WASHINGTON: May 21, 2009
—The Disabled American Veterans (DAV) applauds the passage of the Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act today in a unanimous vote by the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. This critical legislation would authorize Congress to approve medical care appropriations for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) one year in advance of the start of each fiscal year, effectively ending the funding delays that have plagued the VA when Congress has failed to pass an appropriations bill on time.
“We are encouraged that Congress has moved one step closer to ensuring sufficient, timely and predictable funding for veterans health care with the Senate committee’s vote today,” said Disabled American Veterans National Commander Raymond E. Dempsey. “There is no reason why Congress shouldn’t move quickly to pass this legislation which provides a sensible, no-cost way to permanently end the chronic delays in funding for veterans health care.”
The Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act (S. 423 and H.R. 1016) was introduced by the chairmen of the Veterans’ Affairs Committees in the Senate and House – Sen. Daniel Akaka (D – Hawaii) and Rep. Bob Filner (D – Calif.) – in February, and now has 47 Senate bipartisan cosponsors and more than 100 in the House. President Obama has also pledged his support for providing advance appropriations for VA health care. The House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs is expected to vote on the legislation next month.