Tester Secures Montana Wins in Must-Pass Annual Defense Bill Including Protecting American Farmland, Preventing Spy Balloon Incursions, Combating Flow of Fentanyl

Senator delivers multiple bipartisan amendments that will defend Montana and counter foreign adversaries like China

As part of his continued efforts to defend Montana and keep our country safe, U.S. Senator Jon Tester secured major victories for Montana as part of the must-pass annual national defense bill, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which just passed the Senate with broad bipartisan support.  

Tester successfully included multiple bipartisan amendments in the final passage of the bill including legislation to protect American farmland from foreign adversaries, investigate U.S. technology that is currently being used in foreign espionage programs to prevent future spy balloon incursions, combat the deadly flow of fentanyl into Montana communities, honor our nation’s commitment to our veterans, and protect Montana firefighters from deadly diseases. Additionally, Tester secured as an amendment the Fort Belknap Indian Community (FBIC) Water Settlement, the final Indian Water Rights Water Settlement in Montana and a longtime priority of the Senator.

“My top priority will always be defending Montana and keeping our nation safe,” said Tester. “That’s why I’m proud to have worked with Republicans and Democrats to secure these commonsense provisions that will protect American farmland from foreign adversaries, counter surveillance efforts from the Chinese Communist Party, combat the dangerous flow of fentanyl that is wreaking havoc on Montana communities, and honor our nation’s commitment to our veterans. Now I urge my colleagues in the House to come together and support our efforts to ensure our military has the tools they need to protect our nation’s freedoms.”

Protecting American Farmland and Agribusiness from Foreign Adversaries:

  • Tester secured the addition of his bipartisan legislation to prevent foreign adversaries – China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran – from acquiring American farmland or agribusiness. Tester’s amendment would enable CFIUS to review all significant agriculture-related foreign investments using expert data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and it will empower CFIUS to prohibit future purchases of farmland by our foreign adversaries.

Preventing Future Spy Balloon Incursions:

  • Tester, who is leading the Senate’s bipartisan investigation into the Chinese spy balloon that was first spotted over Montana in February, successfully secured the inclusion of his bipartisan amendment to the NDAA to assess commercially available technology that can and is being used in foreign espionage programs.

Combatting the Flow of Fentanyl into Montana Communities:

  • Tester’s bipartisan Fentanyl Eradication and Narcotics Deterrence (FEND) Off Fentanyl Act was successfully included as an amendment to the NDAA. Tester’s FEND Off Fentanyl Act would 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.

Honoring Our Commitment to Our Nation’s Veterans:

  • Continuing his push to strengthen the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) infrastructure to better serve veterans, Tester successfully included his bipartisan legislation to cut red tape so medical construction projects in Montana and across the country can be brought online more quickly. He also secured language to grant the first-ever Congressional charter to a Native veterans group, the National American Indian Veterans, Inc, which serves the interest and needs of Native veterans in all 50 states.

Protecting Montana Firefighters and First Responders:

  • In his ongoing effort to protect Montana firefighters from deadly diseases, Tester secured his bipartisan Firefighter Cancer Registry Reauthorization Act as an amendment to the NDAA. Tester’s legislation would renew critical funding for the registry, which was enacted in 2018 and officially went online earlier this year. The registry is the largest effort undertaken to understand the risk of cancer among U.S. firefighters.

Securing the Final Indian Water Rights Water Settlement in Montana:

  • After decades of collaborative work to pass the final Indian Water Rights Water Settlement in Montana, the Fort Belknap Indian Community (FBIC) Water Settlement led by Tester was added as an amendment to the NDAA with strong bipartisan support.