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Currently showing results in the 116th Congress.

  • Tester Doubles Down on Effort to Ensure Veterans Swiftly Get Stimulus Checks from CARES Act

    (U.S. Senate) - U.S. Senator Jon Tester is doubling down on his effort to ensure veterans and other beneficiaries through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) or the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program receive immediate stimulus payments from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. In a letter to Administration officials, Tester and his colleagues are urging the Treasury Department to provide critically needed cash assistance to veterans without income tax lia...

  • Tester, Colleagues Urge VA to Expand Telemental Health Services to Veterans During COVID-19 Outbreak

    (U.S. Senate) - Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Ranking Member Jon Tester and his colleagues are urging Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Robert Wilkie to use the authority granted in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to expand critical telemental health services to veterans during the COVID-19 crisis. Tester secured a provision in the coronavirus stimulus package that allows VA to partner with telecommunications companies to subsidize fixed and mobile...

  • Tester, Moran Call on VA to Ensure All Veterans Receive CARES Act Relief Money

    (U.S. Senate) - Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Ranking Member Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Chairman Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) today urged VA Under Secretary for Benefits, Dr. Paul Lawrence, to develop a plan between the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to ensure veterans and other VA beneficiaries, who are not required to file tax returns, are still provided their Economic Impact Payment in a timely manner without having to file additional burdensome paperwor...

  • Tester, Moran Urge Secretary Esper to Mobilize the National Guard Under Federal Orders

    (U.S. Senate) - Senate Veterans' Affairs Ranking Member Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Chairman Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) are urging U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper to work with states to mobilize all National Guard members responding to COVID-19 under the appropriate federal Title 32 duty status to make certain members of the Guard receive the benefits and pay they have earned from their time in active duty. Several states have mobilized the National Guard under State Active Duty Orders, however mob...

  • As Effects of COVID-19 Grow, Tester & Moran Press VA to Waive Deadlines for Veterans Applying for Benefits

    (Big Sandy, Mont.) - To ensure veterans aren't forced to choose between their health and their benefits, Senate Veterans' Affairs Ranking Member Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Chairman Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) are leading the push to waive claim deadlines during the COVID-19 crisis. To protect veterans- one of the most vulnerable populations to the virus-the Senators are calling on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to use its regulatory authority to grant waivers or extensions for veterans appl...

  • Tester Votes to Deliver Nearly $20 Billion to Protect Veterans in Coronavirus Stimulus Package

    (U.S. Senate) - After 72 hours negotiating substantial, bipartisan improvements to COVID-19 stimulus legislation, U.S. Senator Jon Tester today voted to deliver $19.6 billion to strengthen U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) response to the outbreak- including key provisions to keep veterans, and the dedicated staff who serve them, safe. On Sunday, Tester outlined his opposition to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's original spending package that did not protect veterans while bailing out ...

  • Tester to Administration: Activate VA’s Fourth Mission Now

    (U.S. Senate) - Imploring the Trump Administration to release hundreds of thousands of masks, ventilators, and other urgently needed medical supplies for hospitals across the country-U.S. Senator Jon Tester pleaded to activate the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) statutory responsibility to serve as the backup health care system for the nation in times of emergency, and provide support to the doctors and nurses on the front lines to combat COVID-19. Inexplicably, the Department of Health an...

  • Tester, Moran Bipartisan Fix to Protect GI Bill Benefits during Coronavirus Outbreak Signed into Law

    (U.S. Senate) - President Trump today signed Veterans' Affairs Committee Ranking Member Jon Tester's bipartisan bill to allow veterans on the GI Bill to continue receiving full benefits as universities move classes online to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). "Congress stepped up to the plate and worked quickly to push our bipartisan fix over the finish line for student veterans across the country who rely on their GI Bill benefits," said Ranking Member Tester. "As more schools move ...

  • Following Tester Push, FEMA Activates National Response to Increase VA Coronavirus Response Efforts in Montana

    (U.S. Senate) - U.S. Senator Jon Tester applauded the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) move to activate the National Response Coordination Center (NRCC) to a Level 1, enabling the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to coordinate more closely with federal and non-governmental partners to support the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and state, local, tribal and territorial governments as they respond to COVID-19. "FEMA rightly activated their national response to a Level...

  • Tester Delivers $60 Million for VA Coronavirus Testing, Pushes VA to Protect Veterans

    (U.S. Senate) - Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Ranking Member Jon Tester is working to ensure that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has the capacity and resources it needs to efficiently carry out their mission, and protect veterans and local communities from the COVID-19 outbreak-including securing $60 million for the agency in today's Senate package. As a part of VA's Fourth Mission, the Department may be called upon to expand health care access to individuals responding to or affec...

