From the Office of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

Pelosi Calls on Republican Leadership to Keep its Promise and Restore $1.8 Billion for Veterans’ Health Care

July 31, 2003

Washington, D.C. -- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today calling for bipartisan support for restoring $1.8 billion to the underfunded VA-HUD Appropriations bill. The House bill currently contains $1.8 billion less than what Republicans had promised. The Senate has yet to vote on the bill.

"The fight to fully support veteran’s health care continues. When the conference committee on VA-HUD funding convenes, the House Republican leadership should keep its promise and restore the $1.8 billion, as called for by our nation's veterans' organizations.

"The veterans' health care system is in crisis. More than 100,000 veterans are waiting six months or more for a medical appointment at Veterans Administration hospitals; the health care system is failing to serve the needs of our veterans. How do Republicans respond? By drastically under funding veterans’ health care by $1.8 billion.

"President Bush and House Republicans owe it to the men and women who defended our country to keep their promise to provide the quality health care that our veterans deserve and have earned. This should not be a partisan issue.

"Democrats fought to increase funding for veterans’ health care at every opportunity in committee and on the House floor. We offered amendments to increase veterans’ health care funding in committee. We overwhelmingly voted on the House floor to increase the funding, but Republicans repeatedly defeated these measures.

"We must fulfill our promise to those who have paid the high price for our freedom -- those who have worn our nation’s uniform."




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