Tester Statement on Vote to Prevent Government Shutdown

U.S. Senator Jon Tester issued the following statement on his vote to reject partisan gimmicks and prevent a government shutdown:

“A government shutdown would undermine our national security, hurt our veterans, and only benefit our foreign adversaries like the Chinese government who want to take America’s place as the world’s leading military and economic superpower – and tonight I voted to make sure that would not happen. Three weeks ago, I voted to secure our southern border, while Mitch McConnell and other D.C. politicians voted to keep the border open for another year in hopes of scoring political points in an election year. Then in a move that is only possible in a place as broken as Washington D.C., many of these same politicians turned around and offered a border proposal that would actually cut funding for border security. I joined Republicans and Democrats in rejecting this sham because it would take away resources from our veterans, undermine the men and women serving in our military, and embolden our foreign adversaries. We need to secure the border but not on the back of the hardworking Americans that have and are currently serving our nation.”

Tester opposed a partisan gimmick on the Senate floor that would have hurt border security efforts by cutting funding for hiring border agents and officers along the southern border, not providing sufficient resources to combat the growing fentanyl crisis, and slashing resources for drug taskforces, including those in Montana.

In February, Tester voted to secure the southern border – but politicians in Congress blocked the bipartisan border security legislation. During President Biden’s visit to the southern border, Tester sent him a letterstating that the President must use all remaining tools at his disposal to strengthen border security before things deteriorate further.

Tester has pressed congressional leaders to pass the bipartisan border security legislation in light of reporting detailing that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is facing a dangerous budget shortfall that could result in the release of thousands of detainees.

In December, Tester pressed Senate leadership to prioritize these border security negotiations and tackle our broken immigration system. In a statewide and national op-ed, Tester called for the Senate to get the bill on the floor for debate.

Read a memo outlining the facts about the bipartisan border security proposal HERE.