Tester Statement on COVID-19 Relief Vets Priorities Passing U.S. House

U.S. Senator Jon Tester, Chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, today released the following statement on the U.S. House of Representatives passing Tester-backed provisions to support veterans and staff in the COVID-19 relief package:

“We’re now one step closer to delivering targeted relief to veterans and all Americans who need it. Montana is home to one of the highest per capita veteran populations in the country, and a lot of the folks who have served our nation are at higher risk of contracting COVID-19 and falling on hard times. This package includes important provisions to get more vaccines into our communities. And it provides smart relief to those who swore an oath to protect our country that will slow the spread of the virus and help get folks back to work.”

Chairman Tester has been working tirelessly to ensure Montana’s veterans and their families have the resources they need during the pandemic. Earlier this month, he met with President Joe Biden and Senate leaders to discuss a comprehensive COVID-19 relief plan, where he highlighted the urgent need to increase vaccine production to better protect veterans—especially those in rural areas across Montana.

Tester later took to the Senate floor to urge his colleagues to support a COVID-19 relief plan to provide additional resources to address veteran priorities such as increasing access to mental health care and job training programs, bolstering the safety of veterans and staff at VA facilities and State Veterans Homes, and waiving VA health care copayment debts and billing during the economic crisis. On February 11, he successfully cleared a number of provisions in the COVID package through the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee to support veterans.