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Statement by Press Secretary Dana Perino

October 10, 2008

On Friday, October 10, 2008, the President signed into law:

H.R. 2963, the "Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indians Land Transfer Act," which transfers approximately 1,178 acres of Federal land in Riverside County and San Diego County, California, currently managed by the Bureau of Land Management, into trust status for the benefit of the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indians;

H.R. 3480, the "Let Our Veterans Rest in Peace Act of 2008," which directs the United States Sentencing Commission to provide adequate sentencing enhancements for any offense involving the desecration, theft, or trafficking in grave markers of veterans;

S. 1492, which authorizes Commerce Department grants to designated State entities for initiatives to identify and track the availability and adoption of broadband services in each State; and requires the Federal Trade Commission to increase public awareness and provide education to promote the safe use of the Internet by children;

S. 1582, the "Hydrographic Services Improvement Act Amendments of 2008," which authorizes appropriations for Fiscal Years 2009-2012 for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's hydrographic services to fulfill its data gathering and dissemination duties; and to promote safe, efficient, and environmentally sound marine transportation;

S. 2162, the "Veterans' Mental Health and Other Care Improvements Act of 2008," which makes changes affecting veterans' medical care and facilities, including providing mandatory reimbursement to veterans for emergency care received at non-VA facilities; expanding certain assistance and benefits for veterans and their families; changing and increasing certain health benefits; authorizing medical facility projects and major medical facility leases; and extending various expiring authorities;

S. 2816, which repeals a requirement that the Chief Human Capital Officer of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) be appointed by the President, thereby making this official subject to appointment or designation by the DHS Secretary;

S. 3023, the "Veterans' Benefits Improvement Act of 2008," which makes changes to several veterans' benefit programs, including specifying requirements for substantiation of claims for VA benefits; modifying authorities of the U.S. Courts of Appeals for Veterans Claims; requiring training of Federal personnel on the employment and re-employment rights of members of the uniformed services; increasing access to certain mortgage programs; authorizing VA to terminate collection of VA debts from servicemembers who die while on active duty;

S. 3128, the "White Mountain Apache Tribe Rural Water System Loan Authorization Act," which directs the Secretary of the Interior to provide a $9.8 million loan to the White Mountain Apache Tribe, subject to appropriations, for use in planning, engineering, and designing a rural water system project; and

S. 3606, the "Special Immigrant Nonminister Religious Worker Program Act," which extends the R-1 visa program for nonminister religious workers through March 6, 2009, upon submission to Congress by the Department of Homeland Security of certification that it has issued regulations to eliminate or reduce fraud related to the program.

George W. Bush, Statement by Press Secretary Dana Perino Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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