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Appropriations bill approved.

On December 13, 2009, the Senate took the final step to approve funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for FY 2010. The Senate approved the conference report for the Consolidated Appropriations Act for FY 2010, which included the Military Construction and Veterans' Affairs Appropriations Act for FY 2010. The House had approved the conference report on December 10. The FY 2010 appropriations bill included an advance appropriation for FY 2011.

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The appropriations bill provides funding levels that essentially match the request the Obama administration provided earlier this year. Specifically, the bill provides nearly $56 billion in budget authority for VA. For Medical Care, the appropriations bill would provide S44.5 billion discretionary funding and nearly $3 billion in medical-care collections. The bill also includes a significant investment in Medical and Prosthetic Research--$581 million.

The appropriations bill targets increased funding for the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) to hire an additional 1,200 claims personnel. Overall, the bill provides nearly $1.7 billion for VBA.

Importantly, the bill also includes approximately $48.2 billion in advance appropriations for VA medical care accounts--Medical Services, Medical Support and Compliance, and Medical Facilities--for FY 2011. This marks a major accomplishment for the VA and the veterans' community as the Appropriations Committee supported with its actions the number-one priority for all veterans' service organizations this year.

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Title Annotation:on the hill
Publication:PN - Paraplegia News
Date:Feb 1, 2010
Words:225
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