Senator Kirk-Led Veterans Affairs Bill Funds Veterans’ Care at Record Level

Makes Reforms to VA and Meets Veterans’ Care Needs Nationwide; Protects VA Whistleblowers, Reforms VA Construction Funding and Enhances Military Strategic Defenses for Poland and Hungary

WASHINGTON –-(ENEWSPF)–May 19, 2015.  U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) today applauded the Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs (MilCon/VA) passage of the fiscal year 2016 MilCon/VA Appropriations bill, which he authored with Ranking Member Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont.). The bill funds the care for our veterans at record levels and includes serious construction reforms to ensure that fiascoes like the Denver VA Hospital construction project, which is more than $930 million over budget, never happen again on the taxpayer’s dime. This legislation funds the VA at $69.2 billion for FY 2016, an increase of $4.2 billion, or 6.5%, over the levels in 2015. 

“This bill provides funding for veterans’ care at record levels, which will reform this agency and protect 700,000 Illinois veterans and veterans nationwide,” Senator Kirk said. “Included are whistleblower protections so that doctors and nurses at hospitals like the Hines VA in Maywood, Illinois, will never again fear retaliation from high-level bureaucrats. Also included are funds for new family housing at Rock Island, Illinois, and an increase in Hepatitis C treatments for veterans nationwide. With these modern, innovative medicines, in the last 16 months we have cured more veterans suffering from Hepatitis C than in the last 16 years. It is innovations like these that we need for our veterans, and for all Americans.”

The full bill text will be released on Thursday.