U.S. House of Representatives Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller (R-FL) and Ranking Member Mike Michaud (D-ME) have introduced H.R. 813, the Putting Veterans Funding First Act of 2013.
The bill would require Congress to fully fund the Department of Veterans’ Affairs discretionary budget a year ahead of schedule, ensuring that all VA services will have timely, predictable funding that our nation’s veterans deserve and depend upon.
“In an era where continuing resolutions and threats of government shutdowns are all too frequent, this proposed legislation will take some of the burden away from veterans and their families,” said U.S. Veterans Hospice Committee Executive Director Gerald Johnson. Currently, Congress funds the medical care portion – roughly 86 percent of VA’s discretionary budget – at the beginning of each fiscal year. Providing the remainder of the discretionary budget – roughly $8 billion – up front would make it easier for the VA to plan for key investments in information technology, claims processing and construction projects. It would also give Congress a greater level of oversight on multi-year funding proposals, with one year building off of the next.