Tester to White House: Rural America needs jobs

Senator presses Administration on behalf of Montana small businesses and contractors

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Senator Jon Tester today met with President Obama’s right-hand man to urge the Administration to maximize the impact of the Jobs-Stimulus bill for Montana and rural America.

Tester and other sophomore-class Senators met with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel at the White House where creating jobs was at the top of the agenda.

After hearing from local contractors who were having difficulty accessing Jobs-Stimulus Bill contracts, Senator Tester organized a Small Business Opportunity Workshop in Great Falls last month. Tester’s efforts prompted some federal agencies to change their contracting practices to put an emphasis on hiring local contractors and subcontractors.

“We had a frank conversation about the need to use this money effectively.  We need a level playing field for small contractors, and we need to be utilizing businesses that are responsive to the needs of rural America,” said Tester.  “I’ll continue to fight for more opportunities for Montana’s small businesses.  They’re the backbone of the economy, and we’ll get the most bang for our buck if they’re able to compete.”

The video from the workshop can be accessed on Tester’s website by visiting: www.tester.senate.gov/workshop.

Tester and Senator Max Baucus helped write, supported, and voted for the Jobs-Stimulus Bill, formally known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  The bill is investing more than $1 billion in Montana infrastructure projects such as roads, water systems and ports of entry.