The Washington Post

In wake of shutdown, veterans’ committee leaders call for advance VA funding

A bipartisan group of leaders from the House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs committees are pushing legislation Wednesday that would  extend advance appropriations to all Department of Veterans Affairs programs.

Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) - (Photo courtesy of House Veterans Affairs Committee). Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) – (Photo courtesy of House Veterans Affairs Committee).

Supporters of the bill, which include leaders of several veteran support organizations scheduled to appear with members of Congress at a 9 a.m. press conference on Capital Hill, say the recent government shutdown shows why advance funding should be extended to the entire VA budget.

“Our veterans deserve more than annual budgeting-by-crisis,” said the ranking Democrat on the House panel, Rep. Michael Michaud of Maine, who joined Republican Rep. Jeff Miller of Florida, the  chairman of the committee, in introducing the legislation. “Now is the time to extend advance appropriations to the remaining VA discretionary accounts.”

“Considering that the recent budget deal to reopen the government only funds agencies until mid-January, we are already approaching another situation where VA benefits and services may be in jeopardy,” said Miller.

Congress already the medical care portion of VA’s discretionary budget – about 86 percent of the total – one year in advance, which allowed VA hospitals and clinics to operate without interruption during the shutdown. But other VA programs and services, including claims processing, were slowed because of furloughs.

“The shutdown taught us many unfortunate lessons,” said retired Navy Adm. Norb Ryan, president of the Military Officers Association of America. “One lesson is that even our government can take veterans and their families for granted. We must ensure that in the future our veterans and their survivors and children will never have VA services and support disrupted. That can’t happen and we must not let it happen.”

“It is time for Congress to put the interests of veterans ahead of political benefit,” said Bill Lawson, national president of Paralyzed Veterans of America.

The Freddie Gray case

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Campaign 2016 Email Updates

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Get Zika news by email

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!
Comments
Show Comments
The Democrats debated Thursday night. Get caught up on the race.
The Post's Chris Cillizza on the Democratic debate...
On Clinton: She poked a series of holes in Sanders's health-care proposal and broadly cast him as someone who talks a big game but simply can't hope to achieve his goals.

On Sanders: If the challenge was to show that he could be a candidate for people other than those who already love him, he didn't make much progress toward that goal. But he did come across as more well-versed on foreign policy than in debates past.
The PBS debate in 3 minutes
Quoted
We are in vigorous agreement here.
Hillary Clinton, during the PBS Democratic debate, a night in which she and Sanders shared many of the same positions on issues
South Carolina polling averages
Donald Trump leads in the polls as he faces rivals Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz heading into the S.C. GOP primary on Feb. 20.
South Carolina polling averages
The S.C. Democratic primary is Feb. 27. Clinton has a significant lead in the state, whose primary falls one week after the party's Nevada caucuses.
62% 18%
Fact Checker
Trump’s claim that his border wall would cost $8 billion
The billionaire's claim is highly dubious. Based on the costs of the Israeli security barrier (which is mostly fence) and the cost of the relatively simple fence already along the U.S.-Mexico border, an $8 billion price tag is simply not credible.
Pinocchio Pinocchio Pinocchio Pinocchio
The complicated upcoming voting schedule
Feb. 20

Democrats caucus in Nevada; Republicans hold a primary in South Carolina.

Feb. 23

Republicans caucus in Nevada.

Feb. 27

Democrats hold a primary in South Carolina.

Upcoming debates
Feb 13: GOP debate

on CBS News, in South Carolina

Feb. 25: GOP debate

on CNN, in Houston, Texas

March 3: GOP debate

on Fox News, in Detroit, Mich.

Campaign 2016
Where the race stands
Most Read

politics

federal-eye

Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Close video player
Now Playing

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.