Tester Delivers Major Wins for Montana in Bipartisan Budget Agreement
After Bucking His Party and Demanding a Better Budget, Senator Secures Funding for Health Centers, Military, and Veterans
(U.S. Senate) - U.S. Senator Jon Tester has delivered a series of major wins for Montana in a bipartisan budget agreement.
Tester worked with Republicans and Democrats to secure critical funding for Montana's Community Health Centers, the military, and veterans in a bipartisan budget agreement that passed the Senate very early this morning.
"I bucked both parties to demand a better budget for Montana, and they listened," said Tester. "This budget is the product of compromise and makes critical investments in rural health care clinics, strengthens our military, and delivers for our veterans."
Tester scolded Republicans and Democrats two weeks ago and opposed a short-term budget that didn't include critical health care provisions or an increase in military spending.
Tester helped secure the following provisions in the bipartisan budget agreement:
- Reauthorized and increased funding for Montana's Community Health Centers by $600 million for two years.
- Extends Children's Health Insurance Program funding for four additional years through 2027, saving taxpayers money.
- Extends the Teaching Health Centers and National Health Service Corps for two years, which help train doctors and medical professionals in Montana.
- Extends Medicare reimbursement funding for rural ambulance services for five years.
- Extends Special Diabetes Program funding for Type One patients and patients in Indian Country for two years.
- Invests $20 billion in infrastructure upgrades, including roads, bridges, water and wastewater systems, and rural broadband.
- Retroactively extends the Coal Production Tax Credit for one year.
- Provides additional fire mitigation funding for local and state governments that received Fire Management Assistance Grants.
- Protects rural hospitals from onerous federal regulations that block access to outpatient therapy.
- Closes the Medicare Prescription Drug "Donut Hole" and saves Montana seniors money on their prescription drugs.
- Increases military funding.
- Authorizes $4 billion for VA facilities maintenance and construction.
The agreement also includes Tester's Honoring Hometown Heroes Act, which allows governors to declare that the U.S. flag be flown at half-staff to honor a public safety officer who dies in the line of duty.
The Senate passed the bill 71-28 around 1:30 a.m. Friday morning. The House quickly followed suit and President Trump signed the bill into law around 8:30 a.m. that morning.