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Currently showing results in the 116th Congress.

  • Tester Spearheads Senate Call to Ensure his Landmark Agent Orange Exposure Bill is Included in Final Annual Defense Bill

    (U.S. Senate) - U.S. Senator Jon Tester, Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, is continuing his fight to ensure thousands of veterans suffering from exposure to Agent Orange while serving in Vietnam receive the benefits they've earned from the Trump Administration. "President Trump claims to support our veterans but the shameful reality is that his Administration continues to deny benefits to veterans suffering as a result of their exposure to toxic chemicals in Vietnam...

  • Tester Introduces Legislation to Deliver Stronger Benefits to Military Survivors and Families

    (U.S. Senate) - To better support veteran families in Montana and across the country, U.S. Senator Jon Tester introduced his Caring for the Survivors and Families of Veterans Act of 2020, which would expand monthly Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) benefits to more surviving spouses and family members. "Families who lost their loved ones in the line of duty-or from a service-related injury or illness-deserve economic security in return for the sacrifices they've made," said Tester, Ra...

  • Tester, Colleagues Demand Answers on ‘unacceptable’ VA Data Breach Affecting More Than 60,000 Veterans and Health Care Providers

    (U.S. Senate) - U.S. Senator Jon Tester, Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, is leading his colleagues in demanding answers from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) following a recent data breach that compromised 46,000 veterans' personal information. VA officials informed the Senate and House Committees on Veterans' Affairs that approximately 17,000 VA community care providers were also impacted by the cybersecurity breach. "This most recent data breach is unacceptabl...

  • Tester Presses VA to Provide Coverage for Telehealth Services for Family Members During COVID-19 Pandemic

    (Big Sandy, Mont.) - As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect our nation's veterans, Ranking Member Jon Tester of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee is joining his colleagues in pressing the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide coverage of comprehensive telehealth services-including voice communication-for beneficiaries of the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA). Currently, federal regulations do not allow CHAMPVA to cover heal...

  • Tester Statement on Anniversary of September 11th Attacks

    (Big Sandy, Mont.) - U.S. Senator Jon Tester today released the following statement in recognition of the 19th anniversary of the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks: "Today, all Americans pause to reflect on one of the darkest days in our history-a day that changed this country forever. The attacks of September 11th were meant to destroy us, and instead America showed the world a nation united in strength. As we face new challenges, let us remember that we are stronger together, and that ...

  • Tester Leads Hearing on Landmark Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Bill

    (U.S. Senate) - U.S. Senator Jon Tester led a Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee hearing yesterday ahead of World Suicide Prevention Day on his landmark Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act-bipartisan legislation to improve veterans' access to mental health care and named for a Montana veteran. Tester also called on his colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives to bring the bill to the floor for immediate passage. "Our bipartisan bill honors Commander Ha...

  • On Senate Floor, Tester Blasts Trump for Unconscionable Remarks on American War Heroes

    (U.S. Senate) - U.S. Senator Jon Tester, Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, took to the Senate floor today to condemn President Donald Trump's disparaging of Americans who lost their lives in war. "This President has crossed the line," said Tester. "'Suckers' and 'losers' do not belong in the same sentence as our military, especially when you are talking about the Greatest Generation that gave their lives for this country. It is not time for resolutions that are political...

  • Tester Statement on Trump Disparaging American War Heroes

    (Big Sandy, Mont.) - U.S. Senator Jon Tester, Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, released the following statement on reporting that President Donald Trump insulted, disparaged, and belittled Americans who lost their lives in war: "Our nation's fallen servicemembers gave their lives to defend the freedoms that all Americans, including the President, share today. This President's attack on our men and women in uniform, and those who made the ultimate sacrifice, is offensive...

  • Tester & Colleagues to Defense Department: Reinstate Funding for Stars and Stripes Newspaper

    (Big Sandy, Mont.) - U.S. Senator Jon Tester, Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, joined a bipartisan group of Senators yesterday in calling on the Defense Department to reinstate funding for the Stars and Stripes newspaper. The Defense Department currently plans to stop publishing the newspaper at the end of this month and dissolve the organization by January 31, 2021. "Stars and Stripes is an essential part of our nation's freedom of the press that serves the very popu...

  • Tester, Colleagues to DeJoy: USPS Operational Changes Disproportionately Harm Deployed Servicemembers

    (Big Sandy, Mont.) - U.S. Senator Jon Tester, Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, is joining 28 colleagues in raising concerns with Postmaster General Louis DeJoy over the heightened impact of harmful U.S. Postal Service (USPS) policy and operational changes on servicemembers and their families. Because USPS is the only service that can deliver to the Army Post Office (APO) and Fleet Post Office (FPO) addresses used by our military overseas, deployed servicemembers and t...

