ABC Fox Montana: Senator Tester calls for transparency among other lawmakers in new legislation being introduced

by Bradley Warren

Senator Jon Tester is calling for transparency in the way our lawmakers do business with a brand new bill.

His new legislation is demanding, all lawmakers post their schedules and make them public to you via the web.

There are currently no requirements for members of Congress to disclose when they meet with their constituents, lobbyists, or other groups in their official tax-payer-funded positions.

“This would make it so there is a requirement,” Senator Tester said, in an exclusive interview with Bradley Warren, “[this] so they will disclose who they meet with in an official capacity.”

This legislation would change that. The senator says this is one way of keeping special interests out of Washington.

“It’s something I’ve done since I got here,” Senator Tester said, “it helps people hold their elected representatives accountable.”

The senator has publicly shared his calendar since taking office, on the topic of this bill, it’s not loved in Washington.

“This isn’t a particularly popular bill with my fellow senators,” Senator Tester said, “because quite honestly it’s a little more work.”

He has previously introduced similar legislation on this but it didn’t make it across the finish line.

This iteration of the bill would:

• Each hearing, meeting, or event the Member attended in their official capacity, either in person or by teleconference or other electronic means;

• The Member’s floor activity; and

• A general description of the individuals, entities, or organization participating in the meeting or event, or a general description of the meeting or event.

Via email, Tiffany Muller the President of End Citizens United said:

“Montanans and Americans deserve a Congress that works for them, not special interest donors and big corporations. That’s why it’s critical constituents know who their elected officials are meeting with, Senator Tester is leading by example – he was the first member of Congress to regularly post his schedule online, and remains one of the few to do so today. We appreciate his tireless commitment to increased transparency and accountability in government and hope that other elected officials will join in supporting this commonsense legislation.”

Because we do fact check at Nonstop Local, we did—and Senator Tester does in fact post his daily schedule. You’ll see that there was a 12:45 p.m. interview on the 19th, that was the interview he did with Bradley Warren on this bill.

The Senator tells Nonstop Local, he plans on introducing this legislation on Tuesday.