Tester thanked for budget stand

I want to give a BIG Thank You to Senator Tester, for being the only one of Montana’s delegation to prioritize Montanans in the midst of the partisan political games of this budget mess, and work diligently to secure funding for our Community Health Centers. Rather than adhering blindly to a party line, Jon stood up for what was best for US — and now, his hard work is paying off.

Even before government funding expired in September, Tester has been laying out priorities for our US budget, including a long-term solution that meets the needs of Montanans, with resources for critical programs like our rural community health centers. Repeatedly, Tester asked his colleagues to do their jobs and join him in cosponsoring a bill to restore funding for Community Health Centers, yet his colleagues have continually obstructed any progress and refused to protect the 1 in 10 Montanans who rely on these centers for life-saving healthcare. With every short-term funding “fix” Congress passes for a few weeks at a time, our community health centers — which serve over 100,000 Montanans — were left in limbo. This is disgraceful.

We have watched Jon Tester roll up his sleeves and work for months to secure this deal to fund Community Health Centers, and there is no doubt in my mind that this man has a deep commitment to the people of Montana. 1 in 10 Montanans are patients at these Community Health Centers. They are a lifeline for many of our friends and neighbors, and do a great job of serving our rural communities, sometimes as the only healthcare available for many miles.

If Tester had just blindly voted for a budget that didn’t guarantee funding for the Community Health Centers that rural Montanans rely on, he would have been betraying the trust of the folks who voted him into office. I’m grateful for his leadership on this issue, and the many other ways that he stands up for Montanans. He is a fine example of the kind of representative we should be electing to serve Montanans in DC. Thank you for your service, Jon. Thank you for working for US!

— Heatherlynn Meeks, Butte