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Jon Tester

03/31/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 03/31/2020 15:58

Tester to Trump: Approve Montana’s Major Disaster Declaration Request

U.S. Senator Jon Tester is urging President Trump to approve Montana's major disaster declaration request submitted by Governor Steve Bullock late last week. Approval of the request would help the state slow and mitigate the effects of the virus by opening up access to new resources for medical supplies, personal protective equipment, treatment facilities, and care for individuals including medical expenses, unemployment assistance, and counseling.

'I write to urge you to expeditiously approve the State of Montana's major disaster declaration request to assist the state with its response to the COVID-19 crisis,' Tester wrote to President Trump. 'The number of confirmed cases is rising rapidly in Montana, which is putting a tremendous strain on our public health resources and communities. Immediate federal assistance in Montana is vital to help the state slow the spread of the virus and mitigate the effects of this major disaster... As you have stated, the response to COVID-19 is predominantly a national responsibly. That is why I also urge you to grant Governor Bullock's request for 100 percent federal assistance without matching requirements.'

Tester has been working tirelessly to ensure that Montana is prepared to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. In the Senate last week, after 72 hours negotiating substantial, bipartisan improvements to COVID-19 stimulus legislation that had previously fallen far short, Tester voted to deliver critical, urgent relief to Montana workers, families, small businesses, hospitals and others hardest hit by the outbreak. This funding includes $1.25 billion for the state of Montana.

Full text of Tester's letter below:

Dear President Trump:

I write to urge you to expeditiously approve the State of Montana's major disaster declaration request to assist the state with its response to the COVID-19 crisis. The number of confirmed cases is rising rapidly in Montana, which is putting a tremendous strain on our public health resources and communities. Immediate federal assistance in Montana is vital to help the state slow the spread of the virus and mitigate the effects of this major disaster.

Governor Bullock submitted a major disaster declaration request in accordance with the Stafford Act late last week. Granting this request will allow the State of Montana to access resources for medical supplies, personal protection equipment, and treatment facilities. It will also help the state deal with the overwhelming negative effects this crisis is having on our workers and small business through programs like Disaster Unemployment Assistance.

As you have stated, the response to COVID-19 is predominantly a national responsibly. That is why I also urge you to grant Governor Bullock's request for 100 percent federal assistance. We must all work together to ensure that states and local governments are empowered to take care of American citizens.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Jon Tester

Visit tester.senate.gov/coronavirusresources for a list of resources for Montanans during the COVID-19 outbreak