Pelosi calls for quick vote on Veterans Affairs bill

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Monday called for quick passage of a $17 billion bill meant to overhaul the Veterans Affairs Department.

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) should bring the conference report hammered out by House and Senate lawmakers “to the floor without any further delay,” Pelosi said in a statement, a clear indication that the measure will enjoy broad support from Democrats.

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Pelosi also praised House Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) for working to reach a “bipartisan agreement that will help us serve our veterans as well as they have served us.”

She also complimented Rep. Michael Michaud (D-Maine), the panel’s ranking member who is running for governor in his home state.

Miller said he expects the full House to vote on the conference report on Wednesday.

“That is what I have been led to believe,” Miller said of a Wednesday vote. The bill itself will be filed Monday night.

The bill is likely to enjoy broad bipartisan support, though the fact that most of its costs are not offset with other spending cuts could cost it GOP support. Only $5 billion of the costs are offset with cuts in VA spending, including new limits on bonuses.

The measure overall would provide $10 billion to allow veterans to seek treatment at non-VA providers.

The bill gives another $5 billion for the department to hire additional doctors and nurses and roughly $1.5 billion to lease more than two dozen medical facilities across the country to provide the VA with more space.

Cristina Marcos contributed to this report