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Tester speaks on recent House Resolution to impeach Trump


November 1, 2019

Jon Tester

U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., said during a rural press conference that, in light of the U.S. House passing a resolution earlier that day to go further with its formal impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, it is important to get all of the facts and put politics aside.

"I think we need to get a full understanding of what's going on, so we need to get the information," he said. "... Listen to what's going on, don't play political games and do what's best for the country."

Last month, House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announced a formal impeachment inquiry into Trump. Thursday, the House adopted a resolution confirming an inquiry. The House is not required by House rules or the U.S. Constitution to adopt a resolution to conduct an impeachment inquiry.

It is also not the first time Congress has taken steps to attempt to impeach Trump.

Tester said that he is unaware of a specific point and time the issue will be making its way to the Senate, but when it does it is important to get to the bottom of the issue and get all of the facts.

Tester also spoke on a number of other developments that are happening in the Senate.

He said that in October he has held three town hall meetings across the state and one of the most common issues he hears from Montanans is health care. People are concerned with the rising cost of care as well as having access, especially in more of the rural areas of the state.

Montana has 17 community health centers, which operate in more than 65 delivery sites, serving more than 100,000 people, he said. Community health centers play an important role for people across the state and are critical to the state's health care infrastructure.

"But the funding for these centers are set to expire Nov. 21," Tester said.

Congress' dysfunction is grinding the appropriation process to a halt, he added.

He had heard from people at the Southwest Montana Community Health Center in Butte that losing the community health center fund would mean the center will likely have to make a number of cuts to services they offered to patients.

"Most of whom are underserved and uninsured," Tester said. "This is not just a health care issue. When health care facilities pack up and potentially close down in these small communities, it is a death note for rural America."

He said that he will fight to insure community health centers are properly funded.

"Because lives literally depend on it," he said.

Another issue, he said, is a shortage of health care professionals across the state. He said he has previously discussed his bill to change some of the Medicare rules, which get doctors trained at critical access hospitals, but the country also has a need to expand access to all kinds of providers in rural communities, such as nurses, psychologists, licensed addiction counselors and physical therapists.

"Folks in rural American shouldn't have to drive hundreds of miles to get access to primary care or to manage chronic illnesses, substance misuse or mental health challenges," Tester said.

He added that he has a number of bills to address these issues, but they need to be debated and need to be brought to vote.

"Unfortunately the world's greatest deliberative body doesn't do much deliberating anymore," he said.

He is also working on issues revolving around trade, he said. He added that he will be working on introducing a resolution in support of reinstating Country of Origin Labeling for beef and pork.

"Montana farms and ranches literally produce the best ag products in the world and there is no greater competitive advantage than being able to label your products being made in the U.S.A.," he said.

The repeal of the Country of Origin Labeling law took the advantage away, Tester said, causing prices to tumble. Farms and ranches don't have much money to start with, and with the market uncertainty caused by unnecessary trade war, people in the production agricultural industry are really hurting.

"The fact is consumers want to buy American made products, and I'm going to keep pushing to reinstate COOL so folks can make informed choices on the food that they put in their mouths," he said.


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