President Obama signs bill allowing new changes in veteran health care

President Barack Obama participates in a signing ceremony for the Veterans' Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act of 2014 at Wallace Theater in Fort Belvoir, Virginia. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Barack Obama participates in a signing ceremony for the Veterans’ Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act of 2014 at Wallace Theater in Fort Belvoir, Virginia. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

FORT BELVOIR, Va. — President Barack Obama says the government must ensure that the Veterans Affairs Department has the resources to keep up with the demands of troops returning from war.

Obama is speaking at a signing ceremony for a $16.3 billion measure allowing the Veterans Affairs Department to hire thousands of doctors, nurses and other health professionals at the VA’s nearly 1,000 hospitals and outpatient clinics nationwide.

The president is speaking at Fort Belvoir, an Army base 20 miles south of Washington. Congress approved the measure last week before taking a five-week recess. It was one of the few significant bills approved this year by both the House and the Senate.