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Currently showing results in the 116th Congress.

  • Tester, Moran Introduce Landmark Veterans Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Bill

    (U.S. Senate) - U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) today introduced landmark, bipartisan legislation to improve veterans' access to mental health care and make sure no veteran life is lost to suicide. Their bipartisan Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act is a comprehensive and aggressive approach to connect more veterans with the mental health care they need and earned. Their bill seeks to improve VA care by bolstering the VA's mental ...

  • Tester Asks for Veterans Service Organization Feedback on Improving VA Mental Health Care

    (U.S. Senate) - Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Jon Tester today asked some of the nation's leading Veteran Service Organizations how the VA can reduce the rate of veteran suicide. Tester asked the organizations, who represent hundreds of thousands of veterans across the country, what the VA should be doing to better deliver quality mental health care to veterans to help curb the high rate of veteran suicide. "We all understand that mental health has been the signature...

  • Tester Asks for Veterans Service Organizations’ Help to Hold VA Accountable to Veterans, Families

    (Big Sandy, Mont.) - Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Jon Tester met with some of the nation's leading Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) to hear their legislative priorities. Tester asked the organizations, who represent hundreds of thousands of veterans across the country, to tell Congress if the VA is doing enough to address the high rate of veteran suicide, provide justice to Blue Water Navy Vietnam veterans, provide equitable care for women veterans, and ensure v...

  • Veterans’ Disability Payments Would be Protected by Tester Bill

    (U.S. Senate) - As Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, U.S. Senator Jon Tester helped introduce legislation today to ensure veterans aren't financially penalized for receiving the benefits they've earned. "Our nation's veterans sacrifice life and limb to protect our country-and many of them now live with permanent disabilities because of it," Tester said. "In exchange for their service and sacrifice, we provide basic disability payments. But right now, if a veteran is under...

  • Tester, Moran Tackle Rate of National Guard and Reserve Suicide

    (U.S. Senate) - U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) are stepping up the fight to address the high rate of suicide among members of the National Guard and Reserve. Currently, members of the National Guard and Reserves undergo annual health assessments to identify medical issues that could impact their ability to deploy, but any follow-up care must almost always be pursued at their own expense. The Senators' introduced their bipartisan Care and Readiness Enhancement (CARE)...

  • Tester, Veterans of Foreign Wars Call for More VA Collaboration

    (U.S. Senate) - U.S. Senator Jon Tester and Veterans of Foreign Wars Commander-in-Chief Vincent "B.J." Lawrence today were in lockstep that the VA must consult organizations like the VFW when they are implementing reforms that will impact millions of veterans. Ahead of today's hearing, Tester also met with Montana VFW members Tom Johnson, Tim Peters, Joe Fletcher, Art and Marilyn Widhalm, Mel Kieninger, and Tom Pouliot. "Mr. Lawrence, as I have said before, we're here because Congress should t...

  • Tester Opening Statement on VFW Legislative Presentation

    (U.S. Senate) - Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Jon Tester today presided over a Joint Hearing of the Senate and House Committees on Veterans' Affairs to hear the 2019 legislative priorities of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). The following is Tester's opening statement, as prepared for delivery: Mr. Lawrence, I'm honored to have you and the VFW leadership team with us today. It's good to see you again. Where is my crew from Montana? Thank you for being here. ...

  • Tester Statement on Veteran Suicide Prevention Executive Order

    (U.S. Senate) - Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Jon Tester today released the following statement after President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order regarding the troubling rate of veteran suicide: "Our approach to mental health and suicide prevention has to be a team effort with the White House, the VA, Congress, VSOs, local providers, nonprofit organizations, and communities, all united to address the staggering effects of war. This Executive Order is a step in th...

  • ICYMI: Senators Jones, Collins, Tester, and Crapo Introduce Legislation to Eliminate the Military “Widow’s Tax”

    Today, U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-Ala.) and his colleagues Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine), Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) reintroduced the Military Widow's Tax Elimination Act of 2019 (S.622), a bipartisan bill to end the so-called "Widows Tax." The legislation would repeal the unfair law that prevents as many as 65,000 surviving military spouses nationwide from receiving their full Department of Defense (DoD) and Veterans Affairs (VA) survivor benefits. Currently, military wido...

