Senator Jon Tester's Political Positions

Biographical

Full Name: Jon Tester
Current Office: U.S. Senate - Sr, Democratic
First Elected: 11/07/2006
Last Elected: 11/06/2012
Next Election: 2018
Gender: Male
Family: Wife: Sharla; 2 Children: Christine, Shon
Birth Date: 08/21/1956
Birth Place: Havre, MT
Home City: Big Sandy, MT
Project Vote Smart does not permit the use of its name or programs in any campaign activity, including advertising, debates, and speeches.
Jon Tester refused to tell citizens where he stands on any of the issues addressed in the 2012 Political Courage Test, despite repeated requests from Vote Smart, national media, and prominent political leaders.

What is the Political Courage Test?

This candidate has demonstrated 0% courage during the test.

*Note: This percentage is calculated based on the number of issue areas addressed by the candidate on the Political Courage Test at the conclusion of the testing period. It does not indicate support or lack of support by Project Vote Smart.

Issue Positions

In response to the increasing unwillingness of candidates to answer issue questions, Project Vote Smart has researched Presidential and Congressional candidates' public records to determine candidates' likely responses on certain key issues. These are provided below as a courtesy to voters.

Vote Smart's Research

  • Jon Tester. Sen. Tester tackles questions from West High civics class. 29 September 2011. "Answering, he told the class he is pro-choice and believes in a woman's right to choose." (www.tester.senate.gov)
  • Jon Tester. Jon Tester Kicks off tour at Gibson Park. 26 July 2006. "One woman asked Tester on his views of Roe vs. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in all states. 'I'm pro-choice,' Tester said, eliciting cheers and clapping from almost all of those inside the restaurant. 'I don't think there's anybody in here who likes abortion. But it's a woman's reproductive right, not a bureaucrat's back in D.C.'" (votesmart.org)
  • Family Research Council. 04/18/2012. "Jon Tester supported the interests of the Family Research Council 0 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • NARAL Pro-Choice America. 04/18/2012. "Jon Tester supported the interests of the NARAL Pro-Choice America 100 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • Planned Parenthood. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Endorsements. 04/18/2012. Planned Parenthood endorsed Jon Tester in the 2012 general election. (votesmart.org)
  • National Right to Life Committee. 04/18/2012. "Jon Tester supported the interests of the National Right to Life Committee 0 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • Planned Parenthood. 04/18/2012. "Jon Tester supported the interests of Planned Parenthood 100 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • National Organization for Women. 04/18/2012. "On the votes used to calculate its ratings, the National Organization for Women attaches more value to those votes it considers more important. For 2008, the National Organization for Women gave Jon Tester a rating of 94 percent." (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. S Amdt 3896. 110th Congress. Prohibiting the Funds in S 1200 from Being Used for Abortions. Jon Tester voted Nay on 02/26/2008. (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Jon Tester. Burns, Tester Go head to head. 25 June 2006. "But Tester said that while he thought the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan was necessary after the Sept. 11 attacks, the war in Iraq was waged on false pretenses, because no weapons of mass destruction were found there. He said long-term involvement in Iraq is not affordable, 'neither monetarily, nor from a people standpoint,' he said, referring to MacDonald's question about the 2,500 American deaths there. 'I'm not saying negotiate with terrorists. No way,' Tester said. 'But the war in Iraq is not fighting the war on terror.'" (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. Helena Independent Record- Troops Need to Return on Time. 6 February 2011. "After visiting Afghanistan last month, Sen. Jon Tester more firmly believes a July deadline to start withdrawing troops is the right thing to do [...] In an interview with a member of the Independent Record editorial board last week, Tester, a Democrat, said he feels better about the United States' nearly decade-long involvement in Afghanistan than he did before he went. [...] 'The real rub is going to be, after this is over, after we move out, after all we have is a diplomatic presence there, if in fact Afghanistan, and Iraq for that matter, are stable and move forward in a way that provides stability in the Middle East, because that's really critically important in this part of the world,' Tester said." (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. Tester Calls On Other Countries To Pitch In As Congress Considers War Funding. 1 May 2009. "Senator Jon Tester is calling on other countries to 'step up the plate and pitch in' to help the worldwide fight against terrorism, as Congress considers a proposal to keep funding the U.S.-led wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. This week Tester and his colleagues on the influential Senate Appropriations Committee heard from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert Gates about the need to fund both wars. [...] Obama has said he wants to rebuild Afghanistan so that it's strong enough to keep Al-Qaida from reoccupying the country. He also wants to train 134,000 Afghan troops - almost double the current number. Tester believes fighting Al-Qaida should be a worldwide cooperative effort. Rebuilding America's alliances with other countries, he said, will help taxpayers share the cost of war." (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. Up Date From Washington: I'll Support Our Troops by Bringing Them Home. 9 July 2007. "Second, we must redouble our efforts in Afghanistan, where Al-Qaeda and Taliban terrorists are resurgent. As we pour our resources into Iraq, we're neglecting the War on Terrorism. We must work with our allies to make this a worldwide effort. I also support keeping military intelligence trained on Iraq and across the Middle East to monitor suspected terrorist activity." (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. UPDATE: Tester Surveys American Mission in Afghanistan. 21 January 2011. "Senator Jon Tester today met with Montana troops serving in Afghanistan and surveyed the work accomplished by U.S. and Afghan forces in the volatile Kandahar region of the war-torn country. [¦] 'We had a full day of gathering information and visiting with folks on the front lines. America's troops are doing a great job over here. We got a ton of input that'll be very valuable as we move forward in the Senate, discussing the future of our mission in Afghanistan." [¦] Tester was one of a handful of Senators who voted last year to require the Defense Department to share with the American public a detailed plan for future American involvement in Afghanistan." (votesmart.org)
  • Peace Action. 04/18/2012. "Jon Tester supported the interests of the Peace Action 86 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. Tester: Still Waiting for Political Progress in Iraq. 8 April 2009. "Senator Jon Tester released the following statement in response to today's Senate testimony by Gen. David Petraeus, the commander of coalition forces in Iraq, and Ryan Crocker, the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq: 'Our troops in Iraq have done an outstanding job under some of the toughest circumstances imaginable. And I'm proud of them. But I'm still waiting to hear why the Bush Administration and the Iraqi government haven't made any political progress over the last year. We're spending $12 billion every month in Iraq while risking the readiness of our military. It's time to focus our military in places like Afghanistan, where the terrorists who masterminded the 9/11 attacks are still at large, and to start investing in our own country again.'" (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. Death of Osama Bin Laden. 2 May 2011. "In the days and months ahead, I expect we will refine and recalibrate the future of U.S. involvement in Afghanistan. As this next chapter unfolds, my thoughts and prayers will always remain with the hundreds of Montanans serving there. We are grateful for their service. We are anxious to bring them home." (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. Tester: Troop withdrawal needs to be responsible, efficient. 22 June 2011. ""I've supported the plan to begin withdrawing American troops from Afghanistan since I went there earlier this year to meet with our troops and military leaders. They have done an outstanding job. Now it is time bring them home responsibly and efficiently."But this news makes it clear to the Afghan people that it is time for them to step up to control their own future because America's sons and daughters -- our most precious resources “ won't be there forever. "We killed Osama bin Laden. We've given Afghanistan the tools and training needed to root out terrorism. It's time to wind down in Afghanistan while remaining vigilant in the war against terrorism." (www.tester.senate.gov)
