DAV has opposed the U.S. House of Representatives version of the FY 2016 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriation bill, which passed in late April. Lawmakers voted 255-163 to pass H.R. 2029, despite warnings from the White House that the proposed $76.6 billion bill would not adequately fund veterans health care, programs and services. The bill comes with a $585 million reduction to the FY 2016 VA Medical Care request and a $582 million reduction to the FY 2016 VA major construction request that would negatively impact medical care and service for tens of thousands of veterans.
“It is incomprehensible for lawmakers to support further underfunding the VA and thereby denying veterans access to the health care, programs and services they were promised,” said DAV National Commander Ron Hope. “VA leaders have made clear their funding requests are critical to fixing these issues within the system. If Congress wants to stand behind veterans on the stump, they need to stand behind them with their votes as well.”
These shortfalls would diminish the VA’s ability to properly staff and equip facilities, make necessary upgrades and expansions at medical facilities and national cemeteries, and would cut medical research.