Recent Press Releases

Washington, DC —  Senator John Thune, member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, today issued the following statement regarding the approval of record funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs, as passed by the Senate in the Military Construction/Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act. This funding bill must still be agreed to by the House of Representatives before being sent to the President to be signed into law. The bill provides nearly $78 billion for the Department of Veterans Affairs, which is $8.88 billion above the amount the VA received last year. This is equal to an 11 percent increase over last year's funding levels. This increase is second only to the level of increase for Defense funding this year.

"I'm pleased to announce this significant funding increase for our nation's veterans. These men and women have sacrificed immeasurably for the safety, security and freedoms of every American," Thune said. "The least we can offer them in return is the best in care and benefits. I will continue to work hard in Congress for the priorities and needs of veterans in South Dakota."

Significant spending accounts include:

Compensation and Pensions: Provides $38.01 billion for compensation and pensions, which is $4.11 billion above the FY06 enacted level.

Medical Services: Provides $28.69 billion for Medical Services, which is equal to the Administration's request and $4.51 billion above the FY06 enacted level.

Readjustment Benefits: Provides $3.26 billion for Readjustment Benefits, which fully funds the Bush Administration's request. The readjustment benefits appropriation finances the education and training of veterans and servicepersons whose initial entry on active duty took place on or after July 1, 1985.

Veterans Housing: Provides $196.7 million for the Veterans Housing Benefit Program Fund Program Account, which is $132.1 million above the FY06 enacted level.