  • Peace Action West. 04/18/2012. "Jon Tester supported the interests of Peace Action West 86 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • Tom Lutey. SEN. TESTER IN AFGHANISTAN SAYS WAR DISCUSSION NEEDED. 21 January 2011. "With a pullout deadline nearing, America's future in Afghanistan needs serious discussion by federal lawmakers, Sen. Jon Tester said Friday, speaking from Kabul. The Montana Democrat, who is wrapping up a week-long tour of Middle East hot spots, said tough choices need to be made about delivering Afghanistan from war without leaving it forever dependent on the United States. 'The question becomes 'How long can you do this and how long can you, in the process of helping them become secure and safe and stable, make sure we're not left with a group of people relying on us for their sustainability,' Tester said [¦] The delegation also observed ally-trained Afghanistan troops preparing to take battle control as America begins a pullout President Barack Obama has vowed to start this July. 'We need to follow through with that and start the process,' Tester said [¦] There's still much to be done to get Afghanistan to a point where it is not only safe, but capable of protecting itself, Tester said. There's a level of poverty in Afghanistan completely foreign to Americans. In parts of the country people live in caves, Tester said, adding that there's no practical way to bring them into 21st Century." (www.tester.senate.gov)
  • Jon Tester. S Amdt 4204. 112th Congress. Requiring Afghanistan Troop Redeployment Plan and Timetable. Jon Tester voted Yea on 05/27/2010. (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. Burns, Tester Meet in First Debate. 25 June 2006. "The Democratic state senator said he supports the war on terror and supports military efforts in Afghanistan. But America entered the Iraqi field 'under false pretenses,' he said, and although there have been successes, 'we need a plan for redeployment.'" (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Jon Tester. Daily Inter Lake - Tester Says Budget Standoff Will End With Compromise. 23 February 2011. "Tackling federal spending and debt, he said, will require a comprehensive approach to be politically viable. A package approach allows for various constituencies to know that cuts are being spread and shared rather than being carried by a few. 'Don't do it all on my back' is how the various interests will view the problem, [Jon Tester] said. Tester said cutting spending and debt will require all aspects and programs to be considered, rather than just the proposed cuts in discretionary spending -- a fraction of overall spending -- outlined in the president's budget. 'Everything needs to be on the table,' Tester said. 'The military needs to be on the table. Entitlements need to be on the table.'" (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. Time to End Outdated Military Spending, Not Medicare. 19 May 2011. "A good place to start is taking a hard look at the huge amount of money America spends on military operations overseas -- especially on Cold War-era military bases in Europe and Asia. The U.S. operates more than 1,000 military installations on foreign soil, including 268 in Germany, 124 in Japan and 87 in South Korea. Approximately 370,000 U.S. servicemen and women are currently deployed in more than 150 countries around the world. Several generations after the defeat of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, the world has changed. And so have our armed forces. The U.S. has the strongest, smartest, most effective military in the world, thanks to our dedicated troops and the cutting edge technology they employ. The days of America needing hundreds of military installations in dozens of countries across the entire world are over. That's why I'm urging Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to save taxpayers money and consider closing down some of our bases overseas. [...] It's also why I'm backing a plan to require all future wars be paid for. Before I got to Congress, lawmakers charged the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to future generations. And that's a shame." (www.huffingtonpost.com)
  • Jon Tester. Daily Inter Lake - Tester Says Budget Standoff Will End With Compromise. 23 February 2011. "Tackling federal spending and debt, he said, will require a comprehensive approach to be politically viable. A package approach allows for various constituencies to know that cuts are being spread and shared rather than being carried by a few. 'Don't do it all on my back' is how the various interests will view the problem, he [Jon Tester] said. Tester said cutting spending and debt will require all aspects and programs to be considered, rather than just the proposed cuts in discretionary spending -- a fraction of overall spending -- outlined in the president's budget. 'Everything needs to be on the table,' Tester said. 'The military needs to be on the table. Entitlements need to be on the table.'" (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. HR 2206. 110th Congress. Emergency Departmental Supplemental Appropriations Bill of 2007. Jon Tester voted Yea on 05/24/2007. (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. HR 4986. 110th Congress. Defense Authorizations Bill. Jon Tester voted Yea on 01/22/2008. (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. S Amdt 4818. 110th Congress. Funding for Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Jon Tester voted Yea on 05/22/2008. (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. Tester backs plan requiring future wars to be paid for. 6 May 2011. "Tester is backing a Pay for War measure in the Senate, which would prevent Congress from spending money on war unless it is offset by budget cuts or increased revenue. If agreed to, Tester's measure could be waived in an emergency--such as the start of a conflict--with approval from 60 Senators. The measure would not be implemented retroactively and would not affect funding for U.S. military efforts in Iraq or Afghanistan. Tester, an outspoken supporter of the military, called the resolution 'a matter of accountability.' 'As we work to responsibly cut spending and cut the debt, we've got to recognize that the money this nation spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has been one of the biggest drivers of our growing deficit,' Tester said. 'And we have a patriotic, moral obligation to make sure the burden of fighting these wars isn't being carried only by our troops and our military families. We've got to make the tough choices to keep America safe, while getting our fiscal house in order and not sticking our kids and grandkids with the bill.'" (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. Missoulian - Jon Tester: Congress Must Tend to Economy For It to Recover. 22 February 2011. "'We're just coming out of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression,' Tester said. 'If we screw up this recovery, we're only going to make it worse.' Not until Congress tackles entitlement programs and defense spending will it start to make a dent in the federal deficit, Tester said. 'Discretionary spending is a very small part of the overall budget,' he told the crowd. 'When you're looking at a 13-, 14-, 15-trillion-dollar debt, discretionary spending has to be a part of the conversation. But if that's all that ever gets talked about, we're never going to get to where we need to be.'" (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. Letter to The Honorable Robert M. Gates, Secretary of Defense. 19 May 2011. "Dear Secretary Gates: I write in regards to the President's recent directive for the Department of Defense to conduct a comprehensive review of our military's missions and capabilities. I welcome this effort to eliminate waste, cut defense spending where we can afford to make cuts, and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our military -- particularly at a time when so many programs of critical importance to my constituents are on the chopping block. I certainly look forward to the Pentagon's recommendations. Your proposed cuts of $78 billion over the next five years are a good first step down the path of fiscal responsibility, and I appreciate your steadfast leadership on this issue. As the Defense Department looks for the additional $400 billion in cost-effective savings mandated by the President by 2023, I strongly urge you to closely scrutinize our military's overseas footprint, with special consideration to our Air Force facilities in Europe. The days of a strong basing presence in a Cold War-era Europe is no longer relevant with today's expeditionary force construct. Given the U.S. military's advanced technology and the capability of our forces to deploy throughout the world from stateside bases." (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. Letter to Michele Bachmann, United States House. 31 January 2011. "'I do not agree budget cuts should be made on the backs of America's veterans--folks who put their lives on the line for this nation's security and freedom,' Tester wrote. 'With more and more veterans coming home from Afghanistan and Iraq, we can't go backwards for the folks who put their lives on the line for us--especially those wounded in combat, who gave part of themselves for us.' Bachmann was invited by Congressman Dennis Rehberg, R-Mont., to speak during a political fundraiser in Helena, Mont., this Saturday, February 5. Tester said although he appreciates Bachmann's willingness to 'stir the conversation' about cutting spending, he speaks for many of Montana's 102,000 veterans in taking exception to her proposal to freeze VA health care funding and cut veterans' disability benefits. The call to freeze health care funding comes even as the use of VA facilities grew in Montana by 10 percent since 2006." (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • National Taxpayers Union. 