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Currently showing results in the 116th Congress.

  • ICYMI: Sens. Cruz, Tester Introduce Bipartisan Military Reserve Jobs Act

    U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) today introduced a bipartisan bill that would give qualified members of the National Guard and Reserves a tiered preference in hiring for federal civil service jobs. The Military Reserve Jobs Act would help promote the hiring of National Guard members and Reservists into the federal workforce. "The men and women of the armed forces, including the National Guardsmen and Reservists, are our nation's greatest asset," Sen. Cruz said. "They pres...

  • Tester, Boozman Renew Effort to Pass Landmark Legislation to Support Women Veterans

    (U.S. Senate) - U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and John Boozman (R-Ark.) today reintroduced their bipartisan Deborah Sampson Act to support women veterans. Women are the fastest growing group of veterans, but many VA facilities don't have the ability to provide equitable care or services to women veterans. The Deborah Sampson Act would eliminate barriers to care and services that many women veterans face and would help ensure the VA can address the needs of women veterans who are more likel...

  • Tester, Murkowski, Pingree Reintroduce Bill to Support Survivors of Military Sexual Trauma

    (U.S. Senate) - U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) today reintroduced their bipartisan bill to improve resources and care for survivors of military sexual trauma (MST). Their Servicemember and Veterans' Empowerment and Support Act expands the definition of MST to ensure servicemembers and veterans who experience online sexual harassment can access VA counseling and benefits. It also codifies a lower burden of proof so more...

  • Tester Demands Answers from VA on Access Standards Announcement

    (U.S. Senate) - U.S. Senator Jon Tester, Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, is demanding answers from the VA on its implementation of the VA MISSION Act and community care access standards. Following the VA's announcement on community care access standards that lacked basic information or details, Tester led a group of Senators in asking 24 questions about the impact of these access standards on veterans, VA medical staff and employees, and American taxpayers. Tester (D-...

  • Tester Grills Head of VA Electronic Health Records Modernization on Implementation Delays

    (U.S. Senate) - Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Jon Tester today questioned officials heading up the VA's transition to an electronic health record system for more than nine million veterans. During an Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on the transition of the VA's Electronic Health Record System to the Cerner system used by the Defense Department, Tester raised concerns that reported delays in implementation could create a domino effect of delays over the course of t...

  • Tester Spearheads Bipartisan Call for VA Transparency

    (U.S. Senate) - Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Ranking Member Jon Tester today led a bipartisan call for more transparency and accountability as the VA implements their groundbreaking reforms for veterans. After two years of bipartisan VA reforms, the Department is now in the midst of managing the simultaneous roll-out of major bills like the VA MISSION Act and disability appeals modernization, while undertaking the largest health record modernization project in the nation's history. Chair...

  • Tester Statement on Procopio v Wilkie

    Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Jon Tester today released the following statement after the U.S. Court of Appeals announced its ruling on Procopio v Wilkie: "This court ruling will bring justice to Blue Water Navy veterans who have fought for the benefits to which they are entitled for far too long. I stand ready to hold the VA accountable for bringing justice to these veterans. And I will do my part to ensure VA has everything it needs to comply with this ruling in t...

  • Tester, Hoeven, Udall, Isakson Fight to Curb Veteran Homelessness in Indian Country

    (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 reintroduced bipartisan legislation to better serve homeless or at-risk Native American veterans. The Senators' Tribal HUD-VASH Act will formally codify 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 housing assistance to homeless a...

  • Tester Leads 28 Senators in Demanding Answers on VA Community Care Implementation

    (U.S. Senate) - Ranking Member Jon Tester is leading a demand for more transparency and information from the VA about its implementation of the bipartisan VA MISSION Act. Tester led a group of 28 Senators in expressing their frustration with the VA's lack of communication about critical decisions on community care access standards that will help determine when a veteran is eligible for community care. In a letter to VA Secretary Robert Wilkie, the Senators wrote: "At recent briefings, VA leade...

  • Tester, Blackburn Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Honor the ‘Hello Girls’

    (U.S. Senate) - U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) are honoring the groundbreaking service of the women who connected American and French forces on the front lines of World War I. The Senators introduced the bipartisan Hello Girls Congressional Gold Medal Act to award the women of the U.S. Army Signal Corps, dubbed the Hello Girls, with the Congressional Gold Medal for their service and subsequent 60 year fight to be recognized as veterans. "The Hello Girls were ...

  • Tester, Murkowski Call for End to Offset of Military Retiree Benefits

    (U.S. Senate) - U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) today introduced bipartisan legislation to end the unfair offset of retirement pay and disability benefits for more than 450,000 military retirees. Their Retired Pay Restoration Act would end the unfair dollar-for-dollar offset of military retirement pay based on the amount of VA disability compensation a military retiree receives. Current law only allows for a retiree to receive both, called concurrent receipt, if...

  • Tester, Sullivan Urge VA to Explore Medicinal Cannabis as an Alternative Treatment for Veterans

    (U.S. Senate) - U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) introduced bipartisan legislation to urge the VA to explore the potential benefits of medicinal cannabis for veterans. The Senators' VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act would direct the VA to begin clinical trials to test the effects of medicinal cannabis as a treatment for chronic pain and symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress. "The VA needs to listen to the growing number of veterans who have already found success in m...

  • Tester Introduces Bill to Bolster Transparency, Accountability of VA

    (U.S. Senate) - Ranking Member Jon Tester today introduced legislation to dramatically increase transparency at the VA and bolster efforts to hold it more accountable to veterans and taxpayers. Tester introduced the VA Contract, Leadership and Ensuring Accountability and Reform (CLEAR) Act to shine more light on the VA's bookkeeping and provide additional accountability measures for the private companies that contract with the VA to provide care or services to veterans. Tester's legislation wou...

  • Tester Sets a High Bar for New Head of VA Office of Information and Technology

    (Helena, Mont.) - Ranking Member Jon Tester today laid out the challenges and opportunities for the recently-sworn in Assistant VA Secretary for Information and Technology James Gfrerer. In a letter to Gfrerer, Tester addressed his chief concerns for the VA's Office of Information and Technology, which Tester describes as being "under severe, well-deserved, scrutiny in recent years." "There is no doubt that insufficient resources, a chronic lack of transparency, and an inability to effectively...

  • Ranking Member Tester Announces Veterans’ Affairs Committee Democrats

    (U.S. Senate) - Ranking Member Jon Tester today announced the Democratic Members of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee for the 116th Congress. Tester (D-Mont.) is joined on the Committee by Senators Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.). "It's no secret there are challenges at the VA. But there are opportunities, too," Tester said. "Our Committee will...

  • Tester Helps Usher Two VA Nominees Through Senate

    (U.S. Senate) - Ranking Member Jon Tester helped confirm two nominees to serve veterans at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Tamara Bonzanto has been confirmed as VA Assistant Secretary of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection and James Gfrerer will serve as VA Assistant Secretary of Information and Technology. "The VA needs strong leaders at the top while it implements our various bipartisan reforms," said Tester, Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee. "With go...

  • Tester Leads Fight to Hold VA Accountable for Misuse of Suicide Prevention Funds

    (U.S. Senate) - Ranking Member Jon Tester and 20 other Senators are taking the VA to task for misusing its resources for suicide prevention outreach. Following a report from the Government Accountability Office that poor leadership at the VA resulted in a misuse of resources and lackluster outreach efforts to at risk veterans, the Senators are demanding a full accounting of the VA's budget for suicide prevention and mental health outreach and for the VA to consult with public and mental health ...

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