News Releases

Senate Appropriations bill, passed today, includes $861 million for VA’s Caregiver Support Program, an increase of $365 million from the President’s request

Bill also includes extension of Sen. Murray’s provision to ensure veterans are eligible for IVF coverage, investments in military infrastructure and oversight of Electronic Health Record system being rolled out at military bases in Washington state, and a new pilot program to help homeless veterans in high cost areas such as Seattle

(Washington, D.C.)  – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) announced that the Senate Appropriations Committee passed legislation that includes a number of her priorities to help veterans, including a major investment in the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Caregiver Program and an extension of her effort to cover fertility services for veterans with service-connected injuries. The bill also includes provisions to ensure funds are used for VA programs as Congress intended, as well as new oversight on the electronic health record system currently being tested at military bases in Washington state. The FY2019 Senate Military Construction-VA Appropriations bill passed a Senate Committee unanimously and now moves to the full Senate.

“This legislation not only rejects the Trump Administration’s proposed cuts, it builds on the work many of us in Congress have been doing to help veterans and their families,” Sen. Murray said. “I’m especially proud to see strong investments in the Caregiver Support Program which will soon be open to veterans of all eras, giving even more veterans the kind of care they earned in their service to our country. I will be pushing VA senior officials to make sure they use these investments in a way that truly honors veterans and their caregivers by giving them the support and resources they need.

Last month, Sen. Murray’s provision to expand the VA’s Caregiver Support Program was signed into law as part of the VA Mission Act. Read more here.

The FY2019 Senate Military Construction-VA Appropriations bill includes but is not limited to:

  • Extending VA’s authorization allowing them to cover fertility services such as IVF for service connected veterans, building on Sen. Murray’s years of work to allow VA to cover fertility services to veterans injured during their service to our country. (More on Sen. Murray’s IVF provision here.)
  • $3 million for the VA’s child care pilot program
  • Directs VA to develop a pilot program to help veterans with housing and supportive services in high cost urban areas, such as Seattle
  • $17 million of dedicated funding for the VA’s Intimate Partner Violence Program to help provide holistic services and support for veterans experiencing domestic and intimate partner violence.
  • Investments in military bases around Washington state, including, but not limited to:       
    • $89 million for pier maintenance at Naval Base Kitsap
    • $19 million for Fleet Support Facility at Whidbey Island
    • $8 million for Whidbey Island Next Generation Jammer Facility
    • $26 million for Refueling Facility at Joint Base Lewis McChord