04/18/2012. "Jon Tester supported reasonable tax and spending policies as defined by the National Taxpayers Union 16 percent of the time in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. Tester Statement on Vote to Extend Tax Cuts for All Montanans. 15 December 2010. "Senator Jon Tester today released the following statement after voting to extend tax cuts for all Montanans and to create jobs through the bipartisan Tax Relief Act: 'Today, I voted to extend tax cuts for every single Montanan, and to create jobs across rural America. This may not be the bill I would have written--but the decision between raising taxes on hardworking Montana families in an already-tough economy, or investing in private sector job growth is a clear choice. A vote against this bipartisan bill is a vote against jobs. A vote against this bill is a vote to raise taxes on every Montanan. A vote against this bill is a vote for the biggest tax increase in American history. The Montanans I talk with when I go home every weekend have a clear message: they want their leaders to work together on bipartisan solutions to cut taxes and create jobs. And this bill is a good step.'" (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. Tester Votes for Balanced Budget Amendment. 14 December 2011. "Tester has always supported a balanced federal budget, but opposed plans like the House of Representatives' recent "Cap, Cut and Balance" bill, which would have balanced the budget by forcing deep cuts to Medicare to protect tax breaks for millionaires." (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. Tester: Both Payroll Tax Proposals Won't Create Jobs. 1 December 2011. "Although I support making sure millionaires and corporations pay their fair share in taxes, I do not believe this particular proposal will create jobs or give our economy the boost it needs right now. A small, one-year, temporary tax cut will not give Main Street businesses the long-term certainty they need to grow and hire." (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. Tester unveils tax cut plan for middle class. 15 February 2007. "Montana's working and middle-class families will benefit from a new, long-term tax cut package announced today by Senator Jon Tester and several colleagues. 'The vibrant middle class that made this country great has been abandoned. We need legislation that will help folks that are struggling to pay for health care, putting kids through school, taking care of an aging parent, or maybe all three. This bill does just that and it's the kind of policy that the people of Montana sent me here to support.' The Middle Class Opportunity Act of 2007 provides $80 billion in tax relief for America's middle class families between now and 2010." (tester.senate.gov)
  • Jon Tester. Tester votes in favor of bipartisan tax cut plan ˜to create jobs.' 13 December 2010. "U.S. Senator Jon Tester today released the following statement after voting in favor of a bipartisan compromise to cut taxes for all Americans: 'Everyone benefits under this bipartisan compromise to create jobs and rebuild our economy. This plan isn't the plan I would have written, but it cuts taxes for the folks who need tax relief the most"middle-class families, small businesses and family farms and ranches. They are the real job creators in this country, and aiming tax relief squarely at them required working together"and that's a victory for all Montanans.'" (tester.senate.gov)
  • Johnson, Charles S. 2006. Trib.com: Montana Senate candidates trade barbs: Hey, big spender. 8 October 2006. "Although Tester favors keeping the expanded child tax federal tax credits and elimination of the income-tax marriage penalty, he's critical of most Bush tax cuts that Burns has backed. 'The rest of them don't work for Montana families or small businesses and family farms and ranches very well,' said Tester, a farmer from Big Sandy." (trib.com)
  • Dennison, Mike. 27 September 2010. Missoulian: Few in Montana would face tax increase if Bush-era cuts expire. 27 September 2010. "If President Barack Obama gets his way on letting Bush-era tax cuts expire for the wealthiest Americans, only 1.3 percent of taxpaying households in Montana would see an increase in their federal income taxes. [...] Jon Tester said he won't decide where he stands until he sees an entire tax proposal, which is likely to affect other taxes as well. He did say that cutting taxes for middle-class families and making the tax structure fair and predictable 'are fundamental priorities of mine, and they always have been.'" (missoulian.com)
  • Jon Tester. Issue: Cutting Taxes for Working Families. 20 June 2011. "As Jon continues rebuilding America's economy, he understands that many hardworking families across Montana are struggling to make ends meet. That's why he's helped cut taxes for working folks, and why he supports continued tax relief for middle class Montanans. Jon believes that cutting taxes in a responsible way for working Montanans will help rebuild the economy and put more folks back to work. [¦] Jon also believes the wealthiest individuals and corporations in America must pay their fair share, and he cites the importance of predictability in the tax code for Montana's businesses and agricultural producers. As Senator, Jon will continue fighting to keep taxes low for middle class Montanans." (www.jontester.com)
  • Jon Tester. Tester Votes for Balanced Budget Amendment. 14 December 2011. "Tester has always supported a balanced federal budget, but opposed plans like the House of Representatives' recent "Cap, Cut and Balance" bill, which would have balanced the budget by forcing deep cuts to Medicare to protect tax breaks for millionaires [¦] * Prevents income tax breaks for Americans earning more than $1 million each year, unless the federal budget is in surplus." (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. Tester votes in favor of bipartisan tax cut plan 'to create jobs.' 13 December 2010. "U.S. Senator Jon Tester today released the following statement after voting in favor of a bipartisan compromise to cut taxes for all Americans: 'Everyone benefits under this bipartisan compromise to create jobs and rebuild our economy. This plan isn't the plan I would have written, but it cuts taxes for the folks who need tax relief the most"middle-class families, small businesses and family farms and ranches. They are the real job creators in this country, and aiming tax relief squarely at them required working together"and that's a victory for all Montanans.'" (tester.senate.gov)
  • Americans for Tax Reform. 04/18/2012. "Jon Tester supported the interests of the Americans for Tax Reform 5 percent in 2007." (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Jon Tester. HR 1424. 110th Congress. Financial Asset Purchase Authority and Tax Law Amendments. Jon Tester voted Nay on 10/01/2008. (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. S Amdt 3301. 112th Congress. Ending the Troubled Asset Relief Program. Jon Tester voted Yea on 01/21/2010. (votesmart.org)
  • Americans for Prosperity. 04/18/2012. "Jon Tester supported the interests of the Americans for Prosperity 12 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • The Club for Growth. 04/18/2012. "On the votes used to calculate its ratings, The Club for Growth attaches more value to those votes it considers more important. For 2010, The Club for Growth gave Jon Tester a rating of 9 percent." (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. Tester Votes to Cut $4 Billion in Government Spending. 2 March 2011. "Senator Jon Tester today released the following statement after voting to cut $4 billion in spending from the federal budget: 'This vote was another step toward getting our fiscal house in order by making real spending cuts and it was needed to prevent a Republican shutdown of the government. Shutting down the government would deny critical services to millions of Americans, from approving veterans' disability claims to building roads and water projects. But we can't just keep kicking the can down the road. We still need a credible, responsible long-term plan that will create jobs, cut spending and cut our debt without harming business and economic recovery in Montana or around the country.'" (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. Senate Approves Tester's Plan to Stop Congressional Pay if Government Shuts Down. 1 March 2011. "Congress needs to work together to pass a budget, and if we can't do that, we don't deserve a paycheck. Members of Congress have a responsibility to work together to cut spending and responsibly fund the services folks rely on. That's the way it works in Montana. Now, I'm calling on folks in the House of Representatives to follow my lead and bring some Montana common sense to this debate." (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. Missoulian - Jon Tester: Congress Must Tend to Economy For It to Recover. 22 February 2011. "'As a farmer, I know you can't spend more than you have and I know you can't just plant seeds and assume everything will turn out fine, either.' The soil must be prepared, he said, and crops cared for. It takes long hours and hard work. 'You have to have good equipment, and you have to keep it greased. We can cut spending and the debt, but you can't cut the grease that keeps everything running.' The 'grease,' in the case of the economic recovery, Tester said, is America's infrastructure - both physical and human. Cutting spending that lets America's roads crumble, or contributes to a less well-educated work force, will backfire in the long run, Tester predicted. 'It's going to take a lot more than gimmicks and grandstanding,' Tester said. 'You can't take a battle axe to the budget and think you're going to create jobs. Building policies that strengthen our economy, and creating jobs, are the front-and-center issues facing both our state, and our nation.'" (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. Missoulian: U.S. Senate passes highway bill, extension of payments to forest counties. 15 March 2012. "Tester praised its passage, saying: 'I'm pleased the Senate passed this bipartisan bill to put folks to work rebuilding our infrastructure,' he said. 'While the House argues with itself, the Senate is coming together to make smart investments that support our economy and create jobs.'" (www.jontester.com)
