House Veterans' Affairs Committee Chairman Bob Filner (D-CA) announced that President Obama signed H.R. 3219 into law. The Veterans' Benefits Act of 2010 improves and modernizes certain benefits administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for veterans and their families.
Chairman Filner said, "This new law is the result of numerous productive hearings and markups, meaningful oversight and bi-partisan compromise -- all to ensure that those who were willing to lay down their lives for our country and their families and survivors, receive meaningful, world-class, 21st Century benefits. These improvements will make a big difference in the lives of many of America's brave veterans."
Specifically, the new law addresses the needs of veterans by enhancing employment opportunities, preventing and caring for homeless veterans, ensuring the welfare of veterans and their families by increasing insurance limits, protecting service members called to combat, honoring fallen service members and their families, strengthening education benefits, addressing housing needs of disabled veterans, and investing in research for Gulf War veterans.
Chairman Filner concluded: "This Congress has been extraordinarily productive for America's veterans. Speaker Pelosi's strong leadership has been critical as this Congress passed caregiver legislation, approved advance appropriations for veterans' health care, raised the VA budget to adequately care for veterans during wartime, and passed a G.I. Bill for the 21st Century. I am privileged to work with the Members of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee who set an aggressive agenda and stood together to ensure that the cost of the war includes the cost of the warrior. They have truly shown love and compassion to America's veterans evidenced by their hard work to keep the promises made to our Nation's heroes of the past, present, and future."
American Legion National Commander Jimmie Foster offered the following assessment of progress made for veterans: "The 111th Congress may be remembered for banner legislation such as health-care reform, financial regulation and the recovery act. But in our view, the real successes were the passage of bills that affected nearly every veteran in America." Reflecting upon his visit to Washington last month, Foster said, "I came to town to deliver my testimony on the needs of our nation's veterans. Before I left, Congress had passed half of our legislative agenda."