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Currently showing results in the 116th Congress.

  • Tester Leads Hearing on VA Priorities and Oversight of CARES Act During Public Health Crisis

    (U.S. Senate) - U.S. Senator Jon Tester, Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, today led a committee hearing on the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) budget priorities for the upcoming fiscal years. Tester also addressed unused supplemental funding meant for VA's COVID-19 response efforts under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. At the hearing, Tester pressed VA Secretary Robert Wilkie for more information on how CARES Act funding is being a...

  • Tester Statement on Memorial Day

    (U.S. Senate) - U.S. Senator Jon Tester, Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, released the following statement today in honor of Memorial Day: "It's an understatement to say that Memorial Day is a special day for this country. It's a day that we honor our men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice to this country-and died in service. "The fact of the matter is that every day should be Memorial Day in this country. Because without the folks who serve us, this ...

  • Ahead of Memorial Day, Tester & Colleagues Introduce Bipartisan Veterans Cemetery Grants Improvement Act

    (U.S. Senate) - Ahead of Memorial Day, Senate Veterans' Affairs Ranking Member Jon Tester (D-Mont.) is introducing bipartisan legislation with Senators Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), and John Hoeven (R-N.D.) to help states cover the increasing costs of operating and maintaining veteran cemeteries. Under current law, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is authorized to award a maximum of $5 million for Operations and Maintenance Program grant applications per fiscal year-funding u...

  • Tester, Colleagues Introduce Legislation to Reinstate Critical 48-Hour Review Period that Ensures Veteran Representation in Disability Claims Process

    (U.S. Senate) - Senate Veterans' Affairs Ranking Member Jon Tester (D-Mont.) led Senators Joe Manchin (D-W.V.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), and Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) in introducing legislation to ensure veterans and their representatives have 48 hours to review and dispute disability claims before they are finalized. Earlier this year, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) proposed a rule to limit representative access to veterans' electron...

  • Breast Cancer Screening Coverage Expanded for Servicemembers and Veterans on TRICARE Following Tester Push

    (U.S. Senate) - Following efforts by Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Ranking Member Jon Tester, the Department of Defense announced that it will implement a new policy covering 3D breast cancer screening for female servicemembers and veterans on TRICARE starting at the end of the month. This announcement follows Tester's bipartisan push to provide servicemembers, retirees, and their families with this life-saving coverage through his Better and Robust Screening Today (BRST) Act. "This i...

  • Tester, Moran Lead Bipartisan Call for Reimbursement Plan to Support VA’s COVID-19 Pandemic Response

    (U.S. Senate) - Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Ranking Member Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Chairman Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), along with Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Ranking Member Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and Chairman John Boozman (R-Ark.), are requesting that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) outlines its reimbursement plans for services provided to Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a part of VA's Fourth Mission, the Departm...

  • Tester, Colleagues Urge Transparency in VA Disability Claims Process During COVID-19 Outbreak

    (U.S. Senate) - Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Ranking Member Jon Tester is leading the call for more transparency and accountability as the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) suspends in-person compensation and pension (C&P) exams for veterans during the COVID-19 pandemic. In a letter to VA Secretary Robert Wilkie today, Tester and his committee colleagues pressed the Department to outline its plans for transitioning to virtual C&P exams during the ongoing crisis and issue updated...

  • Tester, Colleagues Urge VA to Prioritize Veterans’ Mental Health Amid Pandemic

    (U.S. Senate) - U.S. Senator Jon Tester, Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, joined 23 colleagues today in urging the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to develop and implement comprehensive mental health care plans to ensure veterans' well-being during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. "The stress, uncertainty, and isolation associated with the pandemic-all risk factors for suicide in a population where an estimated 17 veterans tragically die by suicide a day-will...

  • Tester, Moran Introduce Legislation to Expand Protections for Military Families Impacted by COVID-19

    (U.S. Senate) - Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Ranking Member Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Chairman Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) introduced bipartisan legislation to expand the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) to provide additional legal protections for servicemembers impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. The SCRA provides legal protection to servicemembers to prevent them from being taken advantage of while on duty or deployed, and can postpone or suspend financial or civil obligations-including prev...

  • VA Boosts Emergency Assistance to Homeless Veterans During COVID-19 Crisis Following Tester Effort

    (U.S. Senate) - The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that it will implement provisions secured by U.S. Senator Jon Tester in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, to provide immediate relief to veterans experiencing-or at-risk of-homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic. "Some of our nation's most vulnerable veterans are experiencing homelessness-made even more difficult by an era of social distancing and 'stay-at-home' orders," said Tester, Ranking ...