  • Jon Tester. Tester: Jobs Bill' Should Aid Montana. 28 February 2009. "'The purpose of the jobs bill is to get the economy running again,' said Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., and on Tuesday he heard an earful about how to do just that. [¦] The key, he said, will be federal investment and tax credits to get the projects off the ground. The jobs bill, Tester said, could be just the ticket, as it includes business incentives as well as tax breaks for alternative energy projects. 'We need to start making government work for the people," Tester told the crowd, which packed Kalispell's Chamber of Commerce to standing room only. The spending package was critical, Tester said, as the country has lost some 3.5 million jobs since the end of 2007, including more than 4,000 jobs in Montana. 'The fact is that we had to stem the tide,' he said. The stimulus, he said, includes about $285 billion in tax breaks, $311 billion in discretionary money for infrastructure and education, and $193 billion in mandatory spending for health care and unemployment benefits. Combined, the senator said, the investment should maintain or create 3.5 million jobs nationwide, and 11,000 here in Montana." (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Jon Tester. Tester: Jobs Bill' Should Aid Montana. 28 February 2009. "'The purpose of the jobs bill is to get the economy running again,' said Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., and on Tuesday he heard an earful about how to do just that. [¦] The key, he said, will be federal investment and tax credits to get the projects off the ground. The jobs bill, Tester said, could be just the ticket, as it includes business incentives as well as tax breaks for alternative energy projects. 'We need to start making government work for the people," Tester told the crowd, which packed Kalispell's Chamber of Commerce to standing room only. The spending package was critical, Tester said, as the country has lost some 3.5 million jobs since the end of 2007, including more than 4,000 jobs in Montana. 'The fact is that we had to stem the tide,' he said. The stimulus, he said, includes about $285 billion in tax breaks, $311 billion in discretionary money for infrastructure and education, and $193 billion in mandatory spending for health care and unemployment benefits. Combined, the senator said, the investment should maintain or create 3.5 million jobs nationwide, and 11,000 here in Montana." (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. Tester: Small Business Tax Cuts Will "Make A Real Difference' In Montana. 27 September 2010. "Senator Jon Tester today released the following statement after the Small Business Jobs Act, passed by Congress earlier this month, was signed into law by the President: 'These tax cuts for small businesses and incentives to jumpstart private capital are responsible steps that won't add a penny to the deficit, but they will make a real difference for Montana's small businesses and for folks looking for work. From infrastructure investments to tax relief we are rebuilding our economy using common sense--putting folks back to work and boosting business across Montana and rural America. But after years of failed economic policies, we've still got a lot of work to do. I'll keep doing my part to create jobs and strengthen business opportunities for Montana.' The Small Business Jobs Act cuts taxes for small businesses by more than $12 billion without adding to the national debt. The legislation also boosts small business lending and helps business owners access private capital to hire new workers. The Small Business Jobs Act is the latest law passed by the Senate in recent months to grow small businesses and boost jobs in Montana and across the country." (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. Service Members Home Ownership Tax Act Of 2009. 21 December 2009. "Because of tax credits, this bill is good for small businesses. It gives eligible small businesses access to up to 6 years of tax credits. That will help small businesses buy health insurance for their employees. [...] We are creating jobs and investing in the basic infrastructure needed to get our economy back out of the ditch." (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Jon Tester. News. Tester brings together Education Secretary, Montana teachers to talk rural education. 12 April 2011. "Tester hosted Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Montana school officials to discuss issues ranging from a lack of education resources in rural communities to early childhood education. Tester pointed to what he calls the 'flawed one size fits all' approach of the federal No Child Left Behind policy, and the need to reform it to fit the needs of rural America. The law, enacted in 2001, is expected to be revised in the next two years. 'Today, Montanans got to speak directly to the country's leader on education, and tell him how to make education policy work for schools from Scobey to Bozeman"not just for schools in Chicago or Detroit,' Tester said. 'Moving forward, I'm going to make sure Montanans have a seat at the table as we decide how to reform education, and to make sure our kids are getting the tools they need to keep creating jobs and business in Montana.'" (tester.senate.gov)
  • Jon Tester. Issue: Educating our Kids. 22 June 2011. "Jon has also fought hard to replace the No Child Left Behind law's cookie-cutter education approach with a plan that works for Montana and rural America, including his fight to establish a federal Office of Rural Education." (www.jontester.com)
  • Jon Tester. Issue: Education. 1 January 2010. "Public education is the backbone of our democracy-an uneducated society impedes the ability of a democracy to work for the people. For a successful business, you have to be able to hire well-trained workers that meet the needs of your business. It's why our Colleges of Technology, K-12 public education and our state university system are essential to educating tomorrow's workforce for economic growth in the Big Sky." (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. Tester brings together Education Secretary, Montana teachers to talk rural education. 12 April 2011. "Tester hosted Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Montana school officials to discuss issues ranging from a lack of education resources in rural communities to early childhood education. Tester pointed to what he calls the 'flawed one size fits all' approach of the federal No Child Left Behind policy, and the need to reform it to fit the needs of rural America. The law, enacted in 2001, is expected to be revised in the next two years. 'Today, Montanans got to speak directly to the country's leader on education, and tell him how to make education policy work for schools from Scobey to Bozeman"not just for schools in Chicago or Detroit,' Tester said. 'Moving forward, I'm going to make sure Montanans have a seat at the table as we decide how to reform education, and to make sure our kids are getting the tools they need to keep creating jobs and business in Montana.'" (www.tester.senate.gov)
  • Jon Tester. Tester's Top Budget Priority: Jobs. 12 April 2012. "Tester is also seeking to cut funding for the Education Department's "Race to the Top" initiative. The Senator questions the efficiency and effectiveness of the program, saying that it helps a small minority of states while "predominantly rural states with poverty rates above the national average received nothing." (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Jon Tester. Burns, Tester Trade Quips, Accusations in First Debate Sunday in Whitefish. 25 June 2006. "Burns asked Tester whether he would support oil production in the Alaskan National Wildlife Reserve. 'The problem with ANWR is it isn't long-term,' Tester said. He added that blame for the country's energy dependence should rest with Republicans, the party that has controlled Congress and the White House for the past six years." (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. Offshore Production and Safety Act. 19 May 2011. "The Outer Continental Shelf is another good example. We can and should encourage investment in this area so that we increase production to meet our needs as the consumer of 25 percent of the world's produced oil. We must also continue to explore for new resources--and prove those--since as of now we only have 3 percent of the world's reserves. [...] I believe there are responsible measures we can take and should take to increase domestic protection, which makes us more energy secure and helps to insulate us from unpredictable ups and downs in world production. We need to dedicate resources to efficiently and effectively processing drilling applications. But tying the agencies' hands behind their backs with arbitrary deadlines or forcing them to hold lease sales and not process environmental reviews does not address the problem." (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. Tester: Partisan Politics Getting in the Way of Common Sense. 6 August 2008. "First, we ought to drill more in places that make sense, like eastern Montana. The Bakken Formation holds an estimated four billion barrels of recoverable oil. I don't have a problem with responsible drilling offshore or in parts of Alaska set aside for drilling. But I want to be darn sure that oil stays in America, not shipped off to Asia so the big oil companies can make more record profits." (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. Your World With Neil Cavuto - Transcript. 18 July 2008. "I'm not saying the speculation thing is an end-all to the cost of high price of oil, absolutely not. But neither is drilling. Neither is putting all our eggs in the renewable energy basket. I think it's -- it's a big puzzle, and we -- we put forth every piece we can to help knock down oil prices, so that people can afford to live in this country and do business." (www.foxnews.com)
