2018 Election Featured Jon Tester Matt Rosendale Montana Politics Senate Race 2018

Matt Rosendale Continues His Disrespect of Veterans, Calling Programs Serving them “Little”

I will give Matt Rosendale credit for one thing: he’s stuck to his guns in his contempt and disregard for the needs of veterans throughout this campaign and his political career in Montana. Yesterday, in another ad highlighting his total inability to pronounce the name of the state he’s running to represent, he dismissed the series of critical bills that Senator Tester got passed into law during the Trump presidency as nothing more than “little stuff,” demonstrating again that he neither understands the needs of our veterans nor cares about them.

This is a small sample of the bills Mr. Rosendale apparently believe aren’t important to the people of Montana and the veterans who lived here.

Tester’s VA Mission Act, signed on June 6, 2018, will lead to a modernized VA that will improve care for every U.S. veteran. According to President Trump, “This system will strengthen the VA and provide timely and seamless care to VA patients, modernize VA health care by making investments in VA assets and provide $5.2 billion in urgently needed funds in order to prevent interruption of Veterans currently using the Choice Program.”

“Little stuff,” says Matt Rosendale.

Tester’s VA Choice Improvement Act, signed on April 19, 2017, allows veterans who would otherwise face long wait times or daunting travel distances to receive health care at private providers. Military.com described the bill as the beginning of a series of reforms that would make a profound difference in the lives of veterans, something that was especially true for Montana vets.

“Little stuff,” says Matt Rosendale.

Tester’s VA Accountability & Whistleblower Act, signed on June 23, 2017, brought much-needed reform to the VA, giving managers the ability to fire poor workers and protecting those who brought fraud, neglect, and abuse cases forward. A year after its passage, the Acting Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Peter O’Rourke, described the impact of the bill: “The implementation of this Act honors our Nation’s commitment to Veterans by better enabling VA to provide the high-quality care and benefits our Veterans have earned. It supports the Department’s efforts to bring value and a source of pride for VA employees who are dedicated in servicing our Veterans.”

“Little stuff,” says Matt Rosendale.

Testers VA Choice and Quality Employment Act, signed on Aug 12, 2017, extended Veterans Choice and allocated almost $2 billion for new clinics and to fill vacancies in qualified medical staff for veterans.

“Little stuff,” says Matt Rosendale.

Tester’s Veterans Education Assistance Act, signed on Aug 16, 2017, expanded access to the G.I. Bill and provided additional funding for veterans seeking STEM careers.

“Little stuff,” says Matt Rosendale.

And that’s just the start. 19 bills have become law under President Trump because of Jon Tester’s work—bills ranging from these and more helping veterans to those protecting small town banks, protecting Montana’s scenic waters, and those improving rural phone service, even for ranchers in Glendive.

But in the mind of partisan, petty, and endlessly negative Matt Rosendale, these achievements are “little stuff,” a reflection of just how little regard Rosendale has for Montana veterans and others who depend on the government to meet the promises it made the people.

None of this should surprise Montana voters. Rosendale has displayed contempt for those who have served throughout his political career in the state.

While Jon Tester fought for years to get funding for the Southwest Montana Veterans home, Matt Rosendale voted against funding it in the Legislature.

While Jon Tester was demanding the best leadership for the VA, Matt Rosendale was voting against home loan programs for veterans and tiny, $500 scholarships for Purple Heart recipients from Montana.

This “little stuff” that Matt Rosendale derides will make the lives of veterans across Montana much better, with increased access to coverage, decreased expenses and travel times, and an increased recognition that those who gave so much to our country deserve to have the promises we made to them kept.

Maybe that is “little stuff” to someone so consumed with personal ambition, contempt for the service of others, and a total disregard for the truth, but it’s not little stuff to the veterans who know Jon Tester was fighting in Washington for them.

If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.

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Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is an eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.
His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.
In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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