WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Lee Terry (R-NE) voted in support of the final version of the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2013 (FY13 MilCon/VA), HR 5854, which passed the House by a vote of 407-12. The legislation provides non-emergency, discretionary funding for military construction projects, military housing maintenance and construction, veterans affairs programs and Arlington National Cemetery.
"Our area is home to Offutt Air Force Base, STRATCOM and the Omaha VA Medical Center, as well as, thousands of current and retired military men and women and their families," Terry said. "It is crucial for this community to receive continued support from Congress. This bill provides funding that will be used for programs that will improve the lives of our military personnel."
Specifically, the legislation provides $161 million for STRATCOM headquarters, $9.6 million for national cemetery construction and keeps funding on track for the new VA hospital in Omaha.
Congressman Terry continued to fight for veterans by including an amendment to the legislation.
"It is imperative that we continue to strive for the best health care America can provide and in order to do so, the timeline for completing hospital construction must remain on track," Terry said. "Because Omaha's VA hospital is in such dire need of upgrades and renovations, we've received the green light for a state of the art medical facility that would accommodate the growing needs of Omaha's veterans' community. However, additional building requirements issued for all of our nations hospitals, have the potential to increase construction costs and project length, thereby affecting the long-term quality of health care for our veterans."
Specifically, the Terry Amendment would require the Inspector General for the Department of Veteran's Affairs to conduct a study on the health effects on veterans due to delays in the construction of new VA hospitals, which are caused by the addition of building requirements not included in the original bid for such hospital.