I am committed to providing our nation's veterans with access to top of the line care and benefits. These brave men and women have made the ultimate commitment to our nation. For both our veterans from past conflicts and soldiers returning home today the highest level of services must be provided. While we will never be able to fully repay them for their service, it is imperative that we do all that we can to care for them.
Unfortunately, for far too long, programs meant to support our veterans have been underfunded and mismanaged. Many veterans received delayed and inadequate care. I am proud to say that this Congress has recognized these shortfalls and made record investments in veterans to address them. Since 2007 we have increased funding for veterans by an historic $17.7 billion which will allow for the expansion and improvement of VA facilities, the hiring of additional personnel to reduce the wait time faced by many veterans, and the continuing research focused on injuries such as traumatic brain injury and post traumatic stress disorder, among other improvements.
In addition, we passed the GI Bill for the 21st Century, which modernizes the GI program to guarantee access to a four year education for those who have served our country. The bill is estimated to help over 2 million veterans and I encourage those who may qualify to visit their website or call 1-888-GI BILL-1 (1-888-442-4551) to determine eligibility for benefits.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act also committed resources to our nation's veterans by investing $1 billion to improve medical facilities, by providing millions of dollars in housing assistance to military families, and encouraging employers to hire veterans during this economic downturn. For more information on how ARRA invested in our nation's veterans please click here.
Although we have made great strides in improving the lives of our veterans, I recognize that we are far from finished. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues to ensure that we are doing all that we can to honor the commitment and sacrifice made by each of these American heroes.