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Dec 14, 2018   |  

Tester retains seat as Ranking Member on Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs

By: Martin Kidston, Missoula Current

Sen. Jon Tester on Friday said he will retain his seat as the senior Democrat on the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, a position he first obtained two years ago.

As ranking member of the committee, Tester remains positioned to tackle VA-related issues and secure funding for other VA projects.

"The military has changed over the last number of years and the VA has been slow to make those changes," Tester said Friday. "We've got a lot of women that serve in our military - far more than 30 or 40 years ago. The VA needs to take care of these women."

During his first term as ranking member, Tester got 11 veterans bills signed into law, including protection for whistleblowers, holding VA administrators accountable for their performance, and aiding veterans with education assistance.

President Donald Trump praised the VA MISSION Act, which was another one of Tester's bills.

But as ranking member, Tester drew fire from Trump when he joined Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Georgia, in vetting the president's appointment of Ronny Jackson to head the VA. Jackson eventually withdrew his nomination as public pressure grew.

Tester later joined Republicans in approving Trump's second nominee Robert Wilkie.

But Tester's perceived role in Jackson's withdrawal drew Trump's ire and prompted the president to make four unprecedented trips to Montana last fall in an effort to unseat Tester. That also failed, and as Tester begins another term in the Senate, so too will he continue his role as ranking member of the Senate's VA committee.

He's served on the committee since 2007.

"Depending on what happens with Blue Water Navy, that will be at the top of the list in my book," Tester said. "There's going to be a lot of oversight. But the bottom line is that (Isakson) and I believe that we need to make sure the promise we make our military folks when they sign the dotted line is upheld."

Office Contact Information

Senator Tester's Montana staff serves the state from offices in Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell, and Missoula. Please bring your concerns with federal agencies, academy nominations, and other situations to one of these Montana offices.


Judge Jameson Federal Building
2900 4th Ave N, Suite 201
Billings, MT 59101
Phone: (406) 252-0550
Fax: (406) 252-7768


Avant Courier Building
1 E Main Street, Suite 202
Bozeman, MT 59715
Phone: (406) 586-4450
Fax: (406) 586-7647


Silver Bow Center
125 W Granite, Suite 200
Butte, MT 59701
Phone: (406) 723-3277
Fax: (406) 782-4717

Great Falls

119 1st Avenue N, Suite 102
Great Falls, MT 59401
Phone: (406) 452-9585
Fax: (406) 452-9586


Capital One Center
208 N Montana Avenue, Suite 202
Helena, MT 59601
Phone: (406) 449-5401
Fax: (406) 449-5462


8 Third Street E
Kalispell, MT 59901
Phone: (406) 257-3360
Fax: (406) 257-3974


130 W Front St.
Missoula, MT 59802
Phone: (406) 728-3003
Fax: (406) 728-2193

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