Tester Secures Millions for Air Force, Fights for $10.8 Million in Malmstrom Investments in Critical Spending Bill

Funding would address Malmstrom damage from winter storms

U.S. Senator Jon Tester, Chairman of the powerful Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, announced that he secured the inclusion of $330 million for the Air Force to recover from winter storms in the Continuing Resolution (CR) appropriations package currently moving through Congress. $10.8 million of those funds are expected to go to Malmstrom Air Force Base in Great Falls for facility repairs and construction, and Chairman Tester is working closely with Air Force leadership to ensure Malmstrom is made whole.

“Malmstrom was hit hard by storms this winter, and it’s critical that the base is fully repaired as soon as possible,” said Chairman Tester. “I’m proud to have used my role as Chairman to secure this critical funding in this spending package, and I’m going to keep working closely with Air Force leadership to make sure Malmstrom’s needs are addressed. I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass the Continuing Resolution so we can give our troops the tools they need to keep us safe and avoid a government shutdown that would be devastating to our economy.”

Chairman Tester fought to ensure this Air Force funding is included in the Continuing Resolution package, which is stopgap spending legislation that will fund the government beyond the end of the fiscal year on September 30th. The CR, which passed the House of Representatives this week, would keep the federal government open until December 3rd, and also includes $565 million secured by Chairman Tester for Navy disaster response, critical funds to help states recover from Hurricane Ida, and an increase to the debt limit, which would prevent the United States from defaulting on its bills and throwing the global economy into chaos.

Chairman Tester, a longtime champion of Malmstrom Air Force Base—which is approximately 90 miles from Tester’s farm in Big Sandy—toured the instillation in May, including an inspection of a Minuteman III silo, a briefing on the operational status of the ground-based leg of America’s nuclear Triad, a tour and briefing on the Wing Operations Center, and a demonstration by Malmstrom’s Tactical Response Force, among other events. Additionally, Tester met with Malmstrom’s airmen and women as well as the Montana Air National Guard to discuss what Congress can do to better support their mission of safeguarding Montana and defending America’s national security.

Tester took the gavel of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee in January. The Subcommitee is responsible for providing nearly $700 billion annually to the Department of Defense and related agencies. This is more than 95 percent of the military’s yearly budget, and includes matters ranging from pay and benefits for millions of service members and civilians to the development of advanced technologies and next-generation weapons. The Subcommittee also oversees funding for nearly all major U.S. intelligence agencies.