BREAKING: Tester Speaks on Senate Floor, Introduces Amendment to Strengthen Border Security, hold Biden Administration Accountable

Senator’s bipartisan amendment would’ve increased funding to secure the southern border, overruled Biden Administration

As a part of his continued effort to strengthen border security, U.S. Senator Jon Tester this morning spoke on the Senate floor in support of his amendment to the annual government funding bill which would’ve invested additional resources into law enforcement on the southern border and extended Title 42 – a policy that empowered the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to expel migrants illegally crossing the border during the pandemic.

Tester’s amendment failed to pass due to opposition from both Democrats and Republicans. Tester called out both parties.

“My top priority is defending Montana and I will stand up to my own party when they are wrong,” said Tester. “Unfortunately, Republicans and Democrats in Washington, D.C. have failed Montanans by failing to secure our southern border and fix our broken immigration system. I will continue to hold the Biden Administration accountable and call on all of my colleagues to put politics aside and deliver real results, not political statements that weaken our country.”

Tester’s amendment would’ve overruled President Biden’s decision to end Title 42, invested additional resources into law enforcement on the southern border, invested in technology and physical barriers where necessary on the southern border, and provided funding for additional judges and legal officials to ensure an orderly process in evaluating claims of migrants.

Tester has been a top critic of the Biden Administration’s decision to eliminate the Title 42 guidance. Earlier this year, Tester introduced the bipartisan Public Health and Border Security Act, which would require the federal national emergency declaration for COVID-19 to be lifted before Title 42 could be terminated.

Last month, Tester and a group of bipartisan colleagues again outlined their concerns to DHS about the Biden Administration’s current preparations for the end of Title 42. In his letter, Tester questioned how the Administration plans to ensure operational control of the border, maintain security, dedicate resources, and provide fair and humane treatment for migrants at the southern border once Title 42 ends.

Tester, former Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, has been Montana’s leading champion in ensuring America’s border security at the northern and southern borders. Last year, he fought to secure $3.85 billion for Land Ports of Entry to modernize and secure the northern and southern borders in his bipartisan infrastructure legislation. He was the only member of Montana’s congressional delegation to vote for the FY22 government funding bill, which provided over $14 billion for Customs and Border Protection (CBP), including over $425 million for border security technology. The bill also included over $1 billion for state, local, and Tribal law enforcement to help support border security efforts, combat drug trafficking, and keep communities safe.