Senate OKs $3.9B to address VA's looming budget crisis
WASHINGTON - The Senate has approved a $3.9 billion emergency spending package to address a looming budget crisis at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The bill was approved by unanimous vote Tuesday. It provides $2.1 billion to continue funding the Veterans Choice program, which allows veterans to receive private medical care at government expense. VA Secretary David Shulkin had warned that without congressional action, the program would run out of money by mid-August, disrupting the care for thousands of veterans.
Another $1.8 billion would go to core VA health programs, including 28 leases for new VA medical facilities.
The bill now goes to President Donald Trump for his signature.
The Choice program was put in place after a 2014 wait-time scandal that was discovered at the Phoenix VA hospital.