WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Paralyzed Veterans of America is expressing its concern over the House Appropriations committee’s approval of an appropriations bill that will significantly reduce the President’s budget for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
“The biggest problems with the bill are funding that still does not match the Administration’s recommended level for medical care for FY 2016, cuts across the board to all VA accounts that are cloaked in the administrative provisions of the bill and that are not clearly defined, and a significant reduction to Major Construction, nearly slashing it in half,” said Homer Townsend, executive director of Paralyzed Veterans of America. “It is as if our legislators have already forgotten what happens when VA is under resourced. Managing to a budget instead of to demand got us here in the first place and our veterans deserve better. The time for rhetoric is over.”
In February, Paralyzed Veterans along with three of the nation’s leading veterans service organizations—AMVETS (American Veterans), DAV (Disabled American Veterans), and the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars)— recommended a budget of $63.2 billion in total medical care for FY 2016. The recommendations were part of the veterans groups’ annual report, The Independent Budget for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA): Budget Recommendations for FY 2016 and FY 2017, which outlines projected funding requirements for the programs administered by the VA.
For construction programs, the veterans groups recommended $2.8 billion for all construction programs, approximately $1.6 billion more than the FY 2015 appropriated level, and $619 million for medical and prosthetic research, approximately $30 million more than the FY 2015 appropriated level.
The House is expected to take up this bill soon. In the meantime, the Senate Appropriations committee has just begun its work on the companion bill.
The full Independent Budget report recommendations can be viewed online at www.independentbudget.org.
About Paralyzed Veterans of America:
Paralyzed Veterans of America is the only congressionally chartered veterans service organization dedicated solely for the benefit and representation of veterans with spinal cord injury or disease. For nearly 70 years, we have ensured that veterans have received the benefits earned through their service to our nation; monitored their care in VA spinal cord injury units; and funded research and education in the search for a cure and improved care for individuals with paralysis.
As a partner for life, Paralyzed Veterans also develops training and career services, works to ensure accessibility in public buildings and spaces, provides health and rehabilitation opportunities through sports and recreation and advocates for veterans and all people with disabilities. With more than 70 offices and 34 chapters, Paralyzed Veterans serves veterans, their families and their caregivers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. (www.pva.org)