House Increases Funding for Veterans
Washington, DC – The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bipartisan appropriations bill today focused on meeting the needs of veterans, service members and their families. The legislation provides a six percent increase over last year’s funding, ensuring increased resources for military readiness and comprehensive care for our nation’s veterans. The budget for Veterans Affairs is increased over last year by $4.6 billion, providing the funding necessary to cut through the claims backlog.
Included was an amendment co-sponsored by U.S. Representative Will Hurd that will prohibit funds from being used for another round of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC).
“Government action that wastes taxpayer dollars, hurts local economies and negatively impacts national security doesn’t make sense, but that’s precisely what another BRAC will do,” said Hurd. "This amendment will protect installations such as Laughlin Air Force Base and the communities like Del Rio and I’m proud to cosponsor it with fellow Texan, Rep. John Ratcliffe.”
Hurd’s second amendment requires the Department of Veterans Affairs and their Chief Information Officer to modernize their acquisition and use of information technology, helping to ensure timely and quality care for American veterans.
“Something as simple as allowing a veteran’s medical records to be available digitally to their health care providers shouldn’t be something beyond the capabilities of the greatest nation in the world. It’s time for the VA to join the 21st Century when it comes to information technology. It’s the least we can do for our veterans,” stated Hurd.