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Senator Santorum Praises Final Passage of $1.5 Billion in Veterans Funding

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Location: Washington, DC


Senator Santorum Praises Final Passage of $1.5 Billion in Veterans Funding

U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, announced that today the United States Senate passed the conference report to accompany the Department of the Interior Appropriations Act for Fiscal year 2006. Included in the conference report is a provision, authored by Senator Santorum and Senator Larry Craig (R-ID), that provides an additional $1.5 billion in veterans health care funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). These funds were added after the VA indicated a significant funding shortfall for the current fiscal year.

"I am thrilled that conferees maintained the Senate's position regarding the need for additional health care dollars for the VA," noted Senator Santorum. "These additional funds will make it possible for the VA to meet the current health care needs of our veterans without having to divert funds from other purposes. I recently had the chance to bring Secretary Jim Nicholson to the Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center to meet with Pennsylvania veterans and to tour the facility. The visit impressed upon Secretary Nicholson the great work our VA Medical Centers are doing and how important these additional funds are to meeting the VA's mission."

In addition, the conferees agreed that prior to completion of the Fiscal Year 2006 Appropriations Act for the Department of Veterans Affairs, Congress will continue to evaluate and adjust the funding level required for fiscal year 2006 based upon most current information available.

Conferees included the funds appropriated under Senate Amendment No. 1071, authored by Senators Santorum and Craig, that was passed by the Senate on a 96-0 roll call vote on June 29 of this year. Under the provisions contained in the conference report, the $1.5 billion in additional funding will remain available through fiscal year 2006.

http://santorum.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressOffice.View&ContentRecord_id=1314&Region_id=0&Issue_id=0&CFID=6802519&CFTOKEN=63480384

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