As a former sheriff and the mayor of a Montana town near our northern border, border security has always been in the forefront for me. It takes resources to keep Montanans safe, combat drug trafficking, and secure the border and local government canít do it alone. We need a partner at the federal level who is willing to fight to get us the resources we need to secure our border and keep our state safe. Iím glad to say that Senator Jon Tester has been that partner.
Jon has always been willing to listen to our concerns and take our priorities back with him to Washington. The most recent example of this was a pretty big deal for Hill County and Havre ó Jon fought to secure a 55 percent increase in Operation Stonegarden grants, which help Montana law enforcement agencies defend our borders and combat drug trafficking and human trafficking. These grants also provide resources to strengthen ports of entry along the border.
Thanks to Jonís hard work, Hill County, along with 13 other communities around the state, received increased Operation Stonegarden grant fundingóthis funding means something to the men and women who are out there on the ground.
Jonís commitment to keeping our country safe has led to real results in Havre and Hill County, and it has also led to results on a federal level. The National Border Patrol Council, which represents 15,000 border patrol agents, the actual men and women who secure our border, endorsed Jon Tester in his re-election. This is the same group that endorsed President Donald Trump in his 2016 election because they wanted a candidate who would rise above the partisan, bureaucratic nonsense and actually listen to the agents on the ground about what was needed. Thatís really who Jon is. Jon listens to the experts and he fights for their priorities in the Senate.
When politics in Washington threatened to cut back on guards at the border, Jon went to work across the aisle and ensured we would have the manpower we needed to secure our border. And as Ranking Member on the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, Jon has been one of the senators leading the fight.
In addition to increasing manpower, Jon also understands the importance of investing in keeping our border infrastructure and technology up-to-date. Legislation Jon has pushed for and supported would provide resources to build hundreds of miles of border fencing, invest in border technology, and utilize drone and camera technology. All of these proposals help protect our border patrol agents and enable them to do their jobs better.
There have been plenty of out-of-state groups running television ads that want you to believe that Jon hasnít been fighting for border security. Law enforcement knows better than some millionaire super PAC from the East Coast.
Weíve been glad to have Jon fighting for us back in Washington. Like the National Border Patrol Council, I see in Jon a farmerís work ethic and a proven record of reaching across the aisle to deliver results. Because Jon is proud to stand with the men and women keeping our communities safe, Iím proud to stand with Jon. Iíll be glad to send him back to work this November.
ó Tim Solomon, Havre