  • Tester Pushes Back on VA Following Reports of Scaling Back Operations with USPS

    (Big Sandy, Mont.) - U.S. Senator Jon Tester is continuing his fight to ensure veterans-especially in rural states like Montana-are not left behind following reports that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is scaling back its relationship with the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). "As the Ranking Member of the Veterans' Affairs Committee and a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, I have serious concerns about VA's plans to work with a private sector company rather than continue to pa...

  • Tester, Peters Lead Caucus in Demanding Postal Service Address Delivery Delays of Veterans’ Prescription Drugs

    (U.S. Senate) - U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, and Gary Peters (D-MI), Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, are demanding immediate action following reports of significant delays in veterans' prescription medications through the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). In a letter to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and VA Secretary Robert Wilkie, Tester and Peters led 29 Senate colleagues in urging US...

  • Tester, Rounds Spearhead Legislation to Streamline Benefits for Disabled Veterans

    (U.S. Senate) - U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) are spearheading bipartisan legislation to improve the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) collection of medical evidence to streamline veterans' access to earned disability benefits. Earlier this year, VA removed public access to forms known as Disability Benefits Questionnaires (DBQs)-condition-specific forms with critical medical information relevant to veterans' disability benefits claims. The Senators' Veterans Be...

  • Tester’s Landmark Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Bill Unanimously Passes Senate

    (U.S. Senate) - U.S. Senator Jon Tester's landmark Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act-bipartisan legislation to improve veterans' access to mental health care and named for a Montana veteran-is one step closer to becoming law after unanimously passing the Senate yesterday. Following the vote, Tester took to the Senate Floor to highlight the importance of the bill's passage. As Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, Tester introduced this l...

  • Tester Ushers Landmark Bill to Support Women Veterans Through Committee Hurdle

    (U.S. Senate) - The Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee today unanimously passed five bipartisan bills led by Ranking Member Jon Tester to address a number of his top legislative priorities-including his landmark Deborah Sampson Act, legislation to support women veterans. Women veterans are more likely to face homelessness, unemployment, and go without health care as a result of a lack of equitable care and services at facilities under the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)-even though they are...

  • Tester Demands Transparency from VA on COVID-19 Impacts on Minority Vets

    (U.S. Senate) - Following national trends of minority communities being disproportionally impacted by the coronavirus, Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Ranking Member Jon Tester is demanding that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) share COVID-19 health disparities data with Congress and the public to ensure veterans are protected during the pandemic. "According to the latest data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Black, Hispanic, and Native American communit...

  • Tester, Blackburn Bill to Bring Reforms to VA Information Technology Programs Unanimously Passes Senate

    (U.S. Senate) - The Senate unanimously passed U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Marsha Blackburn's (R-Tenn.) bipartisan bill to improve the management and execution of information technology (IT) programs and projects at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The bill now heads to the House for consideration. The Senators' Department of Veterans Affairs IT Reform Act would bring more accountability and oversight to the office within VA charged with delivering IT projects critical to pr...

  • Tester Urges VA to Bolster Telehealth Services for Veterans in Rural Areas During COVID-19 Pandemic

    (U.S. Senate) - At a Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee hearing today, Ranking Member Jon Tester pressed the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to strengthen telehealth services to veterans, especially in rural areas, during the COVID-19 pandemic. "Although many veterans in Montana-especially those in highly rural areas-are accustomed to virtual appointments, we need to remember that not all veterans have access to smart telephone technology or reliable internet access," said Ranking Member Te...

  • Tester Introduces Bill to Provide Benefits to Veterans and Military Families Fighting COVID-19 Crisis

    (U.S. Senate) - U.S. Senator Jon Tester introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation yesterday to remove barriers to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability compensation and survivor benefits for certain active duty servicemembers, National Guard members, and Reservists, exposed to COVID-19 on the front lines. "Members of the National Guard and Reserve always stand ready to protect our communities when disaster strikes," said Ranking Member Tester. "And in return for their service, we ...

  • BREAKING: Tester’s Landmark Bill to Provide Benefits to Vets Exposed to Agent Orange Passes Senate

    (U.S. Senate) - Vietnam veterans suffering from diseases associated with exposure to Agent Orange are one step closer to receiving critical care and benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) following sustained efforts from U.S. Senator Jon Tester to include his bipartisan legislation in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) - a must-pass annual defense bill. Tester took to the Senate floor earlier today to urge his colleagues to support his amendment which would expand VA's...

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