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House of Representatives Passes Veterans Legislation

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

House of Representatives Passes Veterans Legislation

Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Bob Filner (D-CA) announced that the U.S. House of Representatives passed The Dr. James Allen Veteran Vision Equity Act of 2007. The House passed H.Res. 855, which amends H.R. 797, a bill to expand compensation benefits for some blinded veterans. The legislation allows veterans who receive disability compensation for impairment of vision in one eye to be eligible to receive additional compensation for impairment of vision in the eye that is not service-connected.

"I am pleased to support any effort which will help our veterans who have service-connected blindness or loss of vision," said Chairman Filner. "This legislation will apply to newly returning servicemembers as well as veterans from past conflicts. Walter Reed Army Medical Center alone has treated more than 140 servicemembers from Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom for visual injuries."

Additional provisions in H.R. 797 include extending authorization of the veterans' work study program until 2010 and allowing the Department of Veterans Affairs to continue to furnish a government headstone or marker for the grave of certain veterans buried in private cemeteries.

H.R. 797 was introduced by Representative Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and was passed by the House of Representatives on March 21, 2007. The bill was amended and passed by the Senate in November and must return to the Senate for concurrence.

"By passing this bill, the House affirms its commitment to our veterans by providing adequate benefits for them," said Congresswoman Baldwin. "I urge the Senate to adopt this measure quickly and send it for the President's signature. The sacrifices of our veterans should be matched by our desire to improve the quality of life for them and their families."

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