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House Approves FY09 Budget with $60 Million for new VA Hospital

Bill to clear final hurdle this week, head to President’s desk

(Washington, DC) Today, the House of Representatives approved the FY09 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill as part of the Continuing Budget Resolution for the new fiscal year, which begins October 1.  Congressman John Yarmuth’s (KY-3) succeeded in fighting for the inclusion of $60 million for construction of Louisville’s new VA hospital.  The Senate is expected to act swiftly on the legislation so the President can sign it into law by next week.

“Louisville’s veterans deserve a state-of-the-art facility that offers the best possible care, and today, we can say without question, they will get it,” Congressman Yarmuth said.

Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Chairman Chet Edwards added, “Congressman Yarmuth has been extremely persistent in fighting to secure funding for the new VA health center in Louisville.  He made the case every step of this process to ensure that the project succeeded, and Louisville’s veterans will benefit for generations as a result of his efforts.  The people of Kentucky should be thankful that they have a leader in Congress who is this committed to getting results for their community.”

The bill includes more than $400 million for construction projects that are on the CARES list but were not included in the President’s budget request.  After Yarmuth secured $45 million for the project through the appropriations process, an agreement was reached with Yarmuth, Chairman Edwards, and the Veterans Administration to allocate $60 million of this funding for the early stages of the construction process for the new hospital.

This is the first year that money for the hospital has been approved by either chamber of Congress.