GREAT FALLS - Montana U.S. Senator Jon Tester is sharing his thoughts on the implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act.
The measure was signed into law by President Joe Biden on Aug. 16 and includes $750 billion for climate change, healthcare, and energy.
Tester, a Democrat, said implantation won’t be that difficult but said there needs to be an effort to make sure the agencies involved do it right.
"We have committees that oversee each one of those agencies and they're going to be focused on that, so I look forward to seeing the benefits of that bill,” Tester said.
The senator also talked about what his focus will be now that the PACT Act — which expands healthcare coverage for military veterans exposed to toxic burn pits — has been signed into law.
Tester said he is going to continue to focus on the legislation to make sure it’s implemented properly.
“Communication needs to happen,” he emphasized. "We need to make sure we're talking to veterans, we need to make sure we're talking to the VA, make sure this thing gets implemented because it's a big bill. By the way, there's several of them. There's a mental health bill that's very, very important. Both of these are in process right now.”
After that, he believes infrastructure - figuring out ways to replace old facilities with new ones - should be the focus.
Montana U.S. Senator Steve Daines and Montana's U.S. Representative Matt Rosendale, both Republicans, voted against the measure.
Daines said in a news release:
As Montanans continue to struggle with sky-high prices on everything from gas to groceries to housing, every single Senate Democrat voted to raise energy costs, give taxpayer dollars to the rich for electric vehicles, increase taxes and supersize the IRS to go after small businesses and families — it’s a slap in the face to Montana families. The Democrats’ reckless tax and spend bill is bad for Montana families, bad for Montana energy jobs and bad for Montanans’ pocketbooks.
Rosendale said in a letter to Daines and Tester:
This partisan legislation would fail to solve the inflation crisis that is crushing Montana families and small businesses, recklessly raise taxes during a recession, and harm Montana’s way of life…It is simply wrong-headed to raise taxes by hundreds of billions of dollars – including on the middle class – just as many economists believe our nation has entered a recession.