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Currently showing results in the 116th Congress.

  • Tester, Colleagues Introduce First-Ever Bipartisan Bill to Protect Student Veterans from Predatory For-Profit Institutions

    (U.S. Senate) - Closing out the week of Veterans Day, U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), and Bill Cassidy (R-La.) introduced the Protect Veterans' Education and Training Spending (Protect VETS) Act of 2019 to protect student veterans from predatory for-profit institutions. The Protect VETS Act is the first bipartisan bill introduced in the Senate that would protect military and veteran students by closing the 90/10 loophole and requiring for-profit...

  • On Senate Floor, Tester Calls on Trump Administration to ‘Do the right thing’ by Expanding List of Medical Conditions for Veterans Exposed to Agent Orange

    (U.S. Senate) - U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee yesterday called on the Trump Administration to take action on behalf of thousands of Vietnam Veterans across the country by expanding the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) list of medical conditions associated with exposure to Agent Orange to include Parkinsonism, Bladder Cancer, Hypertension, and Hypothyroidism. Tester took to the Senate floor in support of an effort to expand the l...

  • Tester on Veterans Day: ‘We have a responsibility to those who protect our freedom’

    (U.S. Senate) - U.S. Senator Jon Tester, Ranking Member and Montana's only member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, today released the following statement to commemorate Veterans Day: "On Veterans Day, we pause to remember our veterans, and honor the enduring sacrifice of our men and women in uniform, as well as their families. They represent the very best of this country, and their sacrifices have come at a high cost. There are lives lost, physical injuries, and far too often, unseen ...

  • Tester, Moran Lead Bipartisan Call to Action for Better Patient Safety and Oversight at VA Facilities

    (U.S. Senate) - U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) are leading eight colleagues in a bipartisan call to action following alarming incidents of veterans receiving inadequate care or mistreatment at the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) medical facilities. In a letter to VA Secretary Wilkie today, the Senators voiced their concerns over serious, high-profile cases of veteran abuse and employee misconduct within VA facilities across the country. "We are concerned abo...

  • ‘Stop turning your backs on Vietnam vets who are suffering’ Tester, Colleagues Slam Acting White House Chief Mulvaney

    (U.S. Senate) - Ranking Member Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and his colleagues are refusing to back down from their fight to ensure Vietnam veterans suffering from toxic exposure to Agent Orange receive necessary benefits and care from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Tester led four colleagues on the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee in a letter to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) today urging Director and Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney to stop blocking the inclusio...

  • Tester, Colleagues Condemn Administration for Ignoring Vietnam Veterans Suffering from Agent Orange

    (U.S. Senate) - Ranking Member Jon Tester (D-Mont.), colleagues on the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, and veterans service organizations (VSOs) are condemning the Trump Administration following released documents revealing that the White House blocked efforts by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to expand the list of presumptive health outcomes for Vietnam veterans suffering from service-connected exposure to Agent Orange. According to internal documents obtained by a ...

  • Tester Invites Air Force Secretary to Montana Following Senate Confirmation

    (U.S. Senate) - Following his vote to confirm President Trump's nominee to serve as Secretary of the Air Force, U.S. Senator Jon Tester is inviting Secretary Barbara Barrett to Great Falls to discuss critical United States Air Force priorities in Montana. "Congratulations on your confirmation as the 25th Secretary of the United States Air Force," wrote Tester. "You are taking the helm of one of our nation's most important military institutions at a critical time, and I look forward to working ...

  • Tester, Bennet, Moran Lead Bipartisan Push to Address Alarming Increase in National Guard Suicide Rate

    (U.S. Senate) - U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), and Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) today led a bipartisan call for the Department of Defense (DoD) to address the increasing suicide rate among members of the National Guard. Recent suicide reports conducted by the DoD found that the suicide mortality rate for the National Guard is consistently higher than that of Active Duty and Reserve members. In a letter to the Office of Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readi...

  • Tester Challenges VA to Aggressively Combat Veteran Suicide Crisis Following Reported Increase

    (U.S. Senate) - Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Jon Tester (D-Mont.) is leading six colleagues in challenging the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to aggressively increase its efforts to connect veterans in Montana and across the country with critical mental health care. Last month, VA released new data detailing an increase in suicide rates among veterans in 2017. In their letter, the Senators today pressed VA Secretary Wilkie to implement proactive measures aimed ...

  • New Veterans Clinic Headed to Missoula After Tester Efforts

    (Big Sandy, Mont.) - Missoula will receive a new Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) for veterans after sustained efforts from U.S. Senator Jon Tester. The new clinic, which Tester fought to secure in bipartisan legislation passed by the Senate in 2017, will serve more than 47,000 veterans in the area and allow the VA to expand its current Primary Care, Mental Health, and Specialty Care services. "This new clinic is welcome news for Missoula's veterans-who will now have access to cutting-e...

  • Tester Demands Immediate Action for Veterans Suffering from Toxic Exposure: ‘Enough is Enough’

    (U.S. Senate) - At a Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee oversight hearing today, Ranking Member Jon Tester urged the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense (DoD) to work with greater urgency to ensure current and future veterans exposed to harmful toxins in the line of duty are able to access benefits and care to which they are entitled. Tester demanded that VA take immediate action by expanding the Department's list of presumptive medical conditions to include Hypot...

  • Tester, Isakson Applaud Senate Passage of Legislation to Continue Essential Veterans Services & 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, applauded the unanimous Senate passage of bipartisan legislation to ensure veterans continue to have access to essential programs at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The legislation now heads to the president's desk to be signed into law. The Department of Veterans Affairs Expiring Authorities Act of 2019 reauthorizes four progr...

  • Tester to VA: ‘End the Wait’ for Vietnam Veterans Exposed to Agent Orange

    (U.S. Senate) - Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Jon Tester (D-Mont.) today held a press conference, along with House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Chairman Mark Takano (D-Calif.), veterans service organizations (VSOs), veterans, and their families, urging the Trump Administration to provide long-overdue health care and benefits to Vietnam-era veterans living with exposure to Agent Orange. Tester also called on VA to expand the list of presumptive health outcomes for vet...

  • 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...

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