WASHINGTON–(SATPRNEWS.COM)–Paralyzed Veterans of America is expressing its concern over the House Appropriations committee’s approval of an appropriations bill that will significantly reduce the President’s budget for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
“The biggest problems with the bill are funding that still does not match the Administration’s recommended level for medical care for FY 2016, cuts across the board to all VA accounts that are cloaked in the administrative provisions of the bill and that are not clearly defined, and a significant reduction to Major Construction, nearly slashing it in half,” said Homer Townsend, executive director of Paralyzed Veterans of America. “It is as if our legislators have already forgotten what happens when VA is under resourced. Managing to a budget instead of to demand got us here in the first place and our veterans deserve better. The time for rhetoric is over.”
In February, Paralyzed Veterans along with three of the nation’s leading veterans service organizations—AMVETS (American Veterans), DAV (Disabled American Veterans), and the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars)— recommended a budget of $63.2 billion in total medical care for FY2016. The recommendations were part of the veterans groups’ annual report, The Independent Budget for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA): Budget Recommendations for FY 2016 and FY 2017, which outlines projected funding requirements for the programs administered by the VA.
For construction programs, the veterans groups recommended $2.8 billion for all construction programs, approximately $1.6 billion more than the FY 2015 appropriated level, and $619 million for medical and prosthetic research, approximately $30 million more than the FY 2015 appropriated level.
The House is expected to take up this bill soon. In the meantime, the Senate Appropriations committee has just begun its work on the companion bill.