United States Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Ranking Member on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, today voted to approve a Military Construction and Veterans Affairs (Milcon/VA) Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2014. Senator Kirk voted in favor of the bipartisan bill, which includes a total of $74.3 billion in discretionary funds and is $325 million below the President's request. The bill appropriates $63.4 billion to the VA, of which more than $2.5 billion will help reduce the claims backlog in Illinois and across the nation. The Chicago Regional Office has the 4th worst processing time with claims waiting for an average of 465 days. Claims processed at VA Regional Offices average 292 days across the United States.
"This bill maintains critical Veterans Affairs operations and military construction projects for the nation and Illinois," Senator Kirk said. "For those men and women who have honorably served our country, the bill will reduce the wait times for veterans who have filed claims with the VA."
Military Construction/Veterans Affairs Appropriations Projects in Illinois:
Great Lakes Unaccompanied Housing: $35.851 million
Kankakee Air National Guard
Aircraft Maintenance Hangar: $28 million
Readiness Center: $14 million
Total funding for Illinois Military Construction projects: $77.851 million.