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Congressman Higgins' Vote to Approve Veterans Affairs and Military Funding Achieves Victory for Veterans Care

Jul 10, 2009
Press Release

Today, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) voted with his colleagues in the House of Representatives to approve H.R. 3082, Military Construction -Veterans Affairs Appropriations for FY 2010, a bill providing $133.7 billion for veterans programs and military construction, including advanced funding for veterans health programs.

“Achieving a decade old goal of veterans’ organizations, this landmark legislation provides VA healthcare funding in advance, allowing for adequate planning on how we care for our veterans through 2011,” said Congressman Higgins. “This provides new assurances that veterans in Western New York and across the country will have the facilities and care that they deserve moving forward—a small token for their selfless service to our country’s security.”

Fulfilling the President’s request, the bill allocates $109 billion to the Department of Veterans Affairs for veterans’ medical care, claims processors, and facility improvements, ensuring that the country’s 5 million veterans will receive adequate care.  Of the funds designated for the VA, $48.2 billion will go towards advance appropriations for medical services, medical support and compliance, and medical facilities.

It also includes:

  • $34.7 billion for medical services and access
  • $4.6 billion for mental health care
  • $440 million for rural health care
  • $1.1 billion for medical facilities
  • $580 million for medical and prosthetic research
  • $533 million to expand eligibility for VA health care
  • $3.2 billion to combat homelessness
  • Investments in Vet Centers for counseling
  • Additional claims processors to reduce veterans claims backlog
  • $3.3 billion for improving health records

The bill further commits $24.6 billion for military construction of trainee troop housing, National Guard and Reserve facilities, military family housing, child care centers and other initiatives. 

This most recent legislation demonstrates Congressman Higgins’ commitment to ensuring the well being of veterans.  In June, Congressman Higgins voted for H.R. 403, the Homes for Heroes Act of 2009, H.R. 1016, the Veterans Health Care Budget Reform & Transparency Act, H.R. 1211, the Women Veterans Health Care Improvement Act, and S. 407, The Veterans Cost of Living Adjustment.