Big increase for VA budget

Lawmakers have approved a nearly $400 billion spending bill that includes a large increase in Veterans Affairs spending for 2020 and also restricts the President’s ability to move military construction budget allocations into southern border wall construction.

According to an article published by Military Times, “The passage — by a 227-194 party line vote — was the second major appropriations package advanced by the chamber last month, as party leaders set their priorities for fiscal 2020 spending and push back on White House demands for more military spending and less money for other domestic priorities. The measure spans seven federal agencies, including the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and Housing and Urban Development. More than half of the total would go to the Department of Veterans Affairs, which would see its budget rise nearly 10 percent to $217.5 billion in fiscal 2020 under the plan.”

The total amount is moderately more than the original allocation for the department and signifies another noteworthy accomplishment for veterans support programs. According to Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla. and chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee’s panel on veterans issues, “(This legislation) will provide significant and enhanced funding for the VA, deliver on our promise of medical care and benefits that veterans have earned through service to our nation, and make smart investments in critical programs that make a real difference in the lives of servicemembers and veterans,”

In addition, the new legislation includes $10.5 billion in military construction funding as well as an increase of $140 million solely dedicated to improving family housing at and near military bases across the country. This decision came in response to reports of less than favorable conditions at military housing units earlier this year.

To learn more about this good news for veterans, click HERE.

Relevant pages: Veterans Disability