Foster Votes To Increase Support For Veterans
Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Bill Foster (IL-11) voted for H.R. 4486, the FY 2015 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act. The legislation allocates $6.6 billion, a decrease of $3.3 billion from 2014, for Military Construction programs and $64.7 billion in funding for Veterans Affairs, an increase of $1.5 billion from 2014.
“One of the most fundamental responsibilities our government has is to make sure our veterans receive the support they deserve. It is our duty to take care of the brave men and women who have sacrificed so much to protect us,” said Foster. “I am proud to support this legislation which increases funding for essential programs for veterans. With over 34,000 veterans in Illinois’ 11th District, I will continue to do all I can to ensure that our veterans and their families are getting the care they deserve.”
H.R. 4486 contains a number of important provisions that increase our investment in caring for our veterans and their families. These investments include increases of $1.6 billion for educational benefits and transition services, $7.2 billion for veteran pensions and disability payments, $7.6 billion for homeless veteran assistance and treatment, $167 million for improving the information technology systems that support claims processing and customer service, and $41 million to directly reduce the veterans disability claims backlog. H.R. 4486 also includes $7.6 billion for assistance and treatment for homeless veterans.
Additionally, this bill helps addresses the epidemic of veteran suicide, a tragic development that is taking 22 of our veterans every day according to the VA. The bill includes $7.4 billion for veteran mental health programs, including $20 million specifically for suicide prevention. While more needs to be done, this is a step in the right direction.
The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that there are 34,418 veterans in the 11th Congressional District.