  • Environment America. 04/18/2012. "Jon Tester supported the interests of Environment America 100 percent in 2009." (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. S 953. 112th Congress. Offshore Production and Safety Act. Jon Tester voted Nay on 05/18/2011. (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Environment America. 04/18/2012. "Jon Tester supported the interests of Environment America 100 percent in 2009." (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. S J Res 26. 112th Congress. Statement of Opposition to EPA Greenhouse Gas Rule. Jon Tester voted Nay on 06/10/2010. (votesmart.org)
  • League of Conservation Voters. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Endorsements. 04/18/2012. League of Conservation Voters endorsed Jon Tester in the 2012 general election. (votesmart.org)
  • League of Conservation Voters. 04/18/2012. "Jon Tester supported the interests of the League of Conservation Voters 57 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. Creating Long-Term Energy Alternatives for the Nation Act of 2007. 19 June 2007. "Not only are we going to keep using coal, but most energy experts predict we are going to use more of it into the future. We have to start doing better when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions from coal. I do not believe the Government has been providing the right incentives to move the coal industry in the right direction. The amendment that I--and others I spoke of earlier--am offering today will provide Government grants for engineering and design of coal-to-liquid and coal gasification facilities. It will authorize direct loans for facilities if they reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent over the petroleum equivalent, which, by the way, is the same requirement we use for biofuels. To qualify, a facility must show that it can and will both capture and store 75 percent of its carbon dioxide. We need these parameters because we need to start doing things better than we have done in the past if Government is going to be supporting these projects [...] But we have done little to give industry the incentives to employ these technologies on a large scale. Wall Street really has no interest in loaning money for clean coal facilities because there is no economic incentive to reduce emissions. This amendment provides direct loans for 100 percent of the equipment used to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and up to 50 percent of the total project cost." (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. Energy. 17 September 2008. "That is why I am introducing legislation, along with Senator Feinstein, that will help get renewable energy projects approved faster. The measure will cut through the redtape that slows down too many of these innovative and important projects. My bill will make it easier for folks who are figuring out how to use new technology to solve the energy crisis while also cutting down on the emissions of greenhouse gases. It would also create as many as six renewable energy pilot project offices across the country to coordinate Federal permits for renewable energy projects and transmission lines with State governments." (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. Tester Bill Breathes New Life into Montana Carbon Sequetration Study. 23 March 2007. "An ambitious new project to study the future of carbon sequestration in Montana may get a second chance, thanks to a new bill co-sponsored by Senator Jon Tester. Carbon sequestration involves capturing carbon dioxide emissions from facilities like coal-fired power plants and piping the gas underground where it is either stored or absorbed into the earth. The innovative process helps keep air clean and slows the effects of climate change by keeping carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, out of the atmosphere. 'There's no doubt about it, coal is going to be a big part of Montana's energy future,' Tester said. 'But when we talk about coal development, we ought to talk about carbon sequestration in the same breath. It will keep our economy strong and our sky blue. This is a new frontier and Montana should lead the way.'" (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. Letter to Robert Byrd, Chairman, and Thad Cochran, Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Re: Emergency Energy Assistance Funding. 12 September 2008. "Another action that Congress should take is increasing funding for the Weatherization Assistance Program. This money can be spent in advance of the coming winter and make energy bills lower not only this year, but for years to come. According to the National Association for State Community Services Programs, first year energy savings for households weatherized in 2008 will be more than $413. Less burdened by record-high energy bills, these families will have more money to spend on other essentials. Furthermore, the efficiencies produced by weatherizing a home pay for themselves quickly by creating jobs, reducing overall energy consumption, and cutting greenhouse gas emissions. We appreciate the recognition you have shown for these contributions by the addition of emergency funds in the second stimulus supplemental appropriations bill." (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. Letter To The Honorable Lisa P. Jackson, Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 16 March 2009. "Dear Administrator Jackson: In a letter to Administrator Johnson in November several of us recommended that the EPA not include calculations of indirect land use change (ILUC) effects as contributors to life-cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for biofuels in the forthcoming Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) for implementation of the updated Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS-2) enacted in the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 (P.L. 110-140). This letter repeats that recommendation and expands on its basis. Under RFS-2, various biofuels must meet specified life-cycle GHG emission reduction targets to qualify. The law specifies that life-cycle GHG emissions are to include 'direct emissions and significant indirect emissions such as significant emissions from land use changes, as determined by the Administrator.' Thus, for example, if increased production of a specific type of biofuel in the United States can be shown to cause a shift in land use, the immediate and future greenhouse gas emissions resulting from that land use change are to be included in the life-cycle GHG emissions for that biofuel when determining whether it is eligible to be counted towards the RFS-2 mandate." (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. Creating Long-Term Energy Alternatives for the Nation Act of 2007. 19 June 2007. "Not only are we going to keep using coal, but most energy experts predict we are going to use more of it into the future. We have to start doing better when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions from coal. I do not believe the Government has been providing the right incentives to move the coal industry in the right direction. The amendment that I--and others I spoke of earlier--am offering today will provide Government grants for engineering and design of coal-to-liquid and coal gasification facilities. It will authorize direct loans for facilities if they reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent over the petroleum equivalent, which, by the way, is the same requirement we use for biofuels. To qualify, a facility must show that it can and will both capture and store 75 percent of its carbon dioxide. We need these parameters because we need to start doing things better than we have done in the past if Government is going to be supporting these projects. [...] But we have done little to give industry the incentives to employ these technologies on a large scale. Wall Street really has no interest in loaning money for clean coal facilities because there is no economic incentive to reduce emissions. This amendment provides direct loans for 100 percent of the equipment used to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and up to 50 percent of the total project cost." (votesmart.org)
