Tester: Prioritize upgrades in Montana before increasing military construction overseas

Senator calls for more investments in Montana National Guard during Appropriations hearing

(U.S. SENATE)-Senator Jon Tester today urged senior military leaders to limit military construction spending overseas in favor of improving existing facilities in the United States.

During a hearing on the Defense Department’s construction budget, Tester highlighted the need for new investments in military facilities in the U.S. and pointed out that Montana soldiers and Airmen continue to train in facilities that are outdated and short of space. He also raised concerns about the levels being spent on military construction overseas, and questioned whether host nations and allies were contributing their fair share of the costs.

Tester, Ranking Member of the Military Construction and VA Appropriations Subcommittee, specifically cited the need for a new National Guard Armory in Butte and called on the Defense Department to reconsider its investments in overseas military construction.

“Often times, it’s U.S. taxpayers’ dollars and American lives on the line while our allies stay back and watch the United States invest overseas,” Tester said. “The U.S. taxpayer can’t be put on the line disproportionately, just as soldiers can’t be put on the line disproportionately. While we invest in overseas bases, our allies are able to invest in education, research and development, and lower taxes.”

Tester’s priorities as Ranking Member are to increase investments in Malmstrom and MANG, limit wasteful overseas military construction spending, and improve access to VA facilities.

Last Congress, Tester introduced a Senate resolution calling on the Defense Department to save money and better meet American military needs by closing overseas military bases.