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Currently showing results in the 115th Congress.

  • Tester Fights to Strengthen Education Benefits for Montana Veterans

    (U.S. Senate) - Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Ranking Member Jon Tester today introduced bipartisan legislation to modernize and strengthen education benefits for Montana veterans and servicemembers. Tester's bill will get rid of the arbitrary 15-year window for veterans to use their G.I. Bill education benefits. It also extends benefits to certain Reservists who deploy and to survivors of men and women who died in the line of duty. "The G.I. Bill has provided generations of Montana vete...

  • Tester Grills Veterans Affairs Nominees to Make Sure They Are Up For the Job

    (U.S. Senate) - Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Jon Tester today questioned six nominees to fill vacant positions at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims to ensure they will work hard to improve the lives of America's veterans. "As the VA faces debilitating workforce shortages and tough decisions about veterans' care and benefits, it's critically important that we thoroughly and quickly vet nominees to serve at the VA," s...

  • Tester Advances Bipartisan Bill to Boost Military Infrastructure, Veterans’ Benefits

    (U.S. Senate) - U.S. Senator Jon Tester today advanced bipartisan legislation that addresses the critical infrastructure needs of America's military and ensures veterans in Montana and across the country have access to the timely care and benefits they have earned. In an Appropriations Committee hearing, Tester voted for the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Bill. The bill addresses Tester's previous concerns with the President's proposed budget, which paid for communi...

  • Four Tester Bills to Reform VA Gather Steam

    (U.S. Senate) - The Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee today debated four bills authored by Ranking Member Jon Tester. Tester's legislation will address the crippling workforce shortages at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and will improve the delivery of health care and benefits for veterans. Improving Veterans Access to Community Care Act Tester's Improving Veterans Access to Community Care Act builds off his previous work to reform the Choice Program by streamlining and consolidatin...

  • Sullivan, Tester Introduce Serving Our Rural Veterans Act

    U.S. Senators Dan Sullivan (R-AK) and Jon Tester (D-MT), members of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, recently introduced the Serving Our Rural Veterans Act of 2017, legislation that would authorize a new Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) pilot program to have medical students conduct their residencies with the VA at tribal healthcare facilities in rural communities. "Veterans living in rural communities, far from population centers, face unique challenges accessing the care they have e...

  • Bipartisan Group of Senators Introduces Bill to Protect Veterans' Education Benefits

    U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Thom Tillis (R-NC), along with U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-MT), Dean Heller (R-NV), Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Todd Young (R-IN) introduced bipartisan legislation in the Senate that would provide relief to veterans whose Post-9/11 GI Bill education benefits are affected by the permanent closure of certain educational institutions. In 2016, ITT Technical Institutes filed for bankruptcy and closed all 136 campuses in 38 states - after receiving $917 millio...

  • Senators Boozman & Tester Introduce Legislation to Improve Homeless Veterans Programs

    U.S. Senators John Boozman (R-AR) and Jon Tester (D-MT), senior members of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, introduced legislation to strengthen job training for at-risk veterans and fight veteran homelessness. The Homeless Veterans' Reintegration Program Improvement Act stipulates that veterans who receive housing assistance under Department of Housing and Urban Development's Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH), Native American Housing Assistance, and Supportive Services for ...

  • Tester’s Bill to Address Massive Appeals Backlog Heads to Senate Floor

    (U.S. Senate) - The Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee today passed Ranking Member Jon Tester's legislation to streamline the lengthy process that veterans undergo when appealing their disability ratings from the VA. A veteran's disability rating determines what VA services and benefits he or she can receive. Tester's bipartisan Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act will let veterans choose the disability appeal option that works best without being forced to start the process over...

  • Tester and Senate Veterans Affairs’ Committee Members Highlight Impact of Senate Health Care Plan on Veterans

    (U.S. Senate) - Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Jon Tester and Senators Patty Murray, Richard Blumenthal, Joe Manchin, and Sherrod Brown today highlighted the negative impacts of the controversial Senate health care plan on the nation's veterans. Approximately 7 million veterans choose to receive their health care outside of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the number of uninsured veterans has dropped by nearl...

  • President Trump Signs Tester’s Bipartisan VA Accountability Reform Bill

    (Big Sandy, Mont.) - President Donald Trump today signed into law U.S. Senator Jon Tester's bipartisan legislation to bring more accountability to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Tester authored the bill with Republican Senators Johnny Isakson and Marco Rubio to bring much-needed reforms to the VA by streamlining the process for reviewing and firing bad employees while protecting whistleblowers. "This law shows what happens when we put politics aside and work to make sure the VA can...

