (D-Mont.), and Johnny Isakson, (R-Ga.), ranking member and chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs, today released the following statement in honor of National POW/MIA Recognition Day: "Today, we remember America's bravest - those who served our country with immeasurable devotion, paying the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms. Let our nation's flag stand as a humble reminder of those service members who were unable to return home to thei...

  • Tester, Blumenthal, Brown Introduce Legislation to Restore Servicemembers’ Ability to Transfer Education Benefits

    (U.S. Senate) - U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), introduced legislation to restore eligibility to servicemembers seeking to transfer their educational benefits to dependents. Last summer, the Department of Defense issued a new policy that requires servicemembers to commit an additional four years of military service at the time of their application to transfer benefits. The policy change also prevents servicemembers with more than six...

  • Ranking Member Tester, Chairman Takano Urge VA to Quickly Implement Court Decision & Reimburse Veterans for Emergency Care Claim Errors

    Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs Ranking Member Jon Tester (D-MT) and House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Chairman Mark Takano (D-CA) applauded this week's federal court ruling in Wolfe v. Wilkie, which found the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) unlawfully denied payment for hundreds of thousands of veterans whose other health insurance did not fully cover emergency care they received at non-VA facilities. Ranking Member Tester and Chairman Takano today urged VA to expeditiously reimbu...

  • Tester, Isakson Lead Senate Passage of Bill to Boost Veterans’ Benefits

    (U.S. Senate) - U.S. Senators Jon Tester, (D-Mont.), and Johnny Isakson, (R-Ga.), ranking member and chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs, today led the Senate's passage of the Veterans' Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2019, bipartisan legislation to increase veterans' disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The legislation passed the U.S. House of Representatives on May 21 and now heads to the President's desk to be signed into law. "We ...

  • Tester Votes to Confirm VA Deputy Secretary Nominee

    (U.S. Senate) - Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Jon Tester today voted to confirm James Byrne, President Trump's nominee to be Deputy Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). "It's our job to ensure that VA leadership is fully committed to serving our nation's veterans," Ranking Member Tester said. "Today, the Senate worked across the aisle to confirm Secretary Byrne as VA's second-in-command, where he is expected to provide steady leadership on behalf of ...

  • Tester Continues Push to Honor Great Falls Vietnam Veteran in Annual Must-Pass Defense Bill

    (U.S. Senate) - U.S. Senator Jon Tester is continuing his push to honor a Great Falls Vietnam veteran who died during the sinking of the USS Frank E. Evans 50 years ago. Tester joined a bipartisan, bicameral group of members urging the Senate Armed Services Committee and House Armed Services Committee to include the USS Frank E. Evans Act in this year's National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). "Young sailors like William Fields made the ultimate sacrifice 50 years ago protecting the freedo...

  • Tester, Colleagues Urge VA to Expand List of Medical Conditions for Veterans Exposed to Agent Orange

    (U.S. Senate) - Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Jon Tester (D-Mont.) led six colleagues in a letter to VA Secretary Robert Wilkie, urging the Department to take action on behalf of thousands of veterans across the country living with chronic health conditions, by expanding the Department's list of medical conditions associated with exposure to Agent Orange. In their letter, the Senators detailed the lack of movement from VA on adding health-related outcomes to the presu...

  • Ranking Member Tester Statement on the Retirement of Chairman Isakson

    (Big Sandy, Mont.) - U.S. Senator Jon Tester, Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, today released the following statement on the retirement of Chairman Johnny Isakson: "Johnny is a trusted friend, first-class public servant, and the best advocate this country's veterans could ask for. They don't come any better than this humble and tenacious Georgian. Serving as his Ranking Member has been the honor of a lifetime for me during his time as Chairman of the Senate Veterans' A...

  • After Tester’s Years-Long Efforts, Montana Welcomes First-Ever Regional Benefits Director

    (Big Sandy, Mont.) - Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Jon Tester today is welcoming Michael Crouse as the first-ever Regional Director at Fort Harrison, after championing a push for VA to better serve veterans in Montana. Earlier this year, Tester announced that VA hired Crouse to serve in this critical role. As a senior leader in the Veterans Benefits Administration, Director Crouse is responsible for directing efforts to administer benefits to approximately 93,000 vete...

  • Tester Continues Push to Improve Health Care Access for Montana’s Native American Veterans

    (U.S. Senate) - As Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee and a senior member of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, U.S. Senator Jon Tester is pushing to improve health care access for Native American veterans in Montana and across the country. Tester supported a recent bipartisan, bicameral push to expand health care for Native American veterans through the Health Care Access for Urban Native Veterans Act, legislation that would provide Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) ...

