Sen. Tester pushing for rural infrastructure funding

by MTN News

HELENA – US Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) took part in a Helena business roundtable on Thursday where he talked about his banking deregulation bill that just passed.

But he also stopped in to talk with MTN News on a wide variety of issues before Congress — including infrastructure. Sen. Tester, who is up for re-election this year, also explained why he voted for the big omnibus- budget bill last week.

He says it had many good things, for the country and Montana – including language to help the Forest Service better manage timber and other national-forest resources.

On this week’s firing of Veterans-Administration Secretary David Shulkin – Sen. Tester said he found it “somewhat troubling.” But he said it’s time to look forward and keep working on improving health care for military veterans.

Sen. Tester also said Congress can come together on an infrastructure bill if it wants to – and,

“I think infrastructure is bigger than just roads and bridges. The work that has to be done on broadband is really important – on cell service is really important – to make sure that rural America gets those dollars, is really important,” Sen. Tester said.

“So we’ve got a lot of work to do when it comes to infrastructure. There are a lot of needs out there. We have neglected it for far too long. We are living on the infrastructure that my parents’ generation built; it’s time we step up,” he added.

Sen. Tester also said it will be difficult finding the federal money to fund infrastructure.