  • ICYMI: Reed, Brown Introduce Legislation to Strengthen Consumer Protections for Active Duty Servicemembers, Their Families

    Today, U.S. Sens. Jack Reed (D-RI) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced legislation to strengthen consumer protections for servicemembers and their families. Reed and Brown's bill, the Military Consumer Enforcement Act, would authorize the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) Office of Servicemember Affairs to oversee enforcement of financial protections outlined in the Servicemember Civil Relief Act (SCRA). Congress implemented the SCRA to protect active military members and their famil...

  • Veterans and Advocates Support Tester’s Education Bill for Montana Troops

    (U.S. Senate) - Veterans and advocates are throwing their support behind U.S. Senator Jon Tester's legislation to ensure that service members who often have to leave behind their jobs and homes to serve their country will not lose out on educational opportunities. Tester's Educational Development (ED) for Troops and Veterans Act received a hearing in the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee today. The bill protects troops from financial hardship that comes with deployments and ensures service men...

  • Senators Schatz, Gillibrand and Congressman Pocan Reintroduce Legislation to Restore Honor to Service Members Discharged Due to Sexual Orientation

    Today, as Americans celebrate LGBT Pride Month, U.S. Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawai'i) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and U.S. Representative Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) reintroduced the Restore Honor to Service Members Act. The legislation will correct the military records of service members discharged solely due to their sexual orientation to reflect their honorable service and reinstate the benefits they earned. "With this bill, Congress has the opportunity to honor our commitment to all Americans...

  • Tester, Schatz, Walz, Wasserman Schultz Release Report on Impact of Trump’s Budget on Veterans

    (U.S. Senate) -U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and U.S. Representatives Tim Walz (D-Minn.) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) today released a report detailing the impact of President Trump's budget on America's veterans. While Trump requested an overall increase in funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), his proposed budget shifts funding away from critical programs that veterans rely on - including programs that deliver disability benefits, comba...

  • Tester, Hoeven, Udall, and Isakson Team Up to Combat Native American Veteran Homelessness

    (U.S. Senate)-U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) today introduced bipartisan legislation to combat homelessness and improve direct support services for Native American veterans. The Senators' Tribal HUD-VASH Act will formally authorize a joint tribal housing initiative between the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) program, which provides rental and housin...

  • U.S. House Passes Tester’s Bipartisan VA Accountability Bill

    (U.S. Senate) - Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Jon Tester today issued the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed his major bipartisan reform bill to bring greater accountability to the Department of Veterans' Affairs (VA): "This bill does right by veterans by cracking down on bad employees who jeopardize veterans' health care and protecting the hardworking folks who serve veterans. I'm pleased that the House of Representatives quickly pass...

  • Tester, Moran Introduce Bill to Address Chronic VA Workforce Shortages

    (U.S. Senate) - U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) today introduced a bipartisan bill to address the crippling workforce shortages at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and improve health care delivery for the nation's veterans. There are currently 45,000 staff vacancies at the VA. Approximately 38,000 of those positions are responsible for delivering front line care. The VA also faces a high turnover rate of medical staff for higher-paying private sector position...

  • ICYMI: Brown Introduces Bill to Ensure Veterans Get Healthcare They Deserve

    U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) - the longest-serving Ohioan on the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee - today introduced legislation to help improve healthcare for our nation's veterans. The bill would equip doctors outside the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) system with the training they need to address the unique medical needs of our veterans. "Our veterans and their families have unique health needs connected to their service to our country," said Brown. "It's critical to give all doctor...

  • Ernst, Tester Push for Extension of Critical Suicide Prevention Training in National Guard, Reserves

    Today, U.S. Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA), a combat veteran, and Jon Tester (D-MT), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, introduced bipartisan legislation to extend for one year a critical program that provides members of the National Guard and Reserves, as well as their families, with training in suicide prevention, resilience, community healing and response to suicide. The current program is set to expire October 1, 2018. "One life lost to suicide is too many; we must do w...

  • Tester Grills VA Secretary about the Future of the Choice Program

    (U.S. Senate) - Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Jon Tester today called on Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary David Shulkin to bolster capacity at the VA while also ensuring a seamless experience in the private sector when veterans can't get VA care. "The VA is just as responsible when a veteran has a bad experience at their local civilian medical facility as they are if that veteran was at a VA hospital," said Tester. "We can't let the VA lose oversight of t...