FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 8, 2009
WASHINGTON—“The administration’s fiscal year 2010 budget request for the Department of Veterans Affairs shows our wounded and disabled veterans are national priorities,” said Disabled American Veterans National Commander Raymond E. Dempsey. “Not only does it provide a legitimate record increase for VA health care, it reaffirms the administration’s commitment to advance appropriations this year.”
In the proposed $112.8 billion VA budget, discretionary funding is $55.9 billion, an 11 percent increase from last year, even exceeding the $54.6 billion recommendation made by The Independent Budget, which the DAV coauthors with AMVETS, Paralyzed Veterans of America and Veterans of Foreign Wars. The President’s budget proposal says the administration plans to “work with the Congress to develop a specific advance appropriations proposal for the VA’s medical care program.”
“This is a victory for veterans as it is a clear sign of our efforts to achieve advance appropriations for VA medical care this year,” Dempsey said. “It is encouraging to see the administration appears to understand the need to reform the VA budget process to assure sufficient, timely and predictable funding for veterans health care programs.” Dempsey said the DAV is prepared to work with Congress to closely examine the full, detailed proposal to ensure the VA has a viable budget in plenty of time before the 2010 fiscal year begins Oct. 1. In addition to funding the VA in the fiscal year 2010 appropriations bill, Congress could also set the level of funding for the agency’s three medical care accounts to become available at the start of the 2011 fiscal year.
“I have been encouraged by the administration’s willingness to work with the DAV and other veterans service organizations,” Dempsey said. “This budget shows President Obama took note and is moving in the right direction to transform the VA and provide veterans with the care and benefits they have earned.”
The 1.2 million-member Disabled American Veterans, a non-profit organization founded in 1920 and chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1932, represents this nation’s disabled veterans. It is dedicated to a single purpose: building better lives for our nation’s disabled veterans and their families. For more information, visit the organization’s Web site, www.dav.org.