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Currently showing results in the 116th Congress.

  • Tester Leads 30 Senators Urging VA to Follow Through on Promises Under Administration’s 2018 Executive Order to End Veteran Suicide Epidemic

    (U.S. Senate) - Following the historic signing of his landmark Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act this week, Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Ranking Member Jon Tester is leading 30 colleagues in a push for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to follow through on authorities under President Donald Trump's Executive Order (EO) 13822 to increase veterans' access to mental health care. The Senators also urged the Administration to aggressively implement...

  • Tester Directs VA to Address Dismal Implementation of VA MISSION Act: ‘find a way to reduce red tape’

    (U.S. Senate) - Following numerous delays, false starts, and failures with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) MISSION Act, Ranking Member Jon Tester led a Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee hearing today to address dismal implementation of the Veterans Community Care Program and Caregivers expansion-highlighting low dental network rates impacting Montana veterans and a problematic start to the expansion of the Caregivers Program to pre-911 veterans. At the hearing, Tester admonished VA f...

  • Tester, Moran’s Groundbreaking Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Bill Signed into Law

    (U.S. Senate) - U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.)-Ranking Member and Chairman of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee-today applauded the historic signing of their landmark Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act into law. In an effort to curb veteran suicide nationwide, Tester and Moran introduced their bill last Congress to bolster the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) mental health workforce and increase rural veterans' access to...

  • Tester, Takano Demand Answers on Politicization of VA and Potential Hatch Act Violations

    (U.S. Senate) - Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs Ranking Member Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Chairman Mark Takano (D-Calif.) are expressing serious concerns over the increasing politicization of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)-including the potential misuse of taxpayer funds and other government assets, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, in an effort to benefit the reelection of President Trump and certain Republican candidates seeking office in ...

  • Tester Urges VA Secretary to ‘take a serious interest’ in Addressing Challenges Facing Montana Veterans, Following Visit This Week

    (Big Sandy, Mont.) - U.S. Senator Jon Tester is calling on the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to "take a serious interest" in addressing longstanding issues to better support veterans and their families across Montana-especially during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Tester's request follows VA Secretary Robert Wilkie's visit to the Treasure State earlier this week. "On the heels of your recent trip to Montana, I respectfully request your plan to resolve various issues of access to care and...

  • Tester, Takano Raise Concerns Over Last Minute Dash to Roll Out VA Caregivers Program

    (U.S. Senate) - Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs Ranking Member Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Chairman Mark Takano (D-Calif.) are expressing serious concerns to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) over whether the Department is fully prepared to launch the significant expansion of the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers Program (PCAFC) that was announced yesterday-a move that will allow Pre-9/11 veterans to apply for the program but ...

  • Senate Passes Tester, Moran Legislation to Reauthorize Key Veteran Support Programs

    (Big Sandy, Mont.) - U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.)-Ranking Member and Chairman of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee-today applauded the Senate's passage of their Department of Veterans Affairs Expiring Authorities Act of 2020, which passed as part of the Continuing Resolution to fund the government. This legislation would extend select authorities within the committee's jurisdiction into the next fiscal year to ensure a smooth continuation of these programs. ...

  • Tester Slams VA Secretary for Continuing to Limit Montana Veteran Voices in the Disability Claims Process

    Ranking Member: "The bottom line is VA's role is to make it easier-not harder-for veterans to access earned benefits in a process that should be non-adversarial" (Big Sandy, Mont.) - Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Ranking Member Jon Tester is slamming the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for continuing to deprive veterans in Montana and across the country a last look for errors before their ratings become final. Earlier this year, VA authorized a decision eliminating the critical 48-hou...

  • Tester Statement on VA’s Failure to Address Lengthy Process for Community Care Referrals

    (Big Sandy, Mont.) - U.S. Senator Jon Tester, Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, released the following statement today after a report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) failed to establish an overall wait time measure for the Veterans Community Care Program-paving the way for veterans to wait an indefinite amount of time before they are connected with care. "When President Trump signed my legislation to...

  • Senate Sends Tester-Backed Bill Expanding Vet Center Eligibility for Guardsmen to President’s Desk

    (U.S. Senate) - The Senate unanimously passed bipartisan legislation today backed by U.S. Senator Jon Tester to expand counseling for members of the National Guard, Reserves, and Coast Guard at Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities across the nation. This bill now heads to the President's desk to be signed into law. "We are now one step closer to providing critical counseling and support to the men and women of the Guard at VA facilities nationwide," said Ranking Member Tester. "The ...

  • Tester Successfully Clears Major Veterans Priorities From Committee Hurdle

    (U.S. Senate) - The Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee today unanimously passed the Toxic Exposure in the American Military (TEAM) Act of 2020 and Veteran Benefits Enhancement and Expansion Act of 2020-two bills to expand Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits to veterans nationwide. "Today's bipartisan agreement will mean expanded health care access for veterans of the War on Terror-especially those exposed to toxins," said Ranking Member Tester. "This common-sense solution will make sur...

  • Tester, Moran, Takano, Roe Statement on House Passage of Groundbreaking Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Bill

    (U.S. Senate) - Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs Ranking Member Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Chairman Jerry Moran (R-Kans.), along with House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Chairman Mark Takano (D-Calif.) and Ranking Member Phil Roe (R-Tenn.), today released the following statements after the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed S.785, the Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act-groundbreaking legislation to connect more veterans with critical mental ...

  • 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...

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