Tester votes to cut $4 billion in government spending

(U.S. SENATE) – Senator Jon Tester today released the following statement after voting to cut $4 billion in spending from the federal budget:

“This vote was another step toward getting our fiscal house in order by making real spending cuts and it was needed to prevent a Republican shutdown of the government.  Shutting down the government would deny critical services to millions of Americans, from approving veterans’ disability claims to building roads and water projects.

“But we can’t just keep kicking the can down the road.  We still need a credible, responsible long-term plan that will create jobs, cut spending and cut our debt without harming business and economic recovery in Montana or around the country.”

The cuts in spending are included in a bill to fund the federal government through March 18, which was approved by the Senate today. The cuts in spending include eliminating funding for a Smithsonian Institute building project, terminating an underutilized election assistance grant program, and streamlining four duplicative education programs. In the event that funding legislation fails to pass, the federal government is forced to shut down.

Yesterday, the Senate unanimously approved a plan by Tester to prevent members of Congress, and the President of the United States, from getting paid if the U.S. government fails to pass a budget and shuts down.

Tester, the only Senate Democrat to vote against both bailouts of Wall Street and the U.S. auto industry, also personally saved taxpayers $6 billion by trimming back a federal unemployment insurance law last year.