- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 6, 2014

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, Vt. (AP) - U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders says a bill passed by Congress to improve health care for veterans is the most significant piece of legislation affecting veterans in many years.

Sanders made the comments Wednesday during a visit to the Vermont veterans’ hospital in White River Junction.

The $17 billion bill will help veterans avoid long waits for health care, enable the Department of Veterans Affairs to hire more providers and make it easier to fire officials who are not doing their jobs properly.

Sanders is the chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee.

He says he’s proud of the role he played in writing the bill and getting it passed, especially during what he calls a “dysfunctional Congress.”