The House approved the fiscal year 2014 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Bill today.
This bill provides $73 billion to our nation's military and veterans and builds the infrastructure needed to house, train, and equip military personnel including our Guard and Reserve members. It supports a quality of life for our servicemen and women and their families. The bill also funds veterans' benefits and programs to ensure that all veterans receive the services they need and deserve.
"This bill tackles the VA's biggest issues. Our veterans have made tremendous sacrifices to protect our freedoms and we must work to ensure that all veterans receive the services they need and have earned for their dedication and sacrifice to our nation, said Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers.
Providing funds for mental health care, traumatic brain injury, suicide prevention, and rural health initiatives, this bill is especially important to Eastern Washington.
McMorris Rodgers continues, "I have heard from Eastern Washington veterans who have waited too long for claims to be processed. It's time we invest in a system that addresses this backlog to better support our veterans' who fought to defend our freedoms."
To help the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) meet their goal of ending the disability claim backlog by 2015, the bill provides funding for the paperless claims process system and funding for digital scanning of health records.Furthermore, implementing reporting requirements to track the performance of each regional office handling Veterans Affair's disability claims, the House seeks to ensure that that progress is made and claims don't continue to pile up.