(U.S. Senate) - U.S. Senator Jon Tester went to the Senate floor today to issue a call to action for Congress to help wildfire fighting efforts in Montana and the west.
'I am here to ensure that Montanans get the resources they need,' Tester said. 'Back home in Montana, there are still 21 priority fires burning. And there are still many Montanans that need help.'
Tester called on Congress to fully reimburse the Forest Service for the money it pulled from forest management accounts to pay for firefighting costs. He also called on Congress to pass legislation to treat forest fires like a natural disaster, and send resources to the ground to help Montanans rebuild after the devastation.
'This devastating fire season has undercut Montana's economy and put jobs at risk,' Tester said. 'Every small business and family farm or ranch in Montana that has suffered loss related to the wildfire must have urgent access to the available resources the Small Business Administration and USDA.'
In recent weeks, Tester has secured Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funds for eight major fires across Montana. He secured over $3 million in FEMA funds to help with preparedness and collaboration across the state.
Last week, Tester announced that 30 Montana farmers and ranchers who lost agriculture land in wildfires would be receiving $2.5 million to help rebuild their operations.
Tester has also launched an online portal where Montanans who are impacted by fire and drought can contact his office and receive help.
Tester's entire floor speech is available HERE.
Jon Tester published this content on 13 September 2017 and is solely responsible for the information contained herein.
Distributed by Public, unedited and unaltered, on 14 September 2017 02:18:02 UTC.