Senate passes bill boosting veterans benefits

April 24, 2008 11:39:43 AM PDT
The Senate has passed legislation to increase veterans' benefits and establish pensions for Filipinos who served alongside Americans in World War II. The 96-1 vote Thursday sends the bill to the House, despite objections from some Republicans and President Bush. Bush has not said he would veto the bill, but the White House and some Republicans tried to strip out the pension for Filipino veterans because they said the money was better spent on soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

That effort failed, 56-41.

The bill would make some benefits retroactive for more veterans. It also would increase the amount of mortgage life insurance that some disabled veterans can purchase and give severe burn injury victims new kinds of housing benefits.