GREAT FALLS — Montana's U.S. Senators Steve Daines and Jon Tester have been busy authoring and proposing bills to be included in the National Defense Authorization Act’s 2024 fiscal year.
The NDAA authorizes funding levels and provides guidance for U.S. military and other critical defense priorities at a bi-partisan level.
For Tester, bills have been focused on controlling the fentanyl epidemic and and uncovering espionage strategy by adversaries of the United States.
“My bipartisan 'Fend Off Fentanyl' bill to declare international fentanyl trafficking as a national emergency and impose economic sanctions on folks engaged in fentanyl trafficking,” says Tester. “Another is my bipartisan amendment to assess what American made technology could possibly be used by China and other foreign adversaries for espionage. And this is after we learned that the Chinese spy balloon used U.S. tech to spy on us.”
Daines recently proposed a slew of his own amendments to the NDAA including the imposition of sanctions on entities associated with Chinese espionage, the prohibition of drag shows on U.S. military bases, and a Covid vaccine heart study which would mandate that the Department of Defense study the alleged emergence of heart conditions in service members who received the Covid vaccine.
In regards to the Chinese spy balloon spotted over Billings in February, Daines had this to say: “The Biden administration was weak with the Chinese spy balloon which hovered over our nuclear missile silos, our ICBM’s. Instead of taking action, they let that ballon traverse across the country,” says Senator Daines. “It was U.S. technology from U.S. companies incorporated in that Chinese spy balloon. And I'm proposing we put sanctions on those companies that had those technologies. It is wrong. We cannot be having U.S. technology used against us here in the United States.”
Regarding a drag show performance at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Daines said: “We were very shocked to hear there had been drag shows at Malmstrom Air Force Base promoted on their public Facebook page, giving goody bags to the first 20-plus children that attended. There's no place on an Air Force base with children to be having drag shows. Again, that promotes weakness.”
Proposed amendments would continue to build on benefits for active service members. This includes wage increases and recuperation, assistance in seeking employment for military spouses, and improved housing and childcare for service members
“They travel, in some cases hundreds of miles across Montana, to drill. In terms of our citizen soldiers, it would make sure those men and women get reimbursed for their mileage. It's hard enough to leave families and jobs to go drill. We shouldn't make it a financial burden, either,” says Senator Daines.
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