Tester Works with Both Parties to Invest in Montana

Senator Votes for Funding Bills that Increase Access to Affordable Housing, Strengthen Malmstrom AFB, and Invest in the VA

(U.S. Senate)-U.S. Senator Jon Tester today worked with Republicans and Democrats to move more bipartisan bills forward that increase access to affordable housing, support Montana’s veterans, and strengthen Malmstrom Air Force Base.

During today’s Senate Appropriations hearing, Tester secured resources for Montana in the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill and the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill. Both bills will now go to the Senate floor for a vote.

“By checking politics at the door, I’m holding Washington accountable to Montana,” said Tester, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “These plans do right by our state so that local businesses can create jobs, families can access affordable housing, Malmstrom can continue to keep us safe, and veterans can access the timely care they’ve earned.”

Under Tester’s leadership, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed two government appropriations bills today-each containing critical Montana priorities.

Affordable Housing Provisions

  • $1.3 billion for the HOME Program, which helps Montanans access affordable housing.
  • $3.3 billion for Community Development Block Grants that Montana cities and towns can utilize to construct and restore affordable housing units.
  • $147 million for NeighborWorks, which Montanans have used to increase access to affordable housing.

Veterans Provisions

  • $861 million for the VA Caregivers Program, which Tester just expanded to veterans of all eras and ages.
  • $150 million for extended care grants to help veterans who need long-term care.
  • $450 million for support services for veteran families.
  • $531 million for female veteran services. 
  • $270 million for rural veteran services.
  • $30 million to expand telehealth services at the VA.


Malmstrom Air Force Base Provisions

  • Urges the Air Force to expedite the modernization of Missile Alert Facilities at Malmstrom Air Force Base.
  • Prohibits the Air Force from relocating Malmstrom’s RED HORSE unit overseas.

Transportation Provisions

  • $175 million to continue Essential Air Service at seven Montana airports.
  • $1.3 billion for National Network Grants that support Amtrak’s long-distance service like Montana’s Empire Builder Line.
  • Directs the Secretary of Transportation to coordinate with the Secretary of Agriculture regarding the implementation of electronic logging devices for livestock haulers.

As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Tester is responsible for writing the 12 annual bills that fund the federal government.