Bush asks Congress for $2 billion for VA

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President Bush has requested $1.97 billion from Congress for the Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare programs to help stem the massive budget shortfall in fiscal year 2006.

Earlier last week, the president asked Congress for $300 million in addition to the previously requested $975 million for VA healthcare for fiscal year 2005.

The budget deficit for healthcare programs is expected to reach at least $1 billion in FY 2005 and at least $2.6 billion in FY 2006. The House and Senate last month both voted unanimously to give funds ($975 million from the House and $1.5 billion from the Senate) to the VA for FY 2005.