Tester on Government Funding Bill: ‘This bill shouldn’t be about politics or partisanship – it should be about national security’

On Senate Floor, Senator urges colleagues to fully fund federal government, military with 2023 appropriations deal

As the Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, U.S. Senator Jon Tester took to the Senate floor today to urge his colleagues to put politics aside, prioritize national security, and pass a Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23) budget to fund the federal government.

“The fact that we’re debating a Continuing Resolution instead of a full government funding bill, is truly disappointing,” said Tester. “It’s disappointing because funding the federal government, is Congress’s primary job. The people of Montana didn’t send me to the United States Senate to play politics, and put off work that needs to be done to another day – they sent me here to get the job done… This bill shouldn’t be about politics or partisanship, it should be about national security, and keeping our nation safe… We need to find common ground – and failure to find common ground puts our troops, our nation, and quite frankly the whole world in danger.”

As the Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, Tester is responsible for crafting the annual defense appropriations bill which will provide $792.1 billion for the Department of Defense and related activities in FY23. Tester crafted his defense appropriations package in August, and the bill will be the largest portion of the FY23 appropriations package, which has been delayed in place of the current Continuing Resolution (CR) package. This CR is a stopgap spending bill that will fund the government beyond the end of the fiscal year on September 30th, extending the funding deadline until December 16th. Operating on CRs forces the federal government, and the United States military, to operate on an outdated budget and fails to address funding priorities outlined by federal agencies.

Tester’s defense appropriations package prepares our military against our adversaries and ensures America retains its competitive edge over China while investing in cutting-edge, made-in-Montana solutions and next-generation research. Montana will receive $181.7 million through this legislation, with $126.7 million going to Montana universities, and $55 million going to Montana small businesses to further national defense interests. Funding for Montana universities and businesses was secured through existing Department of Defense programs and a competitive application process.