[Hpn] Senate Passes Homeless Veterans Bill;Washington, D.C.;AP;11/15/01

Morgan W. Brown norsehorse@hotmail.com
Thu, 15 Nov 2001 22:09:24 -0500

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Thursday November 15 8:54 PM ET

Senate Passes Homeless Veterans Bill

By FREDERIC J. FROMMER, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate ended a two-week standoff Thursday and passed a 
bill to aid homeless veterans. An unidentified Republican dropped his hold 
on the legislation.

The bill's sponsor, Minnesota Democrat Paul Wellstone, in turn dropped his 
hold on all nonemergency Republican legislation.

``It's a great victory,'' Wellstone said. ``I know the leverage I have, and 
I'm going to use it.''

Wellstone said he still hasn't been able to find out who placed the hold on 
his legislation, which passed by voice vote. He joked there should be 
sanctions for such senators: 100 push-ups or $100,000.

``This is not a game,'' Wellstone said. ``It really is unconscionable that 
we have so many homeless veterans. Too bad I had to scratch and claw.''

The Department of Veterans Affairs (news - web sites) estimates 300,000 
veterans are homeless.

The bill unanimously passed the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee during the 

A similar version, sponsored by Reps. Lane Evans, D-Ill., and Chris Smith, 
R-N.J., passed the House last month. Wellstone staffers said they expect to 
resolve difference and win final passage quickly.

The Heather French Henry Homeless Veterans Assistance Act, named for last 
year's Miss America (news - web sites), would provide outreach to veterans 
facing possible homelessness and support veterans who are homeless, 
strengthen Veterans Affairs transitional housing and expand a federal 
program aimed at helping homeless veterans find jobs.

The Congressional Budget Office (news - web sites) has estimated the 
legislation would cost about $900 million over six years, should Congress 
approve money necessary for health care and other provisions.

Four veterans organizations - Disabled American Veterans, AMVETS, Paralyzed 
Veterans of America and Veterans of Foreign Wars - wrote to Sen. Minority 
Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., urging him to get the hold lifted.

Lott's office did not return a message left Thursday.


The bill is S. 739

On the Net: Bill text: http://thomas.loc.gov/


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Morgan <norsehorse@hotmail.com>
Morgan W. Brown
Montpelier Vermont USA

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