Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act, 2008
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The Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act, 2008, separate from the fiscal year (FY) 2008 Defense Department appropriations bill, makes spending decisions for some Defense Department medical and construction expenses, VA construction, administration and medical programs and spending for a few related national and international agencies.
Under the bill, Veterans Affairs receives $37.1 billion with nearly $30 billion to improve access to and quality of medical services for all veterans. In addition, funding is included for new programs which address traumatic brain injury diagnosis and treatment and chiropractic care. Improved housing and extended benefits to spouses and children, as well as refurbishment of old and construction of new treatment facilities are also funded.
A new initiative is undertaken to provide mental health treatment, as well as new centers to treat injuries to Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, including traumatic brain injury. Veteran benefits continue to be increased and the opportunity to identify and apply for those benefits is aided by spending for outreach programs to veterans and their families.
The measure, sponsored by Rep. Chet Edwards (D-Texas), passed a vote of 409-2 on June 15, 2007. The two representatives that opposed the bill were John Campbell (R-Calif.) and Tom Feeney (R-Fla.).
Following the August recess, the Senate passed the act in a vote of 92 - 1, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) being the only "Nay