|[March 04, 2014]
Veterans Groups Urge Congress to Strengthen VA Budget
WASHINGTON --(Business Wire)--
Four of the nation's leading veterans service organizations-AMVETS, DAV,
Paralyzed Veterans of America (Paralyzed Veterans), and Veterans of
Foreign Wars (VFW), are expressing their concerns with the President's
Budget for Fiscal Year 2015, which proposes $68.4 billion for the
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The groups, who coauthor The
Independent Budget (IB), a comprehensive budget and policy document,
now look to Congress to correct the funding deficiencies and to
reconsider the recommendations outlined in the IB-which calls for
$72.9 billion to sufficiently meet veterans' health care and benefits
Of great concern to the veterans groups is the serious underfunding of
VA construction accounts. The President's budget for construction is
approximately $2.75 billion less than what the IB recommends.
"While we appreciate the increases offered by the Administration's
Budget for FY 2015 and for advance appropriations for FY 2016,
particularly with regards to health care and benefits services, we have
concerns that the serious lack of commitment to infrastructure funding
to support the system will undermine the VA's ability to deliver those
services," said The Independent Budget authors. "We now look to
Congress to correct the funding deficiencies."
The President's budget proposes $61.9 billion for total medical care for
FY 2016 advance appropriations and $589 million for medical and
prosthetic research. While The Independent Budget recommends
$62.4 billion for total medical care for FY 2016 advance appropriations
and $611 million for medical and prosthetic research.
Additionally the President's overall budget request for VA is
approximately $4.5 billion less than what the IB recommends for
overall discretionary spending for FY 2015.
This marks the 28th year that The Independent Budget has been
developed by AMVETS, DAV, Parlyzed Veterans and VFW. The document is
written by veterans for veterans detailing funding requirements for VA. The
Independent Budget aims to present a full picture of veterans'
needs-and how government can meet these needs.
The full recommendations of The Independent Budget can be viewed
AMVETS-a leader since 1944 in preserving the freedoms secured by
America's Armed Forces-provides not only support for veterans and the
active military in procuring receipt of their earned entitlements, but
also community services that enhance the quality of life for this
nation's citizens. www.amvets.org
DAV empowers veterans to lead high-quality lives with respect and
dignity. It is dedicated to a single purpose: fulfilling our promises to
the men and women who served. DAV does this by ensuring that veterans
and their families can access the full range of benefits available to
them; fighting for the interests of America's injured heroes on Capitol
Hill; and educating the public about the great sacrifices and needs of
veterans transitioning back to civilian life. DAV, a non-profit
organization with 1.2 million members, was founded in 1920 and chartered
by the U. S. Congress in 1932. Learn more at www.dav.org.
Paralyzed Veterans of America was founded by a group of seriously
injured American heroes from the "Greatest Generation" of World War II.
They created a non-profit organization to meet the challenges that they
faced back in the 1940s - from a medical community not ready to treat
them, to an inaccessible world. For more than 66 years, Paralyzed
Veterans national office and 34 chapters across the nation have been
making America a better place for all veterans and people with
The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is a nonprofit veterans'
service organization comprised of combat veterans and eligible military
service members from the active, Guard and Reserve forces. Founded in
1899 and chartered by Congress in 1936, the VFW is the nation's largest
organization of war veterans and its oldest major veterans'
organization. With more than 1.9 million VFW and Auxiliary members
located in almost 7,000 Posts worldwide, "NO ONE DOES MORE FOR
VETERANS." The VFW and its Auxiliaries are dedicated to veterans'
service, legislative advocacy, and military and community service
programs worldwide. For more information or to join, visit our website
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