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Veterans Bill Will Aid Women Veterans

On March 27, the House approved two veterans-related bills (H.R. 801 and H.R. 811), by votes of 417-0. Sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), the measures were considered under suspension of the rules, an expedited floor procedure that limits debate and prohibits amendments.

H.R. 801 would extend coverage under the Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance to spouses and children of a servicemember. Currently, active servicemembers are eligible for life insurance coverage but their families are not.

H.R. 811 would authorize $250 million in FY2002 and $300 million in FY2003 for the improvement and renovation of VA medical centers. The bill delineates a number of projects that the Secretary of Veterans’ Affairs should consider a priority, including improving privacy and accommodations for women veterans. Several General Accounting Office reports have cited the lack of privacy at VA hospitals as a major concern of women veterans.

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