Tester: President's Budget Fails Vets

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — Sen. Jon Tester today released the following statement in response to President Bush's proposed budget:

"I have serious concerns that this budget doesn't come close to adequately funding veterans healthcare.  We made a promise to the veterans of this country, and we break that promise by making them beg for money to pay for health care each and every year.  We need to make that funding automatic and we need to make it adequate.  Right now, the Administration is doing neither.  We're spending upwards of $2 billion each week in Iraq in a war that is creating wounded veterans by the thousands.  Unless the Administration gets serious about funding VA healthcare, those young men and women will return home to nothing but long lines and higher fees. 

As debate on this budget begins, I will fight to make sure Montana's interests are represented.  As it stands today, the President's budget will do nothing to help the vast majority of the 169,000 Montanans with no healthcare, it will raise premiums on Montana Medicare beneficiaries, and it will cut critical funding from Montana's terrorism prevention and response systems. 

Sen. Baucus and I are ready to roll up our sleeves and work with Rep. Rehberg to fight for Montana's priorities.  We'll hold the Administration accountable, ask the tough questions and make sure Montanans tax dollars are being spent wisely."