Tester Calls on Senate Leadership to Prioritize Border Security Negotiations

Senator: “Congress needs to stop pointing fingers and deliver some real solutions before things get worse”

As part of his relentless effort to secure America’s borders and stop the deadly flow of fentanyl into the United States, U.S. Senator Jon Tester today sent a letter pressing Senate leadership to prioritize bipartisan border security negotiations.

Writing to Senate leaders Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer, Tester highlighted his recent meetings with Montana sheriffs and mayors who have made clear that the situation at the border is directly impacting Treasure State communities: “For years, it has been clear that the federal government needs to address the issue at the southern border and that there is the necessary bipartisan support to do so everywhere but in Washington, D.C. with both parties sharing in the blame. I have met with local elected leaders, from mayors to sheriffs, who can point to the negative impact the situation at the border is having in their towns in Montana. If you sit down with federal law enforcement officials, from prosecutors to border patrol agents, they will tell you point blank that the cartels are taking advantage of the current state of play. Congress needs to stop pointing fingers and deliver some real solutions before things get worse.”

Tester urged both leaders to work toward real, commonsense solutions to address the southern border and fix our broken immigration system: “Let’s be clear, the status quo is not working regardless of what side you are on. Unfortunately, some in Washington, D.C. do not want to be a part of the solution. They would rather block progress in order to get more media attention and campaign contributions. I ask that you both work to ignore those voices and instead listen to the far majority of Americans that believe we can solve these issues with a little bit of common sense.”

Tester concluded his letter to Senate leadership by emphasizing that he is willing to work with anyone, Republican or Democrat, to get the job done: “Securing the southern border is critical to our national security. I will continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle that want to find real solutions, not play political games that only benefit their own personal agendas. I am asking both of you to do the same.”

Tester has consistently led the charge to secure our nation’s borders and combat fentanyl trafficking in Montana. Last month, Tester confronted Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas over the Biden Administration’s failure to secure the southern border.

In October, Tester led a letter calling on President Biden to prioritize additional funding, resources, and innovative strategies to strengthen the security of our southern border. Tester also introduced his bipartisan Assisting Narcotics and Trafficking Officers in Interdicting (ANTI) Drugs Act to support funding for law enforcement efforts to combat the drug epidemic and boost border security, and his bipartisan Fentanyl Eradication and Narcotics Deterrence (FEND) Off Fentanyl Act to impose economic sanctions on those engaged in the international trafficking of illicit fentanyl, precursor chemicals used to make fentanyl, or other related opioids, and declare international trafficking of fentanyl as a national emergency. 

As the Chairman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, Tester passed critical provisions in the 2023 NDAA and the 2023 government funding bill to fund law enforcement and stop fentanyl trafficking along the southern border.

You can read Tester’s full letter to Senate leadership HERE.