Opens the VA to All Veterans
Veterans' Affairs Committee passes bill that would make
242,000 veterans, whose VA enrollment was cut off
by the Bush Administration, eligible for care again
Victory for “Priority 8” Veterans
Since Democrats assumed control of the Congress in January, Senator Murray has helped to lead the effort to make funding veterans care a top priority. As the second ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, she helped to include a $3.5 billion increase over the President's budget for veterans funding in the 2008 Budget Resolution. As a member of the Senate leadership, Murray helped to add $1.78 billion for veterans care in the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations bill which was signed into law last month. And just last week, Murray used her seat on the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs (MILCON-VA) Appropriations Subcommittee to deliver a $3.6 billion increase in VA spending for 2008.
In addition to allowing the VA to meet the needs of service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, the recent increases in funding will also help reopen the VA to Priority 8 veterans.
According to a recent Congressional Research Service (CRS) report, the VA estimates that if the enrollment freeze was lifted, approximately 273,000 Priority 8 veterans would have been eligible to receive medical care from VA in FY2006, and 242,000 Priority 8 veterans would be eligible in FY2007