Legislation designed to protect a variety of veterans programs in case of future government shutdowns has been passed by a Senate panel.
The plan would protect disability payments, pensions, and educational assistance, which would have been stopped if October's 16-day shutdown lasted much longer. Because Congress funds health services a year ahead, health care delivered through the Department of Veterans Affairs was not affected.
A similar measure was recently passed by the House Committee on Veterans Affairs and the Senate panel's version passed Tuesday by a vote of 13 to one.
Veterans groups are lobbying for the bill's passage, and claim the shutdown showed a flaw in the VA's ability to care for veterans.
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