Tester Slams Administration Budget Proposal: ‘rural America deserves better’

Deep cuts to Medicare, Land and Water Conservation Fund, and farm assistance, among other Montana priorities

Following the release of the Trump Administration’s proposed Fiscal Year 2021 budget, U.S. Senator Jon Tester released the following statement:

“We need to tackle wasteful spending and our national debt—which has exploded over the past three years—but this Administration’s irresponsible budget proposal does neither,” said Tester. “Instead, it funds tax cuts for the wealthy by slashing Medicare and healthcare for rural families, cutting rural infrastructure projects, and decimating our public lands and outdoor recreation economy. Rural America deserves better than to be thrown under the bus as it drives even further into the swamp.”

Tester is a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, which crafts the final government funding bills passed by Congress. He is also the Ranking Member of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, and in that role he will be working with Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) to write the portion of the budget that funds border security and other national security priorities.

The Administration’s proposed Fiscal Year 2021 budget:


  • Cuts $465 billion from payments to Medicare providers like hospitals.
  • Eliminates the Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion and premium tax credits, replaces them with a structurally flawed, underfunded block grant, and cuts an estimated $980 billion from Medicaid for Fiscal Year 2021.
  • Cuts $75.7 billion from Social Security and Supplemental Security Income.
  • Cuts 97 percent of funds for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) to $14.7 million, down from $495 million in Fiscal Year 2020. Tester continues to push to fully fund the LWCF at its authorized level of $900 million.
  • Cuts funding for Payments In Lieu of Taxes, rural water projects, and Indian water rights settlements.
  • Cuts more than $720 million from Job Corps and lays out a process to close Job Corps centers.
  • Cuts $57.7 billion over 10 years from farm assistance programs like crop insurance and conservation programs.
  • Cuts funding for the Farm and Ranch Assistance Network, which provides mental health services to the agricultural community, by 25 percent.
  • Eliminates the Airport Improvement Program (AIP), which provides grants for airport capital investments. In 2019, the AIP provided 46 grants to Montana airports.
  • Calls for the retirement of 24 C-130Hs—such as those at the Montana Air National Guard—with no details as to which units will be impacted.