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Public Statements

Smith Fights for Record Increase in BRAC, Veterans Funding

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Smith Fights for Record Increase in BRAC, Veterans Funding

The House of Representatives today passed the "Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Bill", (H.R. 2642), which was supported by Congressman Lamar Smith (TX-21).

"This bill contains the largest increase in veteran's funding in the 77-year history of Veterans Affairs," stated Congressman Smith.

"But the money won't matter unless we can get the resources to the veterans who need it," Smith explained. "That's why this bill also provides for 1,000 new claims processors to reduce the backlog in benefits applications."

The bill contains $44.6 billion for the Veterans Benefits Administration, a nearly 8 percent increase over last year; $37 billion for Veterans Health Administration, a nearly 14 percent increase over last year; and $5.9 billion for Veterans Affairs, Departmental Administration, a 63 percent increase over last year.

The bill also provides $9.7 billion for military construction, a 61 percent increase over last year, and $8.4 billion for Base Realignment, a 208 percent increase over last year.

"Texas is undergoing major realignment of military personnel," Smith stated. "This bill is essential to making sure our communities are able to absorb and accommodate the thousands of new soldiers and their families."

"Our military personnel, retired military personnel and their families have made difficult sacrifices for their country," Smith concluded. "Today we passed a bill that appropriately honors those sacrifices."

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