On Eve of State of the Union, Tester Reflects on Year Working with Trump Administration
"I've kept my commitment to work with the President when I can and hold him accountable when I must"
(U.S. Senate) – As President Trump prepares to give his first State of the Union Address on Tuesday, U.S. Senator Jon Tester is reflecting on a year of working with the President and his Administration.
“On the day Donald Trump became President I said I would work with him when I can and hold him accountable when I must,” Tester said. “And that’s exactly what I’ve done, and it’s why the President has signed 11 of my bills into law over the past year.”
Below are just a few the ways in which Tester has kept his commitment.
Since being sworn into office, President Trump has signed 11 of Tester’s bills into law.
- GAO Access and Oversight Act
- Veterans Choice Program Improvement Act
- VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act
- VA Choice and Quality Employment Act of 2017
- Harry W. Colmery Veterans Education Assistance Act
- Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act
- VA Expiring Authorities Act
- Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act
- John Olsen Toxic Exposure Declassification Act
- Fire Grants Reauthorization Act
- Alex Diekmann Peak Designation Act
As Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Tester helped usher President Trump’s VA Secretary nominee through the confirmation process-with a unanimous vote in the Senate-and has worked closely with the Administration to achieve bipartisan victories for Montana veterans.
Before President Trump was even sworn in, Tester introduced the Cleaning Up Washington’s Act to help fulfill Trump’s campaign promise to “drain the swamp.” Tester also launched the Senate Transparency Caucus and introduced two bills and a constitutional amendment aimed at getting special interests out of politics.
Tester has personally met with and voted for the majority of President Trump’s Cabinet-including Ben Carson, David Shulkin, John Kelly, Kirstjen Nielsen, and Ryan Zinke-and ultimately supported 65 percent of Trump’s nominees after soliciting input from thousands of Montanans.
After standing with the more than 8,500 parents, teachers, and students across Montana who contacted Tester about their opposition to Betsy DeVos’ nomination as Secretary of Education, Tester vowed to defend Montana’s public education system and he’s done just that by fighting for the University of Montana’s Upward Bound Program, opposing new regulatory burdens on rural schools, and advancing legislation to help recruit and retain more teachers in Montana’s classrooms.
After seeking a strong commitment from Interior Secretary Zinke to keep public lands in public hands, Tester has defended Montana against the Administration’s attempts to significantly increase the price of admissions at Glacier & Yellowstone National Parks, slash funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and roll back protections on the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument.
As part of his ongoing effort to increase access to quality health care across Montana, Tester aggressively defended against the Administration’s repeated attempts to raise health insurance rates, gut Medicaid, threaten folks with pre-existing conditions, kick thousands off their insurance plans and roll back health care coverage in rural America.
After holding numerous listening sessions with Montana veterans, Tester is demanding the VA implement the bills he’s gotten signed into law, improve wait times, address workforce shortages and improve overall access to care.
Tester has relentlessly demanded answers from the Administration. His heated exchange with IHS Director Michael Weakhee went viral; he blasted EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt for wasting taxpayer money and neglecting Montana’s Superfund sites; and his grilling of Export Import Bank nominee Scott Garrett help lead to a bipartisan rejection of Garrett’s confirmation.
As a senior member of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, Tester successfully defended against the Administration’s proposed budget, which would have eliminated funding for the Essential Air Service, Amtrak’s Empire Builder Line, USDA’s Rural Water and Waste Disposal Program, and the Fort Keogh Research Laboratory in Miles City.