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Dec 11, 2020

Great Falls Tribune: Senate sends National Defense Authorization Act benefiting Malmstrom to President's desk

The U.S. Senate on Friday passed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021, which would support Montana's military installations, service members, veterans and military families.

The bipartisan bill, supported by Montana's U.S. Sens. Jon Tester and Steve Daines, awaits President Donald Trump's signature.

The annual defense bill includes provisions, such as a 3% pay raise to all service members, hazard pay and 180 days of medical care for National Guard and Reserve service members on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a news release.

The bill also contains maintenance and modernization for bases with intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), including Malmstrom Air Force Base. Among other provisions, the bill allocates $278 million for ICBM research, development, test and evaluation.

The legislation also includes $655 million for the Air Force to purchase seven additional C-130J aircraft and $140 million for C-130H upgrades.

Included in the bill is the Fair Care for Vietnam Veterans Act, which secures medical coverage for Vietnam veterans impacted by Agent Orange, a hazardous substance used in chemical warfare.

National Commander James Oxford of the American Legion said the support for Vietnam veterans is long overdue.

"... We urge President Trump to sign the measure into law when Congress sends him this critical legislation and end the waiting for many of our nation's ill veterans so they can receive the benefits they have rightly earned," he said in a statement.

The bill also authorizes $44 million for vaccine and biotechnology research in a COVID-19 response.

Tester called the passage of the bill a "victory for the critical investments we need to make to our nation's military and national defense."

"Once signed into law, this package will strengthen our ICBM mission, bolster the modernization efforts of our Air National Guard's C-130 fleet, and provide much-needed support to Montana's men and women in uniform," he said in a statement.

Daines said the bill "ensures America maintains the best military in the world."

"I will always work to ensure our troops and veterans who served our country have the support they need," he said in a statement.

https://www.greatfallstribune.com/story/news/2020/12/11/senate-sends-national-defense-authorization-act-president-trump-desk/6513768002/

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.

Billings

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

Bozeman

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

Butte

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

Helena

208 North Montana Avenue
Suite 104
Helena, MT 59601
Phone: (406) 449-5401
Fax: (406) 449-5462

Kalispell

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

Missoula

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

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