Tester sees Congress taking a "positive approach" after election - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Tester sees Congress taking a "positive approach" after election changes

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Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) believes Congress is ready to take a "positive approach" when it returns to Washington next week, still buzzing with the nomination of Donald Trump. 

The Democrat told MTN News that could allow lawmakers to finally accomplish some work after several years of being at an impasse on many issues.

"I think if there was one message that was clear to both parties it was quit screwing around and start working together. I think that there's going to be some opportunities to work on some issues."

Sen. Tester is among those considering Trump's victory -- and the Republican majority in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate -- and he believes it's time for Washington to take a more proactive stand in addressing national, and regional, issues.

"Trump ran a very, very unusual campaign. And there's some things he said that Democrats agree with and there's some things he said that Democrats disagree with and the same thing with Republicans," Sen. Tester said. "But in the end I there's an opportunity here to be able to work together to move Montana, and the country, forward."

One of the first tests may come early, with talk of "repealing" the Affordable Care Act. Tester doesn't favor scrapping the plan if it means yanking away coverage for people that need it. But he isn't against considering suggestions on how to revise "Obamacare", especially to make coverage more affordable.

"I think we probably need to take a look at it. But if the proposals out there to really work and get more people insured and get more people so they can afford to get sick, man, more power to them. And I'll work with folks that want to do that," Sen. Tester told MTN News.

That will take coalitions, especially given the GOP's slim majority in the U.S. Senate. Tester hopes the current rules and procedures remain in place, and once the turmoil and post-campaign debate dies down, Sen. Tester remains hopeful for progress.

"Well, I hope so. I think there's some things President-Elect Trump said about infrastructure that would indicate that we can work together. I think there's some stuff on, particularly community bank reg reform that we can work together on,," Sen. Tester said.

"And there's a number of other things that will come out. And we'll evaluate the proposals. We'll hold them accountable when they need to be held accountable. But the bottom line is, I think that we're going to go in with a positive perspective and try to get some things done," he added.

Sen. Tester also says he's ready for another round, telling tells MTN News he plans to run for another term in 2018 and hopes to finish his political career by continuing to serve in Washington. 

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