DAV Demands Advance Funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs

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WASHINGTON—While the budget battle rumbled through the Nation’s Capital, the resulting government shutdown threatened earned benefits for 4 million veterans across the country who nobly served our nation.

America’s injured and ill veterans are waging a nationwide campaign for advance funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs to ensure they will never suffer again because of partisan politics. A bipartisan group of lawmakers recognized that using our nation’s heroes as political pawns is unacceptable and have introduced the Putting Veterans Funding First Act. Original sponsors of the measure include Senators Mark Begich (D-Alaska) and John Boozman (R-Ark.) and Representatives Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) and Michael Michaud (D-Maine).

At a recent Capitol Hill news conference, DAV (Disabled American Veterans) and two dozen military and veterans service organizations applauded Senators and Representatives who support the legislation that would fund veterans programs and services a year in advance.

Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) urged his fellow lawmakers to pass this important legislation. “Our veterans deserve better than [government shutdowns],” he said.

Veterans across the country are demanding passage by the end of the year.

“Over the coming weeks, we will be mobilizing our grassroots supporters around the country, holding town hall meetings and rallies, and calling on Senators and Members of Congress to get this done,” said DAV Washington Headquarters Executive Director Garry Augustine.

DAV also is calling on President Obama, who was an early supporter of the original advance funding bill for VA medical care, to publicly announce his support for this legislation and his intent to sign it.

“If there is one thing people in Washington and across America agree on, it’s that we should never let funding for veterans become a casualty of Washington gridlock,” said House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller.

The public can send a message to Congress and the White House at dav.org to let their elected officials know that
our nation’s heroes will never again be used as pawns during political fights over the budget.

“It’s time to change how Washington pays for veterans programs by putting veterans funding first,” Augustine said. “America’s veterans deserve no less.”

About DAV

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.


Make your voice heard by sending a message to Congress and the White House: Take Action Now

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  • datagod

    If this doesn’t pass, is it just coincidence that it has been excluded from coverage on ALL MAJOR NEWS NETWORKS? Search for this on Google News, you will find very few sparse references from backwater news sources nobody has ever heard of. ALL MAJOR NEWS NETWORKS are ignoring it. WHY? Does anyone think this is just coincidence?–or is it more likely that the news media have taken sides with politicians who want it quietly disappeared AGAIN?

  • Tex1967

    To be clear, this does nothing for disabled veterans right now. When concerns about the present state of affairs and the recent near loss of disability payments were brought to any number of veterans organizations, there was little to no feedback from the national leadership, with the exception of the VFW, until multiple letters to the national leadership personnel finally led to responses.

    The problem is, their answer to the current issue is the “Putting Veterans Funding First Act.”

    That is in fact NOT the answer to the CURRENT ISSUE facing veterans, many of whom risk losing homes, meals, housing, vehicles, etc. that are only maintained be receipt of that disability, especially those who are 100% rated.

    It IS the answer to FUTURE such issues, should the politicians continue to play games with the lives of veterans.

    FYI to those national leaders who do not understand why I’m saying this, then it’s because you’ve failed to actually read the bill. If you had read the bill, then when presented with issues about payments in January/February 2014 and beyond if there is another government shutdown, then you would not have sent out letters and emails informing members that all of you (veteran organizations) were working on this bill.

    Whether directly or indirectly, national leaders have knowingly (or unknowingly if they’ve failed to read the bill and know what they’re talking about) left veterans thinking that SOMEONE is doing SOMETHING about the issue RIGHT NOW.

    The truth is, many veterans have made decisions based on misinformation and the consequences are the result of national leaders who lack the abililty to communicate. This is a simple truth, because when their answer to disability payments in JAN/FEB2014 is to point out the PVFF Act, they have willingly and knowingly misled all veterans and their own members.

    The truth is, I have witnessed national leadership fight over monies raised by local veteran chapters, outside of any normal organizational fundraisers, that was to be used for assisting local veterans. National leaders working on bleeding local chapters of money raised by chapter members for the chapter, when they should have been doing their job, which is to look out for the overall best interests of all veterans, which means making sure there is NEVER again a threat to benefits, to include a BANDAID for now, as well as the PVFF Act for 01OCT2014 and going forward.

    That is the earliest that the PVFF Act would actually be in effect at this time.

    Obviously, bandaids were put in place for many specific things, and there is no reason to not do the same here.

    There are veterans who have made it clear that the could stand to lose property, monies put into escrow, homes, vehicles, etc. and they’re not imagining it. I have talked at length to a number of bank officials from banks that I deal with currently, which have made it clear that they have nothing in place to deal with this issue and they would put the notes in default and begin foreclosesure ASAP IAW their existing policies.

    Imagine just purchasing a small lot for a house or trailer, and no being able to make your very first payment, and having no money because everything went into obtaining a place to live.

    For those who see this as nothing to “whine” about, I would ask if that is how you run your own budget and how you would want to be handled.

    Americans take EVERYTHING for granted.

    Veterans were trained to PLAN FOR EVERY CONTINGENCY.

    Polticians live their lavish lifestyles on the taxpayer dollar because we have been prepared for everything, meaning that we have brainstormed every possibility. If we can plan ahead, then why can’t they?

    Is it so hard to imagine that budget issues would occur… REPEATEDLY… and lead to this issue?

    This is not our first shutdown, and the same mistake should never be repeated… especially with people who know better and many who are lifelong politicians.

    That’s my perspective. What I see are the facts. What might “pass” for personal opinion on my part is simply the application of common sense.

    None of us would kick a trained guard dog, even if he’s been “retired” and replaced… so why does it always seem like the government thinks they can kick us around like slaves on active duty to do their political bidding, and then continue to ignore us and kick us directly or passive aggressively??

    One day, reality will hit some 30 millions Americans who are a part of the military family, and that will be a reaction that should strike fear in the hearts of politicians currently doing their best to steamroll a group that they forget constitutes a large voting group.