Tester sends 13th bill to Trump’s desk for signature

by Missoula Current, Martin Kidston

A bill aimed at resolving delayed or dropped phone calls in rural America is heading to President Donald Trump’s desk for signature, marking the 13th piece of legislation Sen. Jon Tester has sent to the president’s desk this Congress.

The latest bill will establish quality standards for intermediaries who transmit phone calls. Despite improved phone and Internet service in urban America, Tester said, nearly 20 percent of calls made in rural American are delayed, disrupted or dropped.

“Many folks in rural Montana still can’t always rely on something as basic as a landline to complete their calls,” Tester said. “This bill will hold out-of-state phone service providers accountable and improve service for families and small businesses across rural Montana.”

The Improving Rural Call Quality and Reliability Act follows a dozen other Tester bills that Trump has signed into law during this session of Congress, including several aimed at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Legislation intended to declassify toxic exposure and add oversight to the Government Accountability Office were also signed into law by Trump. Tester’s Fire Grants Reauthorization Act also became law in January.

The bills include:

GAO Access and Oversight Act
Veterans Choice Program Improvement Act
VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act
VA Choice and Quality Employment Act of 2017
Harry W. Colmery Veterans Education Assistance Act
Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act
VA Expiring Authorities Act
Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act
John Olsen Toxic Exposure Declassification Act
Fire Grants Reauthorization Act
Alex Diekmann Peak Designation Act
Honoring Our Hometown Heroes Act