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VA to get largest funding boost in history

Brittany De Lea

The Department of Veterans Affairs is set to get a huge injection of cash as lawmakers advanced a package of spending bills Thursday to keep the federal government funded.

Congress finalized the fiscal 2020 budget on Thursday, which needed to be approved by Friday in order to avoid a partial government shutdown. The bill calls for a 9 percent increase in funds to the agency, or $217 billion, the largest boost in history.

The VA’s fiscal 2019 budget — a 6 percent increase over last year — pushed funding over the $200-billion threshold for the first time, according to the Military Times.

For comparison, the agency received about $125 billion in fiscal 2012.

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Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie told FOX Business in an interview Wednesday that he presented a $220 billion budget to Congress, with calls for 400,000 employees.

The funding, Wilkie said in a statement, will ensure the nation’s veterans “receive high-quality health care and timely access to benefits and services.”

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Overall, the government is working with a $1.4 trillion spending package that will fund the government through September, up from $1.36 trillion last year. It would allocate $738 billion toward defense, including funds for the Space Force, which the administration has deemed the sixth branch of the U.S. military.

Trump had previously called for $750 billion for the military.

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