Alaskan Congressman Don Young voted late last night to pass H.R. 5854, the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act -- a bill that funds the nation's military infrastructure needs as well as veterans' benefits and programs. The bill's discretionary funding level totals $71.7 billion which is the same amount as fiscal year 2012. Specifically, this bill includes a total of $135.4 billion in funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs.
"This is a strong piece of legislation for our servicemen and women -- both active duty and veterans," said Rep. Young. "In a state like Alaska where we have over 20,000 active duty members and over 77,000 veterans, it's crucially important that we provide them with the resources they need. These men and women are the bravest of the brave and I am proud to have voted for this bill."
Important to Alaska, this legislation includes a provision that authorizes the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to enter into agreements with Alaskan Indian tribes and tribal organizations who provide healthcare through the Indian Health Service (IHS) to rural parts of Alaska.