Baucus, Tester deliver real results for Big Sky Country
Senators look to finish strong for Montanans
(HELENA, Mont.) After completing one of the most successful and rigorous work periods in congressional history, Montana Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester today outlined their plans for the rest of the year, while highlighting some of their major legislative accomplishments in the 110th Congress.
"We've really rolled up our sleeves, and gotten some great things done," Baucus said. "From health insurance for children, to helping students afford college, to putting a few more bucks in working people's pockets, this was a good work period. But we can't rest on our heels, we've got to put our foot on the gas, and finish up strong."
"From all-nighters to working through the weekend, I was proud of everything we got done," Tester said. "But like the saying goes, we've got to make hay while the sun shines, and we're going to make sure the ball gets across the goal line."
MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENTS SO FAR:
- CHIP: Baucus and Tester helped pass Baucus' bipartisan plan to provide a $35 billion increase to the Children's Health Insurance Program. This increase will provide health care to an additional 12,000 Montana children.
- Veterans: Tester, a member of the Senate Veterans Committee, and Baucus got the VA to open to new clinics in Lewistown and Cut Bank. They also held a successful field hearing to improve health care for Montana's rural veterans.
- Ethics: The Senate adopted Baucus' and Tester's sweeping ethics reform, prohibiting gifts, meals, subsidized travel on corporate jets and closing the "revolving door."
- Appropriations: Baucus and Tester have secured more than $113 million for specific Montana projects through appropriations bills.
- Minimum Wage: Baucus and Tester successfully increased the federal minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 an hour.
- Higher Education: The Senate passed bill supported by Baucus and Tester making college more affordable by increasing Pell Grants from $4,050 to $5,400.
- Wildfires: Baucus and Tester, after touring several fires in Montana, are pushing to set up a wildland fire trust fund, to ensure resources are available to fight wildfires.