  • Jean Chemnick. The New York Times: Mont. Senate Race Will Turn on Energy, Climate, Natural Resource Issues. 6 May 2011. "But while Tester has parted ways with coastal Democrats on a number of issues [¦] he stood out last month as the only swing-state Democrat up for re-election next year to vote against four different attempts to limit U.S. EPA's power to regulate greenhouse gas emissions [¦] Tester said his support for EPA's regulatory authority is not unconditional. 'It does matter how it is applied, and there has to be common sense applied to any regulation that is put forth,' he said. But the senator said he has met several times with EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to discuss EPA's greenhouse gas plans, and he believes that the agency is crafting rules that are generally practical and would not put undue pressure on his state's industries. 'I don't want to give her too much credit -- we may disagree at some point in time -- but she seems to approach things from a pretty well-founded perspective,' he said. Tester said he had made the administration aware of some of his concerns, including that other countries should share in the responsibility of limiting greenhouse gas emissions. Tester said his desire to allow EPA to move forward -- if cautiously -- on climate change is part of his overall desire to protect the Montanan way of life and landscape." (www.nytimes.com)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Gun Owners of America. 04/18/2012. "In 2010 Gun Owners of America gave Jon Tester a grade of 73." (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. Issue: Protecting Gun Rights. 20 June 2011. "Jon unflinchingly supports and works to strengthen gun rights for law-abiding Americans. From people in our largest cities to folks living on America's frontier, Jon strongly believes that the rights guaranteed to Americans under the Second Amendment apply regardless of where in America they live. As a native Montanan and Vice Chairman of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus, Jon understands guns are a part of the West's heritage. Hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation are Montana traditions that Jon has passed on to his kids and grandkids." (www.jontester.com)
  • Jon Tester. S Amdt 4070. 110th Congress. Prohibiting Funds in the Bill S 1200 from Being Used to Decrease Gun Ownership. Jon Tester voted Yea on 02/25/2008. (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. S Amdt 1067. 111th Congress. Allowing Loaded Guns in National Parks. Jon Tester voted Yea on 05/12/2009. (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. S Amdt 1618. 111th Congress. Authorizing Concealed Firearms Across State Lines. Jon Tester voted Yea on 07/22/2009. (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. Panel II Of A Hearing Of The Senate Homeland Security And Governmental Affairs Committee. 25 March 2009. "Some have used this latest outbreak in Mexico to argue for tighter gun control restrictions in the United States. I don't agree that's the right answer either. I think that the right answer is really cooperation, which I'm hearing at all levels of government, and smarter intelligence, more eyes and ears on the border, getting tougher on criminals that are smuggling the weapons and drugs. And as I said earlier, demand here at home." (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. Letter to Harry Reid, Senate Majority Leader, Re: Speedy Passage of Second Amendment Rights. 17 September 2008. "On June 26, 2008, the Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling affirming the Second Amendment right to bear arms as an individual and constitutionally protected right. In DC v. Heller, the court affirmed that the District of Columbia's ban on ownership of handguns was an unconstitutional restriction on that right. The majority held 'that the District's ban on handgun possession in the home violates the Second Amendment, as does its prohibition against rendering any lawful firearm in the home operable for the purpose of immediate self-defense.' For more than thirty years, the District of Columbia has subjected residents to the most prohibitive gun control laws of any city in the nation, requiring rifles and shotguns to be registered, stored unloaded, and either locked or disassembled. Despite the Court's ruling in June, the District of Columbia city council has continued to exact onerous and unconstitutional firearm regulations on law-abiding residents. Today, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 6842, the National Capital Security and Safety Act. This bipartisan bill was overwhelmingly approved with a vote of 266-152. We ask you to ensure that D.C. residents do not have to wait any longer to realize their constitutional rights by allowing the full Senate to consider H.R. 6842 before the 110th Congress concludes." (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. Billings Gazette - Dems May Be Allies For Gun Advocates. 29 March 2009. "Two Montana Democrats are leading the charge against gun control - even helping force the military to continue selling surplus brass to gun aficionados who want cheaper ammunition. U.S. Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester are not simply placating gun advocates with a vague promise to vote against gun control in Congress. They are forcing former political foes to recognize that Democrats could be their strongest allies while the party controls Washington D.C. [...] The strong pro-gun moves are forcing the gun rights community to recognize that the key Democrats could be their strongest allies. Tester said the gun lobby knows it can trust him and Baucus - and gun-control Democrats know not to even bring up the issue. 'We are going to be an asset to them, no doubt about it,' said Tester. 'We are going to do what we think is right, based on what we think is right, not what someone else in the Senate thinks is right or what our party thinks is right.'" (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. Video: Protecting Montana's Rich Outdoor Heritage. 17 February 2011. "For the next two years, I have the honor of serving as chairman of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus. My role: to keep fighting for and strengthening our gun rights." (www.youtube.com)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Jon Tester. Tester: Reform "Saves Lives, Saves Money, Saves Medicare." 21 December 2009. "Senator Jon Tester today made a powerful case for health care reform by sharing personal stories from Montanans with other lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Tester announced he will vote for the Senate's health care reform bill because it 'saves lives, saves money and saves Medicare' using common sense and fiscal responsibility. And, Tester added, the bill cracks down on insurance companies, preventing them from denying people who get sick or have pre-existing conditions. 'Right now, we are all paying far too much for health insurance,' Tester said during a speech on the Senate floor. 'Many of us can't get health insurance at all. And even worse, insurance companies don't always live up to their end of the bargain.' Tester told his colleagues that as a farmer, he and his wife had to drop their own health insurance decades ago because they couldn't afford it after the birth of their first child. 'We had no other choice but to hope and pray for our health and safety--and for the health and safety of our child,' Tester said. 'Thank God our prayers were answered.' Tester shared a story about Libby ranchers forced to sell their fourth-generation cattle ranch to pay medical bills. He also spoke about a Missoula breast cancer survivor who had to sell her home to pay for the chemotherapy she needed to stay alive. Under the Senate's health care reform bill, Tester said, 'painful sacrifices' like this would have been prevented. 'People are calling out for help, because a lot of folks are falling through the cracks,' Tester said. 'I say to them, 'We're listening. We hear you. And we're doing something about it.''" (votesmart.org)
  • Michael Stafford. Philipsburg Mail: Senator touts his work. 16 August 2012. "Tester also addressed the Affordable Care Act which he supports. He said that for a period of time his family did not have healthcare and he knows the worry that's associated with such. 'I may be one of the few in the Senate that actually went without healthcare,' he said. According to Tester, the price of healthcare at the time was too much and since then the cost has increased. He said the current system is broken and that the Affordable Care Act does not mean the introduction of government healthcare but instead more competition. 'We're looking at a system that's broken,' he said about healthcare prior to the Act, 'there's so much charity care that's going out the door it's cost each person $2,100 a year' He said that the Act allows people with pre-existing conditions to join and the reform will fix the broken system in place. He said that while the reform is not perfect, he believes it to be the best option available. 'I will work to make it better as we move forward,' he said, 'this is not government healthcare, it's putting more competition into the system.'"
  • Jon Tester. Issue: Improving Health Care. 1 January 2012. "For decades, America's health insurance system was broken. As costs spiraled out of control, folks were denied coverage because of preexisting medical conditions or dropped by their insurers when they got sick. That's why Jon supported the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which is now holding insurance companies accountable and strengthening health care for all Montanans." (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. S Amdt 13. 112th Congress. Repealing the Federal Health Care Law. Jon Tester voted Nay on 02/02/2011. (votesmart.org)
