The House on Wednesday signed off on a $17 billion bipartisan measure responding to the scandal at the Department of Veterans Affairs over patient deaths and long wait times at VA medical facilities.
The overwhelming, 420-5 vote sends the bill to the Senate, which could pass it by the end of the week before lawmakers leave for their annual August recess. Five Republicans opposed the measure.
A rare compromise struck by House Republicans and Senate Democrats, the bill would allow the VA to add more doctors and facilities to reduce the backlog of veterans who served in the nation's long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It would also cut money for executive bonuses, as well as make it easier both for veterans to seek care at non-VA facilities and for under-performing top officials to be fired or demoted.