Tester announces veterans listening tour and VA accountability legislation
Senator: We should never let our veterans down
(HELENA, Mont.) - At a press conference in Helena today, Senator Jon Tester announced a statewide veterans listening tour accompanied by a legislative agenda to address access to care and accountability issues at the VA.
In response to systemic access to care issues at VA clinics across the country, Tester said he will be touring the state of Montana to hear from folks on the ground about how the VA can improve and ways the agency is succeeding.
"I'll be visiting towns and cities across our state this summer to make sure Montana veterans have a voice in how we move forward," Tester announced. "I'll be looking for ideas that I can turn into good legislation when I get back to Washington."
Tester also outlined a legislative agenda which takes immediate steps to investigate the VA, hold folks accountable for any wrongdoing, improve access to care at clinics across the country, and address VA workforce shortages.
"Our focus must remain on improving veterans' access to quality care," Tester told reporters. "These brave men and women put their lives on the line for our freedoms. We should never let veterans down, but if we do, we must rededicate ourselves to their everlasting support."
Additionally, Tester laid out a plan to receive whistleblower complaints from VA staff so employees can confidentially communicate their concerns. Tester's staff will forward those complaints onto investigators so the issues can be immediately addressed.