  • American Public Health Association. 04/18/2012. "Jon Tester supported the interests of the American Public Health Association 100 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. KTVQ: Tester Breaks Down the Health Care Reform Bill. 30 March 2010. "When the health care reform bill was passed by the U.S. Senate, critique and praise immediately followed. But many questions still linger about how the new legislation's affect on the average American. In an effort to answer those enquiries U.S. Senator for Montana, Jon Tester, is making the rounds in eastern Montana hosting forums on health care reform. On Tuesday he held a 'Q and A' in Billings. 'The law will not raise taxes on 99% of Montanans,' Sen. Tester stated before the questions started rolling in [...] According to Tester the bill will save hundreds of billions of dollars a year in the long run." (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. Tester: 'What Happened To These Montanans Will Never Happen Again.' 23 September 2010. "Senator Jon Tester today praised the enactment of new consumer protections for all Americans that were included in the health care reform law passed earlier this year [...] Last year, Tester brought stories from Montanans to the Senate floor when he urged his colleagues to begin fixing a system that was 'breaking Montana's families.' 'Families across Montana were getting a raw deal from a broken health insurance system before we passed these reforms,' Tester said. 'Starting today, what happened to these Montanans will never happen again. This law may not be perfect, but it's a giant step forward toward protecting hardworking folks across America. And making sure big insurance companies live up to their end of the bargain.'" (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. The Great Falls Tribune: Tester Says Companion Bill on Health Care Should Pass. 25 March 2010. "Sen. Jon Tester heartily endorsed the landmark health care measure President Obama signed Tuesday and said he would support a companion bill that makes adjustments to the new law [...] 'The reform law is tough on insurance companies,' Tester said. 'It makes insurance and health care more affordable. It saves our country and taxpayers a significant amount of dough, and it makes Medicare stronger. It's going to be a huge step forward for Montana families.'" (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. KTVQ: Tester Breaks Down the Health Care Reform Bill. 30 March 2010. "When the health care reform bill was passed by the U.S. Senate, critique and praise immediately followed. But many questions still linger about how the new legislation's affect on the average American. In an effort to answer those enquiries U.S. Senator for Montana, Jon Tester, is making the rounds in eastern Montana hosting forums on health care reform. On Tuesday he held a 'Q and A' in Billings. 'The law will not raise taxes on 99% of Montanans,' Sen. Tester stated before the questions started rolling in. [...] According to Tester the bill will save hundreds of billions of dollars a year in the long run." (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. The Great Falls Tribune: Tester Says Companion Bill on Health Care Should Pass. 25 March 2010. "Sen. Jon Tester heartily endorsed the landmark health care measure President Obama signed Tuesday and said he would support a companion bill that makes adjustments to the new law. [...] 'The reform law is tough on insurance companies,' Tester said. 'It makes insurance and health care more affordable. It saves our country and taxpayers a significant amount of dough, and it makes Medicare stronger. It's going to be a huge step forward for Montana families.'" (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. The Billings Gazette: Tester Takes Questions on Health Care Reform. 31 March 2010. "It is a good law, and it is a law I believe is right for Montana. It is going to be a huge step forward for Montana families." (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. Tester: Today's Vote a 'Yes' To Reforming Broken Health Insurance System. 21 March 2010. "U.S. Senator Jon Tester today released the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Senate's historic health care reform bill: 'I join thousands of Montanans and millions of Americans in thanking the House for rounding the final curve and sending this long-overdue legislation to the home stretch. Today's vote was a bold 'yes' to reforming our broken health insurance system, controlling health care costs and making Medicare stronger--all while cutting the national deficit by more than a trillion dollars. Montana families, small businesses and most importantly, our kids and grandkids, can't afford Congress doing nothing. Doing nothing to fix health insurance and control costs has broken too many families.'" (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. Tester: Reconciliation Act Makes "a Good Health Insurance Reform Law Even Better." 25 March 2010. "Senator Jon Tester today released the following statement in response to the Senate's passage of the Reconciliation Act of 2010, and to the attempted amendments designed to kill the legislation: 'Today we made a good health insurance reform law even better. We got even tougher on insurance companies. We made prescription drugs more affordable. And we included more tax credits for small businesses. And we will save taxpayers a lot of money in the process. Before the final vote, we were forced to waste time and taxpayer money by voting on dozens of partisan political amendments. These measures were part of a last-ditch effort by folks who still insist on saying "no' to health insurance reform, cutting costs and saving money. That's politics as usual, and Montanans don't buy it.'" (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. Tester: 'What Happened To These Montanans Will Never Happen Again.' 23 September 2010. "Senator Jon Tester today praised the enactment of new consumer protections for all Americans that were included in the health care reform law passed earlier this year. [...] Last year, Tester brought stories from Montanans to the Senate floor when he urged his colleagues to begin fixing a system that was 'breaking Montana's families.' 'Families across Montana were getting a raw deal from a broken health insurance system before we passed these reforms,' Tester said. 'Starting today, what happened to these Montanans will never happen again. This law may not be perfect, but it's a giant step forward toward protecting hardworking folks across America. And making sure big insurance companies live up to their end of the bargain.'" (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. Tester: "We're Now Moving Forward' to Fix Broken Insurance System." 23 March 2010. "Senator Jon Tester today released the following statement in response to the signing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the historic health insurance reform bill: 'After decades of sliding backwards, today we finally change direction. We're now moving forward to fix our broken health insurance system. Today we get tough on insurance companies, so no Montanan goes bankrupt because of a pre-existing condition, or because some insurance company decides when a Montanan has gotten enough care. Today we make Medicare stronger by going after waste and fraud. We take the first steps to save our country hundreds of billions of dollars with smart reforms that slow down the runaway cost of health care. And we make sure folks can keep their current health insurance if they are happy with it.' Tester voted for the health insurance reform bill last Christmas Eve." (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. Tester to launch Healthcare Homefront E-mail Series Tonight. 7 December 2009. "Senator Jon Tester today launched Healthcare Homefront--a series of brief e-mails profiling real Montanans affected by 'America's broken health care system.' Each day this week, Tester plans to send his e-mail subscribers a new story about a Montanan who has recently written to Tester about the need for health care reform. The profiles will explain how the health care reform legislation now being debated by the U.S. Senate will benefit Montanans in similar situations. 'Fixing our health care system isn't about politics,' Tester said. 'It's about ordinary Montanans who work hard and still get the short end of the stick when it comes to quality, affordable health care. I want to share these stories so we can all better understand the need for health care reform.'" (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. Tester Touts Benefits of New Health Reform Law for Students. 6 April 2010. "Tester today also touted the new health care reform law's benefits directly affecting young Montanans, including: Allowing young adults to stay on their parents' or guardians' insurance up to age 26, Stopping insurance companies from denying coverage because of preexisting medical conditions, And creating exchange markets where self-employed Montanans can find affordable coverage." (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. Letter to Barack Obama, President of the United States of America. 14 May 2011. "The Republican budget proposal would not keep pace with the rate of inflation for health care, meaning seniors would pay ever higher out-of-pocket costs. Under the proposal, the annual increase for the vouchers will fall short of the actual rate of inflation for health care -- meaning out-of-pocket expenses for seniors will continue to soar. And to make matters worse, the Republican budget would repeal the only credible means of restraining health care costs -- the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act." (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. Issue: Improving Health Care. 20 June 2011. "For decades, America's health insurance system was broken. As costs spiraled out of control, folks were denied coverage because of preexisting medical conditions or dropped by their insurers when they got sick. That's why Jon supported the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which is now holding insurance companies accountable and strengthening health care for all Montanans." (www.jontester.com)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Jon Tester. Issue: Immigration and Securing the Border. 20 June 2011. "Jon's position on immigration is simple: people who wish to immigrate to the United States must follow the rules, and we must enforce them. That's why Jon opposes amnesty for illegal immigrants." (www.jontester.com)
