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Tester Frustrated With Lack Of Efforts Regarding Border Security

U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., expressed his frustration with efforts to strengthen southern border security during a conference call with rural media members last week.

Tester said a bill passed the Senate by a 91-7 margin that included securing the country’s southern border and cracking down on the fentanyl crisis. The House, however, voted to take those measures out of the bill.

“We will work on another vehicle to get it down,” Tester said during the call.

The Democrat noted, “Over the past few weeks a bipartisan group of senators has been hammering out a common sense deal to help get our border under control. I’ve talked with the negotiators and was told we had a deal. Unfortunately, there are some politicians in Washington who would rather keep using the border as a political talking point than fund border security or pass common sense policy changes. It’s now being reported that Mitch McConnell would kill the bipartisan deal because he cares more about using the border as a political football in the next election. Let me be clear: that is completely unacceptable.”

Tester feels the current system isn’t working. He said some people run for office because they hate government and then they make sure government doesn’t work when they get into office.

The senator said 10,000 fentanyl pills were seized near Anaconda last week.

“I’d be lying if I said I’m not frustrated right now,” Tester added.

The FEND Off Fentanyl Act would declare the fentanyl epidemic a national emergency and impose economic sanctions on entities like China.

When asked about individuals bringing fentanyl to Montana from Washington state on Amtrak, Tester said government funding can help address that problem. He said all these efforts are beneficial and that’s why the fentanyl bill was so important to pass.

He also discussed his AFIDA Improvements Act of 2024, bipartisan legislation to strengthen reporting and enforcement of foreign investment in American farmland and agribusiness. The bill will aid his ongoing efforts to ban foreign adversaries — China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea – from getting a foothold on U.S. soil by improving tracking and data systems to make sure bad actors cannot acquire agricultural land.

“Most folks understand that food security is national security, and that our foreign adversaries wouldn’t hesitate to undermine our country by messing with our food supply,” said Tester. “We need policy changes to better track who is buying up our farmland and to crack down on bad actors like China who want to get a foothold on American soil. My new bipartisan bill will ensure we have the data we need to successfully execute my ongoing push to block our foreign enemies from buying up our farmland.”

He said it was recently reported that a Chinese billionaire with ties to the CCP became the second largest foreign owner of land in the United States right under our noses way back in 2015.

Tester has heard from eastern Montana residents about undisclosed people buying land. “The laws in the books right now don’t protect us,” Tester said.

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