Did you support H.R. 5822, the bill that funds the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)?
Answer: I supported H.R. 5822, the Military Construction and Veterans Administration Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2011. Our nation must care for the brave men and women who return home after serving in uniform. We must adequately fund the VA to ensure it provides services to our returning veterans, including health care, disability pay, education and training assistance, and housing loans.
H.R. 5822 included $63.8 billion in spending for the VA. This is an increase of $7.2 billion or 13 percent above the amount appropriated in Fiscal Year 2010. The amount appropriated includes:
* $10 billion in readjustment benefits for education and training of veterans and servicemembers whose initial entry to active duty took place on or after July 1, 1985. This is an increase of $1.2 billion or 13 percent over Fiscal Year 2010.
* $51 billion for the Veterans Health Administration, an increase of $6.1 billion or 14 percent over Fiscal Year 2010.
* $2.6 billion for general VA operating expenses, an increase of $514 million or 25 percent over Fiscal Year 2010. In Fiscal Year 2010, operating expenses were increased by 13 percent.
* $1.1 billion for major VA construction projects, a decrease of $28 million or 2 percent over Fiscal Year 2010.
* $590 million for medical and prosthetic research, including trauma and mental health research. This level is an increase of $9 million or 2 perc