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May 21, 2015

Tester slams Republican leadership for failing to adequately care for veterans

Senator offers amendment to allow VA to make needed improvements, provide better care

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(U.S. Senate) - During today's Appropriations Committee's hearing on funding for veterans and military construction projects, Senator Jon Tester slammed Republicans for passing a bill that drastically underfunds the VA.

Tester, Ranking Member of the subcommittee tasked with appropriating money for the VA, offered an amendment to increase funding so the department would have the resources it needs to care for veterans. His amendment was defeated on a 16-14 party line vote.

Tester said that the subcommittee's appropriations bill would underfund veterans by $857 million.

"At a time when we are demanding more from the VA, we simply cannot shortchange efforts to provide for our veterans, and that's exactly what this bill does," Tester said. "Taking care of the brave men and women who served our nation is a cost of war, and this bill fails to live up to the promises we made them."

At a time when the VA is facing a crisis-level shortage of medical professionals, Tester's amendment would have increased funding for VA medical services by $557 million to ensure the VA is not forced to choose between competing priorities, including doctor and nurse pay, veterans homelessness, needed medical equipment and other investments to improve health care delivery.

Tester's amendment would also provide $300 million for maintenance at VA facilities. Currently, there is a $10 billion backlog of critical construction projects at VA clinics and hospitals nationwide.

Tester is Montana's only member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee.

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

Capital One Center
208 N Montana Avenue, Suite 202
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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