WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) commends the passage of bi-partisan, landmark reforms to the Dept. of Veterans Affairs’ hospital facilities.

“Today the Senate stood up for veterans across the nation to strengthen and improve a system in desperate need of change,” said Sen. Booker. “I’m elated that this comprehensive legislation includes my bill to guarantee continued rehabilitative services for veterans with traumatic brain injuries. In a Congress marked by so much gridlock, I am proud to work with my colleagues across the aisle to deliver for New Jersey’s veterans.”

The comprehensive VA accountability bill includes legislation sponsored by Sen. Booker and Republican Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada. The Assisted Living Pilot Program for Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury (AL-TBI) Extension Act will prevent veterans with severe brain injuries from being kicked out of rehabilitative centers treating them.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs had stopped placing any new veterans into the rehab program, which was set to expire in October. If no action was taken, the veterans would have been discharged from 27 medical facilities, including veterans housed in several New Jersey facilities. The legislation also calls for the expansion and upgrade of a facility in Brick, N.J., and permits the removal of incompetent officials at the VA.

The need for the Booker-Heller legislation was featured in a recent Wall Street Journal article.

Earlier today, Sen. Booker spoke on the Senate floor underscoring the need to pass the VA bill which preserves the assisted living program for veterans with traumatic brain injuries. His floor speech can be viewed here: