Update: Bipartisan Senate Passes VA Funding
Posted by Tom Tarantino on July 21
Last night, the Senate approved the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Bill (H.R. 2055) in a biparstian vote 97-2. It’s likely to be the only appropriations bill passed this year and it will provide critical funds for VA Health Care for Fiscal Years 2012 and 2013.
While Congress is entrenched in a debate about how to balance the budget and deal with our deficit, it is encouraging that neither party nor chamber is trying to balance the budget on the backs of veterans. IAVA applauds Senators Reid, McConnell, Johnson, and Kirk for their leadership and working together for our veterans in a time when all America sees in DC is partisan bickering.
By the numbers, this bill will provide:
- $50.6 Billion for VA health care in 2012
- $2.99 Billion for research on PTSD and TBI
- $208 Million for caregivers of wounded warriors
- $270 Million for women veteran health care
- $4.9 billion to fight veteran homelessness
- $72 Million in additional funding for VA Research
Also included is $52.5 Billion in advance funding for VA health care in 2013, advance funding that was IAVA’s top legislative priority in 2009.
- See who voted for and against the MilCon/VA Appropriations Bill in the roll call.
- Read IAVA's Policy Agenda for more on our 2011 policy priorities for VA care.
What’s next? As this bill goes to conference committee, IAVA encourages the committee to act quickly so we can get it to the President’s desk for his signature. No matter where you sit in the debt ceiling fight, or how you believe we should balance the budget, it’s imperative that we fully fund veterans’ health care and show our nation’s warriors that we continue to have their backs.
Tom Tarantino serves as IAVA's Senior Legislative Associate in Washington, D.C. where he assists with IAVA’s research and policy through coordination with Congress, Veterans Service Organizations and governmental organizations. A former Army captain, he served 10 years in the U.S. Army and returned from Iraq in 2006 after one year of deployment with the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment.
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