WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Budget Resolution for Fiscal Year 2009 passed the U.S. Senate early this morning. It included an authorization for another historic increase for the Department of Veterans Affairs. Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI), Chairman of the Veterans' Affairs Committee, actively advocated for the increase and voted to support final passage. The Budget Resolution includes $3.2 billion above the Administration's request for veterans' programs, and will serve as a blueprint as Congress works to draft the Fiscal Year 2009 VA appropriations bill.
"I commend my colleagues for supporting a necessary increase in funding for veterans. This Budget Resolution provides a strong framework for the VA budget, and is an important step in meeting our commitment to America's veterans. We must now ensure that equally strong appropriations are enacted to bring these funds into the VA system," said Akaka.
The day before the final vote, Akaka spoke at a Capitol Hill press conference and on the Senate floor about the need for a budget that includes the cost of veterans' care and benefits as a cost of war.
"The Democratic majority in the Senate fought hard for this year's increase, which compliments last year's historic funding increase for Veterans Affairs," Akaka said. The increase for VA in the FY08 Budget was the largest in the 77-year history of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
March 14, 2008