Sen. Jon Tester has had two of his bills signed into law after passing both chambers of Congress.
That technically makes him the most effective lawmaker in either chamber of Congress.
Congress has passed far fewer bills this year due to divided government.
Democratic Sen. Jon Tester of Montana, one of the most vulnerable incumbents up for re-election in 2024, has a handy new talking point: he’s had more of his bills signed into law than anybody else in Congress.
How many bills is that? Just two.
Yet that’s enough to make Tester the single most effective lawmaker in Congress this year, if getting bills signed into law is the sole metric. Just 12 bills have been signed into law by President Joe Biden this Congress.
Of course, the reason so few bills have been signed into law is because Congress is now divided.
Lawmakers introduce bills that stand little chance of passing, let alone receiving a vote, every day. And both the Republican-controlled House and the Democratic-controlled Senate have passed dozens of bills that are effectively dead on arrival in the other chamber.
But Tester, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, authored two bills that deal with issues concerning veterans, which is typically an area of bipartisan cooperation.
The first bill is the Veterans’ COLA Act of 2023, which increases compensation benefits for veterans with service-connected disabilities and passed both chambers by a voice vote before being signed by Biden on June 14.
The second is the Fiscal Year 2023 Veterans Affairs Major Medical Facility Authorization Act, which authorizes the Department of Veterans Affairs to build medical facilities, and which also passed both chambers by a voice vote before being signed by Biden on July 18.
“Montanans expect their elected officials to put politics aside and deliver real results for our state,” Tester said in a statement on the two bills.
Tester is expected to face a bruising re-election fight in Montana next year, where national Republicans have recruited businessman Tim Sheehy to run for US Senate. Republican Rep. Matt Rosendale, a member of the House Freedom Caucus who previously lost to Tester in 2018, is also likely to launch a campaign.
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