WASHINGTON, July 30 The U.S. House of
Representatives overwhelmingly approved a $17 billion plan to
ease long healthcare delays at the scandal-plagued Veterans
Affairs Department, adding much of the cost to the federal
The compromise measure was reached on Monday between House
and Senate negotiators to provide funds for veterans' temporary
access to private medical care, to allow the VA to hire more
doctors and nurses and to open more outpatient clinics.
The measure, which also grants VA more authority to fire
poor-performing employees, passed 420-5. The Senate is expected
to consider it later this week, before Congress starts a
five-week summer recess on Friday.
(Reporting By David Lawder; Editing by Sandra Maler)