Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Vets Funding Passed!

Today, the House of Representatives passed legislation that provides guaranteed funding for health care programs within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The House approved a bill (H.R. 1016) by a 409-1 vote. H.R. 1016 would provide for two-year advance funding for certain Department of Veteran Affairs health care programs, prosthetics and Internet technologies. As a cosponsor of H.R. 1016, and a member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, I am very pleased that the House took action to help protect the funding of important VA health care programs.

In addition, the House also passed a few other bills related to veterans. I have summarized those bills below:

• H.R. 1211 would require the VA to study the barriers and services for women veterans; it would provide staff training to better treat sexual trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); it would establish a child care pilot program for certain veterans receiving care; and it would allow the VA to provide care for a newborn of a woman veteran receiving VA maternity care. The House passed this bill with a 408-0 vote.

• H.R. 1172 would allow the VA to post a list of organizations that provide scholarships to veterans and their survivors on its website. The House passed this bill with a 411-0 vote.

• S. 407 amends the rates of compensation for veterans with service-connected disabilities and the rates of dependency and indemnity compensation for the survivors of certain disabled veterans and will codify increases equal to that of the cost of living adjustment of Social Security, and make it retroactive to December 1, 2008. The House passed this bill with a 403-0 vote.

I hope that this legislative update is helpful. Please do not hesitate to contact either my Sarasota Office (941-951-6643) or my Bradenton Office (941-747-9081) on a veterans issue or with any other concern that you have.

Sincerely,

Vern Buchanan
Member of Congress

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