  • All VA Health Care Workers Fighting COVID-19 Will Get Personal Protective Equipment Following Tester Push

    (U.S. Senate) - Following pressure from U.S. Senator Jon Tester, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) issued updated guidance that it is distributing personal protective equipment (PPE) to every VA health care worker providing direct care to veterans at VA facilities or at home during the COVID-19 crisis. Previously, PPE was solely given to staff caring for COVID-19 patients or the highest-risk veterans, placing many health care workers and patients at greater risk of contracting the ...

  • Tester, Murray Praise ‘significant’ Expansion of Caregivers Program for Veterans of All Eras as Required Under VA MISSION Act

    (U.S. Senate) - U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) led their colleagues in support of the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) recent efforts to cover veterans of all eras under the Caregivers Program and expand eligibility to individuals with service-connected illnesses. The Senators weighed in as a part of VA's public comment period that solicited feedback on how to strengthen and improve caregiver support services for those who care for wounded and disabled veterans...

  • Tester, Colleagues Lead Bicameral Call to Defense Secretary to Expand Protections for Servicemembers During Pandemic

    (U.S. Senate) - Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Ranking Member Jon Tester and his House colleagues are calling on the Department of Defense (DoD) to ease financial burdens facing servicemembers planning to relocate as a result of the "stop movement" order issued due to the COVID-19 pandemic. "Although the Defense Department rightly implemented stop movement orders at the onset of the pandemic, military families in the process of moving experienced unintended consequences," said Ranking Membe...

  • Tester, Moran Lead Bipartisan Call to Award Presidential Medal of Freedom to G.I. Bill Author

    (U.S. Senate) - Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Ranking Member Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Chairman Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) led their committee colleagues in a bipartisan call urging President Donald Trump to award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Harry W. Colmery, a World War I veteran and original author of the G.I. Bill. "Having recognized the desperate situations many servicemembers returned to following admirable service in World War I, Mr. Colmery, a distinguished Kansan and World War I ...

  • Trump Signs Second Bipartisan Tester G.I. Bill Fix for Student Veterans into Law

    (U.S. Senate) - President Donald Trump signed a second bipartisan, legislative fix championed by Senate Veterans' Affairs Ranking Member Jon Tester to ensure veterans' education benefits are safeguarded as schools and programs across the country remain closed amid the COVID-19 pandemic. "The President did the right thing by signing this bipartisan, commonsense solution into law, that'll ensure our student veterans don't fall behind during the national health emergency," said Ranking Member Test...

  • Tester Leads Call for Administration to Fully Utilize Defense Production Act & Protect Veterans from COVID-19

    (U.S. Senate) - To better protect veterans, health care professionals, and all Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic, Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Jon Tester is leading 15 colleagues in calling on the Administration and its Coronavirus Task Force to make full use of the Defense Production Act (DPA). The depletion of medical supplies nationally and a broken federal procurement and distribution process has left the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)-the nation's larg...

  • Senate Passes Bipartisan Tester GI Bill Fix for Student Veterans Impacted by COVID-19 Outbreak

    (U.S. Senate) - The U.S. Senate passed bipartisan legislation introduced by U.S. Senator Jon Tester, Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, that will allow student veterans to continue receiving certain education and training benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that would be reduced or halted due to programs unable to continue during the COVID-19 pandemic. "As the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic forces more schools and programs to shut their doors, we've got to en...

  • Eligible Veterans Will Automatically Receive Stimulus Checks, Following Calls from Tester & Moran

    (U.S. Senate) - Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Ranking Member Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Chairman Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) released the following joint statement after the Treasury Department and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) clarified that eligible veterans who do not file income taxes will receive their stimulus checks: "We're glad that the Treasury Department answered our call to provide veterans and survivors-who aren't normally required to file annual tax returns-with the same acc...

  • Trump Signs Tester-Backed VA Tele-Hearing Modernization Bill Into Law

    (U.S. Senate) - President Donald Trump signed a bipartisan bill backed by U.S. Senator Jon Tester into law, allowing veterans to appear in cases before the Board of Veterans' Appeals remotely. "During this unprecedented time, it's critically important that we provide our nation's veterans with the flexibility to dispute their disability claims from the safety and comfort of their homes," said Tester. "This new law is welcome news for veterans in rural states like Montana, who will no longer be ...

  • Tester Urges VA to Reconsider Limitations on Veteran Representation in Disability Claims

    (U.S. Senate) - Ranking Member Jon Tester is leading his colleagues on the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee in demanding that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) reconsider recent efforts to restrict a veteran's ability to review and dispute their disability claims before they are finalized. "We write to you today about our concern that the Department of Veterans Affairs is making it more difficult for veterans to have meaningful representation and advocacy during the claims process," T...

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