Tester Pushes for Quick Action on St. Mary’s Infrastructure Funding in Call with Bureau of Reclamation Head

Tester wrote provision providing up to $100 million for the Milk River Project in his bipartisan infrastructure package

After securing up to $100 million in funding for the Milk River Project in his bipartisan infrastructure package that was recently signed into law, U.S. Senator Jon Tester this week spoke with the Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation, Camille Touton, to push the agency to make the St. Mary’s diversion a top priority and get the resources out the door as quickly as possible.

“As a third-generation farmer from Big Sandy, I know firsthand that the Milk River Project is essential irrigation infrastructure to communities in Northern Montana, providing water for farms, towns, and Tribes,” said Tester. “But the Project has needed critical upgrades for decades, which is why I negotiated up to $100 million directly for the Milk River Project in my bipartisan infrastructure package. So I got on the horn with the Reclamation Commissioner and let her know this needs to be her top priority and that I expect regular updates on her work to quickly get these resources out the door and into the hands of Montanans as quickly as possible.”

Tester directly negotiated and wrote the provision of his legislation that will provide up to $100 million to rehabilitate the Milk River Project. He worked across the aisle for months to negotiate his bipartisan package with a group of five Republicans, four Democrats, and the White House, and he was the only member of Montana’s congressional delegation to vote for it. Tester’s law is projected to create more than 800,000 American jobs and lower costs for businesses by making targeted investments that will strengthen our nation without raising taxes on working families.

Tester made sure that the legislation does not raise taxes. He secured significant wins for Montana in the legislation, including $2.82 billion for Montana’s roads, highways and bridges; $2.5 billion to complete all authorized Indian water rights settlements; $1 billion to complete all authorized rural water projects through the Bureau of Reclamation; $42.45 billion for broadband deployment to low-connectivity areas across the country; and $3.37 billion to reduce wildfire risk nationwide, among others. Tester also worked to ensure that all iron, steel, and construction materials used for these projects must be made in America.