  • Tester, American Legion Warn Against VA Risking Veterans Access to Quality Care

    (U.S. Senate) - U.S. Senator Jon Tester and American Legion National Commander Brett Reistad expressed their concerns about the impact on veterans' health care under the current roll-out of the VA MISSION Act. The American Legion was instrumental in crafting the VA MISSION Act, which overhauls the VA's community care system. Now Tester is asking for the American Legion's help in making sure the VA works with veterans, VSOs and Congress to implement it properly. "When we send veterans into the...

  • ICYMI: Brown Pushes for Congressional Action to Help Ohio Veterans Harmed by Toxic Burn Pits

    U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) hosted a news conference call today as he continues pushing Congress to act to help servicemembers and veterans harmed by toxic burn pits. The military relied on open-air burn pits to dispose of toxic waste in Afghanistan and Iraq, which exposed servicemembers and veterans to toxic chemicals and fumes that have been linked to certain deadly diseases. Brown introduced legislation last month to help study the effects of burn pits on servicemembers' health and has ...

  • Tester, Moran Fight for Health Care for Korean War Veterans

    (U.S. Senate) - U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) introduced legislation that extends presumption dates for veterans who served in the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) during the Korean War so more can receive critical care for Agent Orange or other chemical exposure. Tester's Fairness for Korean DMZ Veterans Act expands the presumptive period for Korean DMZ veterans exposed to toxins by 7 months. Declassified Department of Defense documents indicate that chemical testi...

  • Tester Opening Statement on American Legion’s Legislative Priorities

    (U.S. Senate) - Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Jon Tester today presided over a Joint Hearing of the Senate and House Committees on Veterans' Affairs to hear the 2019 legislative priorities of the American Legion. The following is Tester's opening statement, as prepared for delivery: Commander Reistad, I'm honored to have you and your leadership team with us today. It's good to see you again. I've enjoyed working very closely with you, your legislative staff and gr...

  • Tester, Disabled American Veterans Express Concerns on Future of Veterans’ Health Care

    (U.S. Senate) - Disabled American Veterans (DAV) National Commander Dennis Nixon today presented the group's 2019 legislative priorities to U.S. Senator Jon Tester and a joint panel of the Senate and House Veterans' Affairs Committees. Tester, Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, and DAV Executive Director Randy Reese expressed their shared concerns about the VA's implementation of the bipartisan VA MISSION Act. "Does the DAV believe that community providers should be he...

  • American Legion Awards Tester its Distinguished Public Service Award

    (U.S. Senate) - The American Legion today recognized U.S. Senator Jon Tester's ongoing work as Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee. The American Legion's Distinguished Public Service Award is awarded annually to an elected official who has established an outstanding record in support of America's veterans and their families. "The American Legion supports veterans in Montana and in communities across our nation by making sure they can navigate the VA system to get the care ...

  • Tester Opening Statement on DAV Legislative Presentation

    (U.S. Senate) - Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Jon Tester today presided over a Joint Hearing of the Senate and House Committees on Veterans' Affairs to hear the 2019 legislative priorities of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV). The following is Tester's opening statement, as prepared for delivery: Good afternoon. Commander Nixon, I'm honored to have you and your leadership team with us today. You are very well-served by your legislative staff in DC. I can't tel...

  • Tester, Sullivan, Udall, Murkowski Team Up to Improve VA Outreach to Native American Veterans

    (Missoula, Mont.) - U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) are teaming up to improve the VA's outreach, health care and benefits for Native Americans. The Senators introduced the bipartisan VA Tribal Advisory Committee Act to establish a VA Advisory Committee on Tribal and Indian Affairs. The Committee will facilitate communication and understanding between the VA and Tribal governments to better address the unique barriers...

  • 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...

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