U.S. SENATE – After securing the Chairmanship of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee last month, U.S. Senator Jon Tester announced the rest of his committee assignments for the 117th Congress.
In addition to his new role as Chairman of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Tester will serve as Montana’s only member of the powerful Appropriations Committee and the Commerce Committee. In addition, he will serve in the majority on the Indian Affairs Committee and the Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs Committee.
“Montanans sent me to the Senate to create and protect jobs, hold government accountable, and fight every day to defend Montana, and that’s exactly what these committee assignments allow me to do,” said Tester. “As we fight hard to get this pandemic under control, get Montanans back to work, and reopen our economy, I will work aggressively on these four committees and as the Chairman of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee to protect Montanans, our communities, and our way of life.”
Senator Tester has been named to five committees in the 117th Congress:
Senate Committee on Indian Affairs: As a former Chairman and longtime member of the Indian Affairs Committee, Senator Tester will continue to fight to make sure that the federal government upholds its trust and treaty responsibilities to Native communities in Montana and across the country. He will continue to work closely with Tribal nations to expand resources at the Indian Health Service, increase investments in Tribal schools and support for Native teachers, and secure resources for Tribal law enforcement. He will also continue leading the charge in the fight against the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons crisis by pushing the Committee to pass bills focusing on addressing violence in Indian Country.
Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs: Senator Tester will chair the powerful Veterans’ Affairs Committee, which creates legislation related to veterans’ health, benefits, and compensation, and conducts oversight over the Department of Veterans Affairs to ensure that servicemembers and their families receive the benefits they have earned. For years, Tester has been a bipartisan champion for veterans in the Senate, working with various Veterans Service Organizations to push critical initiatives such as the expansion of benefits and care for those exposed to Agent Orange, the Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act, the Deborah Sampson Act, and the Johnny Isakson and David P. Roe, M.D. Veterans, Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act.
Senate Committee on Appropriations: Senator Tester is now the only member of the Montana delegation who sits on the powerful Appropriations Committee, which writes the legislation that allocates federal funds to government agencies and departments annually. Now a senior member of the Committee, Senator Tester has for years ensured that responsible investments in Montana priorities like creating jobs in our rural communities, investing in rural infrastructure projects, and ensuring Montana farmers receive disaster relief following extreme weather have been signed into law.
Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation: As a Northcentral Montana resident who doesn’t have cell phone service on much of his farm, Senator Tester understands firsthand the connectivity issues facing folks in rural Montana. As Montana’s only member of the Senate Commerce Committee, Senator Tester has led the charge to shore up broadband and infrastructure across rural America, improving mapping and securing investments that create jobs and boost frontier economies. And to make sure rural America is not left behind, Senator Tester is fighting to guarantee that Montana and other rural communities are at the forefront of consideration in the race to develop a nationwide 5G wireless network.
Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs: Senator Tester is a senior member of the Banking Committee and was the lead sponsor of banking regulatory reform legislation that eliminated unnecessary red tape on community banks in Montana that were suffering from stifling regulations. This Congress, Senator Tester will continue to fight to make sure businesses receive insurance coverage/payments during the pandemic, and he is working actively to address the affordable housing crisis in large Montana cities and frontier communities across the state.