On Facebook Live, Tester Answers Questions, Hears Feedback from Montanans on COVID-19 Crisis

Senator: “I am going to continue to hold Washington accountable,” make sure Montana isn’t left behind

U.S. Senator Jon Tester hosted a Facebook Live Town Hall today to answer Montanans’ questions and solicit feedback on efforts to combat the COVID-19 crisis.

Tester answered questions from Montanans about how to apply for unemployment insurance and small business relief, gave guidance on the direct payments to Americans, and discussed his push to secure critically-needed masks, ventilators, and other personal protective equipment for the state’s frontline health care workers.

“The truth is, the CARES Act [Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act that Congress passed last week] was far from perfect but it was absolutely necessary,” Tester said. “Families that are out of work, small businesses that are required to be closed down, health care workers out there who are taking care of folks who need help, and many others, could not wait another moment.”

The CARES Act provides $1,200 direct payments to Americans making less than $75,000, relief for small businesses, and provides $100 billion directly for hospitals, including $1.3 billion for community health centers. It also includes $31 million in aid for Montana’s colleges and universities, and nearly $49 million to ensure the integrity of the state’s transportation infrastructure in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Tester also took questions on student debt relief during the pandemic, his efforts to assist Montanans stranded abroad, and his efforts to boost rural broadband now that students have moved to online learning and telemedicine is increasingly critical.

“These are difficult times for all of us,” Tester said. “Folks are worried about their loved ones and about their livelihoods and their businesses. This is a situation unlike anything that has hit our country in more than 100 years. But the fact is we will get through this. We will defeat this virus, and we will do it by working together and doing what all Montanans do and looking out for each other.”

Tester has been working tirelessly to ensure that Montana is prepared to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. In the Senate last week, after 72 hours negotiating substantial, bipartisan improvements to COVID-19 stimulus legislation that had previously fallen far short, Tester voted to deliver critical, urgent relief to Montana workers, families, small businesses, hospitals and others hardest hit by the outbreak. This funding includes $1.25 billion for the state of Montana.

You can watch Tester’s Facebook Live HERE

Visit tester.senate.gov/coronavirusresouces for a list of resources for Montanans during the COVID-19 outbreak.