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ICYMI: Senator Jon Tester Touts Bipartisan Infrastructure Across Montana

July 12, 2021

Last week, U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-Montana), traveled his home state to promote the Bipartisan Infrastructure framework he helped craft along with President Joe Biden and nine other centrist senators – both Republicans and Democrats.

The infrastructure deal, if passed, will be one of the largest investments in our nation's infrastructure – and one that is long overdue.

"We're in the 21st century now, and we've been living off our parents' and grandparents' infrastructure for far too long," Tester said during Friday's visit to Flathead Valley Community College. "This framework is a once-in-a-century investment in America's infrastructure. It is going to be one of the most impactful pieces of legislation in our nation's history, and it couldn't be more urgently needed."

Senator Tester's western Montana swing highlighted the investments the deal will make to fix crumbling roads and bridges, remove lead pipes that contaminate drinking water, make our infrastructure more resilient in the face of climate change, and help states without adequate access to broadband – like Montana – seize the 21st century.

He also noted the importance of getting families the relief and assistance as President Biden proposes in his Build Back Better agenda.

"Child care and housing I hear a ton about wherever I go. It's a big issue," Tester said. "And if we want to be competitive with China … we have to solve these issues some way. If it's not in an infrastructure package, they still have to be solved."

Read the clips below:

NBC Montana: Tester discusses bipartisan infrastructure package in Flathead
[By Vanessa Perez, 7/9/21]

KALISPELL, Mont. — Sen. Jon Tester visited the Flathead to discuss a $579 billion bipartisan infrastructure package on Friday.

Tester led negotiations with nine senators and President Joe Biden.

The senator was joined by Flathead Valley Community College President Jane Karas, Columbia Falls Councilman Mike Sheppard and JoJe Bar founder and CEO Jess Cerra.

Tester says the bill will help create good jobs by making essential investments to Montana's roads, broadband, water and more. He says one of the biggest needs is broadband.

[…]

"In the 21st century, we've got to make sure that everyone has access to broadband service, and cell service goes with that, but they're all important, make no mistake about it. The other need that's really important is where we're standing here, and that's a well trained workforce. None of this infrastructure happens unless you have a workforce that makes it happen," Tester said.

[…]

Daily Inter Lake: Tester calls infrastructure bill 'urgently needed'
[By Chad Sokol, 7/9/21]

Capping a swing through western Montana, U.S. Sen. Jon Tester stopped in Kalispell on Friday to promote an agreement for a major infrastructure package recently hatched between the Biden administration and a bipartisan group of senators.

The text of the bill was still being finalized on Friday, but the envisioned package would pour $1.2 trillion into roads, bridges, airports, broadband, water infrastructure and the nation's electrical grid — all without raising taxes. Tester, D-Mont., and nine other centrist senators brought the plan to the White House late last month and President Joe Biden said he would sign it.

"We're in the 21st century now, and we've been living off our parents' and grandparents' infrastructure for far too long," Tester said during Friday's visit to Flathead Valley Community College. "This framework is a once-in-a-century investment in America's infrastructure. It is going to be one of the most impactful pieces of legislation in our nation's history, and it couldn't be more urgently needed."

In addition to fixing crumbling roads and bridges, the White House says the package would cover the replacement of lead pipes that carry drinking water to communities across the country; upgrade and prepare infrastructure for cyberattacks, climate change and extreme weather events; and invest in electric buses and vehicle-charging stations along the nation's highways.

"It will also make badly needed investments in broadband, which is particularly important to folks across Montana, where we lag far behind the rest of the country when it comes to internet connectivity," Tester said. "It will allow us to maintain our competitive edge over China in the 21st century. And most importantly, it will create good-paying jobs, not only here in the Flathead but across the state and across our country."

[…]

"Child care and housing I hear a ton about wherever I go. It's a big issue," Tester said. "And if we want to be competitive with China … we have to solve these issues some way. If it's not in an infrastructure package, they still have to be solved."

[…]

NBC Montana: WATCH: Tester talks infrastructure, wildfires, housing, childcare, & XL pipeline
[By NBC Montana Staff, 7/8/21]

MISSOULA, Mont. — U.S. Senator Jon Tester is in Missoula on Thursday to update the public on the bipartisan infrastructure negotiations in Washington D.C.

[…]

The senator says he's led weeks of bipartisan negotiations on a deal to create good paying jobs and to invest in Montana's roads, bridges, broadband, water and more.

"It's a serious investment in infrastructure for the nation and a serious investment for Montana too, roads and bridges and water infrastructure and broadband. It's a good bill," Tester said.

Tester said the bill doesn't tackle some issues that are important to Montanans including housing, childcare, and care for veterans.

[…]

MTPR: Sen. Tester Promotes Infrastructure Bill In Missoula
[By Freddy Monares, 7/8/21]

U.S. Sen. Jon Tester stopped in Missoula Thursday as he tours parts of Montana to sell a bipartisan infrastructure package that could land in Congress later this month.

Tester describes the package as a once-in-a-century investment in infrastructure for the country.

Tester spoke Thursday near the under-construction Beartracks Bridge on Higgins Avenue to drive his point about infrastructure.

"That's a bridge that meets 21st century demand, and I think that's what's important here," Tester says.

He says the $1.2 trillion bill, which includes nearly $580 billion of new spending, will provide significant investment in roads, bridges, airports and broadband in Montana without imposing new taxes.

"It will be one of the most impactful non-emergency bills, once it's passed, in the nation's history," Tester says.

During his pitch, Tester focused on the bill he helped create with a bipartisan group of lawmakers that focuses on traditional infrastructure — things like roads, bridges and sewers.

[…]

KPVI: Sen. Tester touts $579B infrastructure proposal in Missoula visit
[By David Erickson, 7/8/32]

[…]

Tester, a Democrat representing Montana, said that it's been a long time since America has made a significant investment in its infrastructure.

"We've been living on our parents' and grandparents' infrastructure for far too long," he said.

Starting about a month ago, Tester recalled, five Democrats and five Republicans in the U.S. Senate got together and negotiated an infrastructure bill. In late June, President Joe Biden endorsed the plan, saying it would create millions of jobs. The final language of the bill could be released soon and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer could bring the bill to the floor later this month.

"This is truly a once-in-a-century investment in infrastructure in this country," Tester said. "It will be one of the most impactful non-emergency bills, once it's passed, in this nation's history. And as I said before, it's urgently needed. It will provide significant investment in Montana's roads, bridges, airports and water infrastructure."

The bill would improve broadband connectivity and create good-paying jobs in both rural and urban parts of the state, Tester said. It would create new spending on top of existing baseline infrastructure allocations.

[…]

"It will allow us to maintain our competitive edge over China in the 21st century and that is our major threat in the world right now," Tester said. "And it's going to do it, by the way, without burdening any Montanans with any new taxes, including a gas tax, which I might add the president fought very hard to not have that."

The plan would include money for new charging stations for electric cars, Tester said. The infrastructure bill wouldn't include any funding for housing, so Congress will have to address housing through a separate reconciliation bill, he added.

[…]

Joseph R. Biden, ICYMI: Senator Jon Tester Touts Bipartisan Infrastructure Across Montana Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/351043

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