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Tester Discusses Beef Trade, Fentanyl

Protecting Americans from out-of-country beef and from the deadly fentanyl drug were among the topics during U.S. Sen. Jon Tester’s conference call with rural media members in the state on Thursday, Feb. 29.

Tester along with Republican Sen. Mike Rounds of South Dakota recently introduced a Congressional Review Act to overturn the Biden administration’s decision to overturn a long-standing ban on Paraguayan beef imports. A CRA is an oversight tool used by Congress that can directly overturn rules issued by federal agencies with a simple majority vote.

“First off, Montana’s ranchers raise the best beef in the world, and they do it by holding themselves to strict standards when it comes to maintaining their herds,” Tester said during the conference call. “Second, Paraguay has a long history of holding its animals to lower health and safety standards than the United States and lifting this ban poses a real threat of introducing Foot and Mouth Disease to the U.S.”

Tester doesn’t feel that the beef should be available in the U.S. until there’s hard data to show that Paraguayan beef is as safe and healthy as meat from Montana.

“This will keep consumers safe and protect America’s herds when our rancher need it most,” Tester said.

As far as Tester’s FEND Off Fentanyl Act, the bill passed the Senate two weeks ago. The bill still must be approved in the House.

“This is a big win for keeping Montanans safe, and now it’s time for the House to come to the table and help deliver for the American people by passing the bill in short order,” the senator said.

When asked about sometimes lighter sentences than normal in the federal courts, Tester urged federal prosecutors to make the penalties harsh.

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