The House, moving to resolve a long-standing controversy, voted unanimously Monday to set up an independent court to review veterans' appeals of Veterans Administration rulings on benefit claims.
The bill was passed on a 400-0 vote and sent to the Senate, which has passed a different version of the legislation.Under current law, veterans who are not satisfied with rulings of the Veterans Administration can appeal only to the Board of Veterans' Appeals, which is a part of the VA. The board's rulings are final.
The House bill would abolish the existing board and create an independent Court of Veterans' Appeals, similar to the Court of Military Appeals and the U.S. Tax Court. The new court would rule on all disputes involving the VA and veterans.
The bill would allow decisions of the new court to be appealed to the existing federal court system, even to the Supreme Court.