  • Senate Passes Bipartisan Tester-Moran Fix to Protect GI Bill Benefits as Universities Close Due to Coronavirus

    (U.S. Senate) - The U.S. Senate tonight passed Veterans' Affairs Committee Ranking Member Jon Tester's bipartisan bill, which would allow veterans on the GI Bill to continue receiving full benefits as universities move classes online to prevent the spread of coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. The GI Bill determines student veterans' benefits based on whether or not they attend a physical university in person versus an online program. As colleges and universities close campuses to prevent the ...

  • Tester Doubles Down on Push for VA to Protect Veterans Against Coronavirus

    (U.S. Senate) - Following a recent surge in novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases among veterans, Ranking Member Jon Tester of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee is doubling down on his push to ensure the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is taking appropriate measures to protect the men and women who served our nation. VA is the nation's largest health care system with 172 medical facilities and 1,241 outpatient sites, 9 million enrolled veterans, and employing more than 322,000 staf...

  • Tester Leads Bill Directing VA to ‘do its job’ and Provide Benefits for Veterans Suffering from Agent Orange

    (U.S. Senate) - After years of inaction from the Trump Administration, U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont.) is leading more than 30 Senate colleagues in introducing the bicameral Fair Care for Vietnam Veterans Act of 2020, which would require the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide benefits for veterans suffering from four diseases associated with exposure to Agent Orange. Currently, veterans with specific health conditions developed as a result of their exposure to Agent Orange du...

  • Tester, Crapo Lead Bipartisan Push to Provide Full Benefits for Disabled Veterans

    (U.S. Senate) - U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation to provide combat-wounded veterans with less than 20 years of service, also known as Chapter 61 Veterans, both their disability compensation and retired pay. Currently, military retirees with combat-related injuries qualify for retirement pay for their service. These retirees also qualify for disability compensation for injuries acquired in combat. For retired veterans with l...

  • Veterans of Foreign Wars Honors Tester with 2020 Congressional Award

    (U.S. Senate) - Wrapping up a week of Veterans Service Organizations (VSO) hearings on Capitol Hill, the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) awarded U.S. Senator Jon Tester the 2020 Congressional Award for his leadership as Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee at their annual Legislative Congressional Reception yesterday evening. Since 1964, the VFW Congressional Award has been presented annually to one sitting member of the House or Senate for their significant legislative contr...

  • Tester, Cassidy Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Protect Veteran-Owned Small Businesses

    (U.S. Senate) - U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.) introduced the Protecting Business Opportunities for Veterans Act of 2020 to protect Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned and Veteran-Owned Small Businesses from bad actors looking to exploit the Vets First Program under the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). "We have an obligation to make sure our uniformed men and women have the resources to provide for themselves and their families when they return home from service...

  • Tester, Blackburn Introduce Bill to Provide GI Benefits to National Guard and Reserve Servicemembers

    (U.S. Senate) - U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation this week to provide parity in G.I. Bill benefits for members of the National Guard and Reserves who increasingly conduct similar training and missions as active duty troops, but do not receive equal benefits. Since 9/11, the Reserve Component has become an integral part of U.S. defense plans as an operational reserve, a change from its traditional role as a strategic r...

  • Tester, Schumer Lead Dems in Blasting Administration for Stonewalling Veterans Suffering from Agent Orange

    Senators: "These heroes deserve more than inaction and indecision from their own government - they deserve justice" (U.S. Senate) - U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) led 41 Democratic Senators in condemning the Trump Administration for stonewalling critical benefits to veterans suffering from health conditions associated with their exposure to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. In their letter, the Senators specifically called on the Admi...

  • Tester Statement on Electronic Health Record Modernization Delay

    (U.S. Senate) - U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, released the following statement today after the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced plans to delay the "go-live" date for the new Electronic Health Record (EHR) in Spokane, Washington. "I've said all along that this electronic health record system is far too important to our veterans for VA to get wrong. Moving forward, VA must establish stable leadership to provide suffi...

  • Tester, Colleagues Urge Comprehensive Response to Protect Veterans & VA Staff Against Coronavirus

    (U.S. Senate) - In response to the rapid spread of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, Ranking Member Jon Tester is leading six colleagues on the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee to ensure the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is taking a comprehensive approach to protect the nation's veterans and staff who provide their care. In a letter to VA today, the Senators wrote: "Given the emergent nature of the virus, we want to ensure that veterans and staff can count on VA health care facilities to be f...

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