  • Senate, House Leaders Demand VA Fix Emergency Care Claims Errors Impacting an Estimated 60,800 Veterans

    Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs Ranking Member Jon Tester (D-MT), House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Chairman Mark Takano (D-CA), Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs Member Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS), and House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Ranking Member Dr. Phil Roe (R-TN) led a bipartisan, bicameral letter to VA today following a damning report from the Office of Inspector General (OIG), outlining errors in VA's processing of non-VA emergency care claims. The OIG found in 2017 that...

  • Tester Bill to Protect Veterans’ Disability Payments Heads to President’s Desk

    (U.S. Senate) - U.S. Senator Jon Tester's bipartisan bill to protect veterans' disability payments recently passed the U.S. Senate and now heads to the President's desk for signature. As Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, Tester introduced the Honoring American Veterans in Extreme Need (HAVEN) Act to ensure veterans experiencing economic hardship do not have their earned disability benefits penalized. "Under current bankruptcy law, a civilian disabled by a car wreck is ...

  • Tester Secures More Than $5 Million to Assist Montana Homeless Veterans

    (U.S. Senate) - U.S. Senator Jon Tester announced more than $5 million in federal funding to help end veteran homelessness in Montana. The $5,440,394 grant will go to the Volunteers of America Northern Rockies (VOA), a service organization based out of Billings. Since 2012, VOA has worked with more than 200 veterans and their families to help provide housing services for homeless and at-risk veterans. "When they return home from service, our obligation to Montana's men and women in uniform has...

  • Tester Salutes 100 Years of the American Legion

    (U.S. Senate) - U.S. Senator Jon Tester's bipartisan resolution honoring American Legion's 100 years of service to veterans and families of the United States Armed Forces has unanimously passed the Senate. The resolution declares the week of August 23rd as "American Legion Week" to coincide with the Legion's 100th Anniversary convention in their home city of Indianapolis, Indiana. "For generations the American Legion has played an undeniable role in strengthening the veteran community," said ...

  • Tester, Blackburn Bringing 21st Century Care and Benefits to Veterans with Information Technology Oversight Bill

    (U.S. Senate) - In an ongoing effort to bring 21st century care and benefits to veterans across the country, U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) are unveiling bipartisan legislation to improve the information technology (IT) system at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The Senators today introduced the Department of Veterans Affairs IT Reform Act that holds VA accountable by increasing transparency into proposed and current IT spending on critical programs f...

  • Tester, Rounds Bipartisan Bill Will Streamline Education Benefits for Veterans

    (U.S. Senate) - U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) are introducing bipartisan legislation to provide timelier education benefits to student veterans across the country. Excessive bureaucracy at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has caused significant delays in education benefits to veterans participating in the VA Work-Study Allowance Program. The program allows student veterans- whether on campus, at VA facilities, or at other veteran-centered organizations-...

  • After Successful Passage of His Blue Water Navy Legislation, Tester Leads Call for VA to Provide Timely Benefits to Vietnam & Korean War Veterans

    (U.S. Senate) - Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Jon Tester is continuing his push to ensure veterans living with the effects of toxic exposure receive the benefits and health care they earned. After President Trump signed his Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act into law last month, Tester and his colleagues are calling on the Administration to continue expediently processing the claims of veterans already eligible for benefits. Tester led a group of ten Senators today ...

  • Tester, Boozman Introduce Legislation to Help State Cemeteries Meet Federal Veteran Burial Standards

    (U.S. Senate)- U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and John Boozman (R-Ark.) today introduced legislation to improve access to specialized training that would ensure the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) grant-funded cemeteries meet and maintain the National Cemetery Administration's (NCA) National Shrine Commitment. The NCA sets standards for maintaining VA national cemeteries. Although state and tribal cemeteries are held to the same benchmarks and measures, they often fall short of meetin...

  • Tester, Boozman Introduce Legislation to Ensure VA Repays Veterans Wrongly Charged for Home Loan Funding Fees

    (U.S. Senate) - U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and John Boozman (R-Ark.) today introduced legislation to ensure veterans who were incorrectly charged fees for their Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) home loan are reimbursed. Congress exempted veterans who receive VA disability compensation from paying a funding fee to defray the cost of administering a VA home loan. Despite this exemption, the VA Office of Inspector General (OIG) found that the VA charged more than 70,000 disabled veteran...

  • Tester, Isakson Introduce Bill to Increase Benefits for Veterans

    (U.S. Senate) - U.S. Senators Jon Tester, D-Mont., and Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., ranking member and chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs, today introduced the Veterans' Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2019, bipartisan legislation to increase veterans' disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). "The men and women who fought to keep us safe deserve benefits that reflect today's economic realities," said Tester. "Our bipartisan bill ensures that ...

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