Congress had delayed a $69.37 billion appropriations bill for the Department of Housing and Urban Development and other agencies because of a dispute over whether Vietnam veterans whose had discharges have been upgraded should automatically lose their veterans benefits.
When the House passed the bill, which includes funds for the Veterans Administration, it attached and amendment automatically probhibiting veterans benefits for anyone whose bad discharge was upgraded under President Carter's clemency program.
The Senate passed all other provisions of the bill yesterday, but specially rejected that amendment, sending the bill back to the House.
Congressional sources said they expect the dispute to be resolved quickly by a second bill which passed the House yesterday and went to President Carter.
It requires the Defense Department to set new standards for upgrading had discharges dating back to the World War 1, and then to review all suck discharges individually.
Some 13,000 Vietnam-era veterans have had their bad discharges automatically upraded through the program Carter announced when he took office, and another few thousand have applied and are awaiting the automatic approval.#TOne of the side benefits of an upgraded discharge has been eligibility for veterans benefits.
Opponents have called that a significant departure from existing law, under which Congress existing law, under which Congress expected that eligibility would be determined by honorable military service.
Senate majority whip Alan Cranston (D-Calif.) has said he expected President Carter to sign the bill, which also makes VA health care available for veterans with service-connected disabilities even if they have less than honorable discharges.
Other sources said if the President signs that bill, the House will then follow the Senate is knocking the automatic porhibition out of the HUD money bill, and send it on to the White House.