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National security wins for MT, pay raise for troops sent to President’s desk

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News from the office of Senator Tester

U.S. Senate — The Senate passed key defense priorities today spearheaded by U.S. Senator Jon Tester as a part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2023 to bolster our nation’s national and homeland security, and support Montana’s servicemembers, military families, and veterans.

These priorities include authorizing a 4.6% pay raise for servicemembers, provisions to replace the aging Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) with next-generation Ground Based Strategic Deterrent at Malmstrom Air Force Base, and improve homeland security with Tester’s PREVENTS Act to crack down on fentanyl, as well as his Fairness for Federal Firefighters Act.

“This bipartisan bill makes critical investments in our military men and women, their families, and bolsters our nation’s security at home and abroad,” said Tester. “From working to implement the next generation of ICBMs at Malmstrom, to giving our servicemembers a well-deserved pay raise, and supporting our military families and veterans—we’re keeping our country safe and tackling emerging national security threats. I’m especially proud I was able to secure my bipartisan bills in this effort to tackle fentanyl trafficking, and finally do right by our firefighters suffering from illness related to their service.”

Other Montana Priorities: 

Prohibits the early retirement of five Navy littoral combat ships, including the USS Billings

Renames Butte Military Entrance Testing Site as Silver Bow Readiness Center Land

Veterans: Continues to allow private or non-government entities to donate property or facilities to VA to help them advance VA construction projects; Directs VA to evaluate productive expectations for Vet Center staff  to examine staff welfare and overall quality of care: Creates a three-year pilot program for Vet Centers to combat veteran food insecurity

 Military Families: Increases the Basic Needs Allowance threshold from 130% to 150% of the federal poverty line, to ensure that all servicemembers can meet the basic needs of their families; Codifies an Assistant Secretary of Defense for Energy, Installations and Environment as Chief Housing Officer to address Basic Needs Allowance for housing in high-cost eras and tackle housing shortages for servicemembers

 Countering China: Extends the Pacific Deterrence Initiative through Fiscal Year 2023, which is a key subset of the DOD’s efforts to strengthen regional deterrence in the Indo-Pacific region; Establishes a joint force headquarters within the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command area of responsibility, which includes China

 War in Ukraine: Authorizes $6.9 billion for the European Deterrence Initiative; Requires a report on the DOD’s Inspectors General framework to oversee US assistance to Ukraine and give a full accounting of how taxpayer dollars are being spent


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