Burgess Votes to Increase Funding for Military Personnel Past and Present

Date: May 26, 2005
Location: Washington, DC


Burgess Votes to Increase Funding for Military Personnel Past and Present

WASHINGTON, DC, May 26 - Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2528, the Military Quality of Life and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Fiscal Year 2006 Appropriations Bill. Congressman Burgess voted in favor of the bill which passed by a vote 425 to 1.

The FY06 bill provides a total of $85.2 billion to fund medical care for veterans, defense health programs, military construction and military housing. Veterans Medical Services, a central component of this bill, is funded at $21 billion, $1 billion above the budget request and $1.64 above FY05 levels. Over the last two years, funding for veterans medical care has increased by 18%.

Funding for veterans mental health research is doubled, and for the first time ever, $2.2 billion is specifically appropriated for veteran's specialty mental health care. The bill also requires a comprehensive study on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder focusing on improving mental health research, care and access to information.

"I am proud Congress passed this bill increasing funds for those current and former service men and women, stated Congressman Michael Burgess. "The purpose of this bill is to improve their quality of life, and they deserve even more than the best we can give them."

H.R. 2528, the Military Quality of Life and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Fiscal Year 2006 Appropriations Bill also provides $20 billion for the Defense Health Program, an increase of $1.8 billion over the FY05 enacted level which includes $210 million for Cancer research.

Additional veteran benefits, such as housing, are increased by $1.5 billion over last year, reflecting expanded benefits for Guard and Reserve personnel as well as $13.3 billion to fund the Basic Allowance for Housing program, an increase of $1.2 billion.

"Over the last five years, funding for Veterans Medical Services has increased by 40% and funding for the Department of Defense Health Program has increased by 65%," stated Congressman Burgess. "We will continue to put the needs of Americans men and women in uniform at the forefront of our legislative agenda."

http://burgess.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=28053

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