  • Federation for American Immigration Reform. 04/18/2012. "Jon Tester supported the interests of the Federation for American Immigration Reform 50 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. Issue Position: Immigration and Securing the Border. 20 June 2011. "Jon's position on immigration is simple: people who wish to immigrate to the United States must follow the rules, and we must enforce them. That's why Jon opposes amnesty for illegal immigrants." (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. S Amdt 3117. 110th Congress. Border Fence and Customs Appropriations. Jon Tester voted Yea on 10/03/2007. (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. S Amdt 4231. 110th Congress. Immigration Enforcement and Border Fence Amendment. Jon Tester voted Yea on 03/13/2008. (votesmart.org)
  • National Latino Congreso/William C. Velásquez Institute. 04/18/2012. "Jon Tester supported the interests of National Latino Congreso/William C. Velásquez Institute 27 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. Update From Washington: Immigration: Let's Start by Enforcing our Laws. 4 June 2007. "There's a lot of buzz at home in Montana and here in Washington about immigration reform. Recently, I voted against moving forward with a major immigration reform bill, and I want to explain my reasons. First, the proposed immigration reform bill isn't fair to Montana taxpayers. It shortchanges a lot of folks who play by the rules. I have said for a long time I do not support amnesty for illegal immigrants. Second, the bill (which is several hundred pages long) adds more confusing laws to a system that the government hasn't enforced very well anyway. If we can't enforce the laws already on our books, then the laws aren't worth the paper they're written on. We don't need more laws. We need to enforce the laws we already have. In a nutshell, this immigration reform bill would allow millions of people who are currently breaking the law to stay, as long as they fill out some paperwork and pay a fine. There are other holes in the bill too. But any measure that gives millions of lawbreakers a free pass doesn't sit well with me. Here's what I'm looking for in immigration reform: I want immigration reform that prioritizes tougher security at our ports and borders to keep out terrorism, illegal drugs and illegal immigrants. I support reform that cracks down on employers who hire illegal immigrants and rewards hard-working folks for following the rules." (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. Issue: Immigration. 1 January 2001. "Our first priority should be to secure our borders and our ports. It's what the 9/11 commission recommended, and plain common sense. We cannot deal with immigration as a nation without taking this first step. People who want to immigrate to the United States should follow the rules toward citizenship-no cuts in line. Becoming a citizen must continue to be a respectful, deliberate, and meaningful process." (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. Burns, Tester Trade Quips, Accusations in First Debate Sunday in Whitefish. 25 June 2006. "On immigration, Tester said he does not support 'amnesty' for illegal immigrants and wants to see improved border and port security, along with enforcement of existing laws governing immigrants and their American employers. He said he does not favor building a fence along the U.S.-Mexican border but supports increased border patrols." (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. Baucus, Tester Oppose Immigration Bill. 4 June 2007. "Montana's U.S. Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester today announced their opposition to the immigration bill before the Senate, saying the legislation is flawed and that it doesn't go far enough to crack down on illegal immigration. Baucus and Tester said that the bill aimed at reducing the number of illegal immigrants entering the country makes it too easy for an illegal immigrant to get a work visa, does not go far enough in strengthening the country's borders and does not have tough enough enforcement measures. [...] 'This bill isn't fair to Montana taxpayers,' Tester said. 'We're not even enforcing the laws we already have on the books, so there's no way I can support a new law that does nothing to make us safer and gives 12 million people living here illegally a free pass.'" (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Egan, Timothy. 2006. New York Times: Fresh Off the Farm in Montana, a Senator-to-Be. 13 November 2006. "On gays, Mr. Tester says the 'sacred document' of the Constitution should not be amended to outlaw same-sex marriage, though he favored a state ban that voters passed in 2004." (www.nytimes.com)
  • American Family Association. 04/18/2012. "Jon Tester supported the interests of the American Family Association 0 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • Human Rights Campaign. 04/18/2012. "Jon Tester supported the interests of the Human Rights Campaign 80 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. Democrat Hopes to Benefit by Comparison. 3 September 2006. "On gay marriage and burning the flag, Tester says he supports neither, but also opposes amending the 'sacred document' of the federal Constitution to deal with either issue." (votesmart.org)
  • Kathleen Hunter. Bloomberg BusinessWeek: Some Congress Democrats Split With Obama on Gay Marriage. 11 May 2012. "Tester 'supports civil unions for committed same-sex couples, but in Montana, marriage is between one man and one woman,' spokeswoman Andrea Helling said yesterday." (www.businessweek.com)
  • Rob Rogers. Billings Gazette: Sen. Tester tackles questions from West High civics class. 29 September 2011. "He opposes gay marriage, believing that civil unions are the better way to address that issue." (www.tester.senate.gov)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Jon Tester. Letter to Hilary Clinton, Secretary of State, Robert Gates, Secretary of Defense. 18 May 2011. "At a time when we are contemplating cutbacks to foreign assistance programs and scrutinizing every domestic program to ensure maximum effectiveness, it is incongruous to be providing enormous sums to the Pakistani military unless we are certain that it is meeting its commitment to locate, disrupt and dismantle terrorist threats inside its borders. Prior to the provision of any additional security assistance, including Coalition Support Funds and Pakistan Counterinsurgency/Counterinsurgency Capability Funds, we urge you to assess Pakistan's commitment to and efforts toward: (A) ceasing support to extremist and terrorist groups; (B) preventing Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and associated terrorist groups from operating on the territory of Pakistan; and (C) strengthening counterterrorism and anti-money laundering laws." (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Alliance for Retired Americans. 04/18/2012. "Jon Tester supported the interests of the Alliance for Retired Americans 100 percent in 2008." (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. Tester, Baucus Hold Town Hall Meeting in Support of Protecting Social Security. 6 October 2006. "Jon Tester has consistently opposed attempts to privatize Social Security in the Montana State Senate: Tester voted for a resolution that urged Congress not to privatize Social Security. Tester co-sponsored a resolution to protect Social Security without privatization. Tester voted to urge equitable services and benefits for all Medicare recipients. Tester is endorsed by the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare in his bid for U.S. Senate against Sen. Burns." (votesmart.org)
  • Jon Tester. Social Security. 1 January 2011. "Privatization takes security away from Montanans." (votesmart.org)

Key

Candidate Answer Official Position

Candidate had the Political Courage to address this issue directly.

Inferred Answer Inferred Position

Candidate refused to address this issue directly, but Project Vote Smart inferred this issue position based on the candidate's public statements, voting record, and evaluations from special interest groups.

Unknown Answer Unknown Position

Candidate refused to address this issue.

 Project Vote Smart's Research

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