In order to really understand a problem, you have to hear what’s going on from those affected. And the best ideas for solutions come from Montanans themselves.
When it comes to getting veterans the health care and benefits they’ve earned, I leave no stone unturned. So, I took Veterans Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald on a tour of Montana, so he could hear about the issues our veterans face.
In Montana we have one of the highest rates of veterans per capita of any state — approximately 1 in 10 Montanans is a veteran. And nearly half of those veterans live in rural areas.
Seems like every time I turn on the TV, I see another pundit or politician calling for greater American military intervention in response to ISIS, or heading to war with Iran, or cleaning up after some other conflict around the world.
While these threats are real and must be taken seriously, America can no longer afford to go it alone.
We spend billions overseas every year and put thousands of young American men and women in harm’s way. And we pay for it by taking out new loans — mostly from foreign countries like China and Japan.
In the meantime, our allies are free to invest significantly more in public education, in health care, in infrastructure, in research and development, and in lower taxes.
We should be making those investments. But the budgets passed this week by the majority in Congress don’t.
U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) has announced he will sponsor legislation to cut taxes for Montana’s small breweries.
The Small Brew Act would lower the excise tax for small brewers from $7 to $3.50 for the first 60,000 barrels of beer produced each year.
The bill would also provide a $2 reduction for every barrel produced between 60,000 and 2 million.
Tester says cutting taxes for small brewers would allow them to grow their businesses and reinvest in their communities.
Veterans who live more than 40-miles from a VA Facility will be able to get medical care closer to home.
Senator Jon Tester says the VA is changing its Choice Program policy.
When the program first started, if a veteran wanted access to non-VA care through the program — it required veterans to live at least 40-miles “as the crow flies” from any VA facility instead of 40 driving miles.
In January, the VA said veterans could get a waiver, if they lived more than 40 miles away. This week they changed that policy, saying veterans don’t have to get a waiver.