U.S. Sen. Jon Tester will lead a bipartisan group of lawmakers tasked with crafting border security legislation following the agreement last Friday to end the 35-day government shutdown temporarily.
President Donald Trump agreed to end the shutdown last Friday for three weeks while negotiations continued over how to secure the nation’s southwestern border.
The group tasked with finding a solution includes Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Dick Durbin (R-IL), Richard Shelby (R-AL), John Hoeven (R-ND), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and Roy Blunt (R-MO).
“For the first time in 35 days, 800,000 federal workers and their families can breathe a sigh of relief,” said Tester, who serves as ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security. “But the deal struck today is only a short-term fix to this irresponsible government shutdown. Now we’ve got to work together to craft a long-term bipartisan solution that actually protects our communities and doesn’t undermine American workers.”
Tester co-wrote legislation to provide more than $21 billion for border security and immigration enforcement for fiscal year 2019. Republicans on the Senate Appropriations Committee supported that measure. With over 7,000 affected workers, numerous Tribal Nations, and two of the busiest National Parks in the country, Montana has been hard hit by the shutdown.