House Veterans' Affairs Committee Chairman Applauds House Passage of Veterans Spending Bill
House Veterans' Affairs Committee Chairman Bob Filner (D-CA) released the following statement regarding the House passage of H.R. 2642, the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act:
"I applaud my colleagues for passing the largest increase for VA health care in 77 years. H.R. 2642 sends a clear message to America's servicemembers that this Congress recognizes that taking care of veterans is an ongoing cost of war, and an ongoing cost of our national defense. It represents an unprecedented increase that comes at a time when we are faced with unprecedented needs.
"This bill provides the resources necessary to improve health care services, to meet the needs of our servicemembers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, especially in the areas of mental health and PTSD services and traumatic brain injury (TBI) care. This bill invests in the hiring and training of new claims processors to begin to reduce the VA claims backlog, and provides much needed resources for medical facilities, maintenance, and VA research.
"I want to thank Chairman Edwards for crafting this bipartisan legislation and Chairman Obey for his leadership, as well as their Republican counterparts. We have all worked together to make great strides in meeting the needs of our veterans, and we shall continue to work tirelessly and boldly in the months ahead to care for our veterans. There is no higher responsibility of our government than to keep the promises made to the men and women who defended our nation."