Veterans legislation passes House Veterans Affairs Committee NEWS FROM CHAIRMAN BOB FILNERHOUSE COMMITTEE ON VETERANS AFFAIRSMEDIA ADVISORYFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 21, 2008Contact Kristal DeKleer at (202) 225-9756
House of Representatives Passes Veterans Legislation Washington , D.C. House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Bob Filner announced that a package of bills to honor our nation s veterans passed the House of Representatives. The action comes as the nation prepares to honor and remember our fallen heroes on Memorial Day weekend. This Memorial Day will take on a more profound and personal significance for many American families this year those who are mourning the loss of one of their own and those who have loved ones far from home, stated Chairman Filner. As a way to honor these heroes, I ask that we recommit ourselves to caring for and serving our veterans. The bills that were passed by the House reinforce our commitment to ensure that the contributions of our brave veterans are never forgotten. Five of the bills approved by the House of Representatives address the health care needs of veterans, including a bill to authorize major medical facility projects and leases for Fiscal Year 2009. 1. &n bsp; H.R. 2790, as amended – To amend title 38, United States Code, to establish the position of Director of Physician Assistant Services within the office of the Under Secretary of Veterans Affairs for Health. 2. H.R. 3819 – To amend title 38, United States Code, to require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to reimburse veterans receiving emergency treatment in non-Department of Veterans Affairs facilities for such treatment until such veterans are transferred to Department facilities, and for other purposes.3. H.R. 5729 – To amend title 38, United States Code, to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to provide comprehensive health care to children of Vietnam veterans born with Spina Bifida, and for other purposes. 4. H.R. 5554, as amended – To amend title 38, United States Code, to expand and improve health care services available to veterans from the Department of Veterans Affairs for substance use disorders, and for other purposes.5. H.R. 5856 To authorize major medical facility projects and major medical facility leases for the Department of Veterans Affairs for fiscal year 2009, and for other purposes.Five of the bills passed by the House address veterans benefits, including one bill that would allow the Department of Veterans Affairs to use television media to inform veterans of the entitlements and benefits they have earned. 6. H.R. 3681 – To amend title 38, United States Code, to authorize the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to advertise in the national media to promote awareness of benefits under laws administered by the Secretary. 7. H.R. 3889, as amended To amend title 38, United States Code, to require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to conduct a longitudinal study of the vocational rehabilitation programs administered by the Secretary. 8. H.R. 5664, as amended To amend title 38, United States Code, to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to update at least once every six years the plans and specifications for specially adapted housing furnished to veterans by the Secretary.9. H.R. 5826 To increase, effective as of December 1, 2008, the rates of disability compensation for veterans with service-connected disabilities and the rates of dependency and indemnity compensation for survivors of certain service-connected disabled veterans, and for other purposes.10. H.R. 6048 To amend the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act to provide for the protection of child custody arrangements for parents who are members of the Armed Forces deployed in support of a contingency operation. Chairman Filner concluded: More than 1.6 million troops have been deployed as a result of the current conflicts. There are 800,000 new veterans, an d 325,000 of these heroes have accessed the VA health care system. Additionally, there are 23 million living veterans from previous conflicts. This Memorial Day, I am pleased that the Members of the House came together to pay tribute to all of the men and women who have courageously served our great nation those that have fought in past wars and those that are in harm s way today.