Rehberg Backs Critical Veterans Funds
Montana's Congressman, Denny Rehberg, this week supported critical legislation that provides funds for Montana veterans. The House Appropriations legislation includes large increases in funding for many important veterans programs.
"We honor those who've served by providing them with the best possible care and services available," said Rehberg, a member of the House Appropriations Committee. "It's important we provide the necessary funds for the high quality service our veterans deserve. This bill helps do that."
The Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Bill was passed by the House Appropriations Committee yesterday.
The bill increases the Veterans Affairs (VA) budget by $6.7 billion above the 2007 level, the largest single increase in the 77 year history of the Veterans Administration. The bill also contains a provision which would allow VA pharmacies to fill prescriptions issued from a private health care doctor to veterans, which will provide veterans with better access to the medicines they need.
Rehberg also supported several amendments to the bill. The first, introduced by Representative Tom Udall (D-NM), allows Indian Tribes to be eligible for the State Veterans Cemetery Grant program, which provide grants to States to assist with the establishment, expansion, and improvement of State VA cemeteries.
Another amendment, also introduced by Rep. Tom Udall in conjunction with Rep. Tom Latham (R-IA), would direct the Office of the Under Secretary of Health to take action in creating an Office of Rural Health, which would provide greater insight into the health needs in rural communities.
Finally, Rehberg supported an amendment, introduced by Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA), which would direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on a feasibility study to determine how surplus FEMA trailers can be used to house homeless veterans.
"Supporting our veterans is one of my top priorities," said Rehberg. "Whether it's healthcare, homes, or the benefits they need to support their family once they've retired, we must constantly be looking for new ways to honor their sacrifice."