Last night, U.S. Rep. Travis Childers (MS-01) voted to support our troops and veterans by ensuring critical funding for veterans health services and the construction of key facilities for our military, including Columbus Air Force Base. As our troops return home from Iraq, this bill will provide resources to ensure that veterans have access to health care and benefits, including more than 4,000 additional permanent claims processors.
"Our armed services men and women have put their lives on the line to keep our nation safe and protect our freedoms, and it's our responsibility to make sure they have the care and support they need," said Childers. "This legislation will provide essential resources for our soldiers both while they serve and after they return home. I express my deepest gratitude for the great sacrifices our troops make on a daily basis, and I will continue working hard to ensure that they have access to the top-notch facilities they need and the benefits they've earned."
This legislation, the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act, strengthens the VA workforce to tackle claims backlogs and to process new educational benefits provided through the new GI Bill enacted in the last Congress. And, it allows the VA to process newly eligible claims for disabilities of Vietnam veterans and their survivors due to exposure to Agent Orange. The legislation also provides new family caregiver benefits for disabled veterans.
The bill also addresses critical military construction needs to train and house our troops. It accelerates the Army's program to modernize troop housing for trainees, addresses unfunded construction requirements of our Guard and Reserve and expedites the environmental cleanup on closed military bases.