Yesterday, Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, voted for the Military Construction & VA Appropriations bill. This legislation, which passed the House 411 to 6, provides historic levels of funding for Veterans Administration (VA) programs. This funding allows the VA to accomplish its key mission of providing medical care to more than 6 million veterans in 2011, including more than 439,000 veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan.
"Our nation's veterans have made enormous sacrifices on behalf of our country, and we must honor our commitments to them," said Congresswoman Shea-Porter. "This bill provides critical funding for veterans health care, and I was proud to support it."
The Military Construction & VA Appropriations bill provides the VA with more than $120 billion in funding for veterans medical care, claims processors, and facility improvements.
* Veterans Health Administration (VHA): $48.8 billion for veterans medical care
* Medical Services: $37.1 billion to improve access to medical services for all veterans
* Mental Health: $5.2 billion for mental health services to help veterans suffering from conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and traumatic brain injury
* Assistance for Homeless Veterans: $4.2 billion for supportive services for low-income veterans and families, and $151 million for the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program
* Rural Health: $250 million to improve access to health care for veterans in rural areas More than 3.2 million (41 percent) of enrolled veterans live in rural or highly rural areas
This bill is endorsed by several leading veterans' organizations including the VFW, Disabled American Veterans, AMVETS, and Paralyzed Veterans of America.