The following are condensed from press releases and compiled by Sidney Herald staff:
U.S. Sen. Jon Tester announced the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) will receive $4,379,043 in Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Homevisiting grant funding to help provide pregnant women and families with resources and guidance for raising their children. “As the COVID-19 pandemic is making it harder for many parents to provide their children with the support they need, this funding is coming at a critical time. With it, DPHHS can help make sure that no mother or child is lacking access to preventative health and prenatal practices, child development tools, and school readiness resources,” said Tester.
U.S. Sen. Steve Daines stated that during the week of August 24–30 Montana would be receiving 42 cases of Remdesivir — a drug given emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat certain patients hospitalized with COVID-19. Sen. Daines said Montana would receive 30 more cases of the drug in early September. “These shipments are playing a critical role in treating Montanans hospitalized with COVID-19. I will continue working to ensure that Montana has access to the treatments we need during this ongoing pandemic,” said Daines.
U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte, along with U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, toured the new construction site of FLIR Systems, which manufactures thermal-imaging technologies used in hundreds of military and civilian applications around the world. The Bozeman facility produces specialty crystals used in military grade laser systems. Daines and Gianforte supported the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act, which supports companies like FLIR Systems through defense spending. FLIR Systems employs roughly 55 Montanans in Bozeman.
U.S. Sen. Tester released a statement after the House of Representatives passed legislation to provide $25 billion in emergency funding to the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). “The House today showed there is wide, bipartisan support across the country for bolstering the Postal Service,” said Tester.
U.S. Sen. Daines announced the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Disaster Relief Fund approved $6,779,366 to provide financial assistance to Montanans who have lost wages due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “This critical funding will help thousands of Montanans who lost their jobs due to COVID-19 and give them the much needed boost to get through these challenging times,” said Daines.
U.S. Sen. Tester is demanding that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) stop diverting congressional funding away from a program aimed at supporting the needs of specific under-represented farmers and ranchers. “Veterans, Indigenous populations, and other folks of color are majorly underrepresented in production agriculture, both in Montana and across the nation. The 2501 program has long been a critical tool for bringing more diverse voices into farm and ranch country, and Congress has made it clear as crystal that this program is worth the money,” said Tester.
U.S. Sen. Daines announced the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) distributed $9,797,300 to 70 nursing homes in Montana to support increased testing for COVID-19, staffing, and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) needs. “This critical funding will support COVID-19 testing, staffing, and PPE needs for our nursing homes across Montana. I’m committed to ensuring that Montana’s most vulnerable and those who care for them are protected throughout the pandemic,” said Daines.
U.S. Sen. Tester joined a bipartisan group of senators calling on the Defense Department to reinstate funding for the Stars and Stripes newspaper. The Defense Department currently plans to stop publishing the newspaper and dissolve the organization by January 31, 2021. “Stars and Stripes is an essential part of our nation’s freedom of the press that serves the very population charged with defending that freedom,” the senators wrote to Defense Secretary Mark Esper.
U.S. Sen. Daines announced that $4,039,203 will be directed to Montana through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program to support housing needs and infrastructure development for Montana communities during the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. “I’m glad to have worked to secure this critical support for our communities and I will continue working to ensure the needs of Montana are met during these challenging times,” said Daines.