Congress favors politics over doing its job

by Sen. Jon Tester

As a farmer and as your senator, I’ve learned there are two certainties in life: The rooster will crow at dawn, and Congress will abandon town during election season.

We are still more than five weeks from Election Day, and sure enough, Congress has adjourned until the middle of November.

Before Congress left town, I took to the Senate floor and urged my colleagues to stay in session and address important issues for folks across the country.

But my words fell on deaf ears, and after this upcoming five-week recess, Congress is on pace to work the least amount of days in 60 years.

There is too much work to be done for folks in Congress not to do their job.

America’s veterans are waiting for Congress to pass my Veterans First Act and fix the problems with the Veterans Choice Program.

Rural families are waiting for Congress to take up my Restoring Rural Residencies Act to hire more doctors into rural hospitals.

Outdoor enthusiasts are waiting for Congress to clear the bipartisan Wildfire Disaster Funding Act to free up more resources for trail maintenance and timber harvests in our forests.

Montana’s counties, schools, and police officers are waiting for Congress to provide certainty and deliver timely SRS and PILT payments.

And the entire nation is waiting for the Senate to vote on a Supreme Court nominee. In our nation’s history, it has never taken longer to fill a Supreme Court vacancy.

Montanans deserve these common-sense solutions, but folks in Congress have proven they aren’t willing to roll up their sleeves to get the job done.

These aren’t controversial issues, and there is bipartisan support on all of these fronts.

But because folks are prioritizing the next election over the families they represent, Montanans are being forced to wait longer to see real solutions.

That is unacceptable. On the farm you don’t hang up your hat until the work is done. It should be the same in Washington.