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Currently showing results in the 116th Congress.

  • 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...

  • 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...

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