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FY 2013 Budget: The Facts for Veterans

Issues: Veterans

Several media outlets are reporting that the GOP Budget cuts funding for veterans. These same outlets charge that the GOP budget doesn’t even mention the word “veterans.”  Both charges are wrong

These reports stem from a misreading of the GOP Budget and by comparing the CBO scoring of the GOP Budget and the President’s Budget, with that of OMB’s score of the President’s Budget. Using CBO scoring for both budgets, the GOP Budget exceeds the funding levels for veterans over the next 10 year as compared to the President’s budget (see chart below).

Learn more about funding veterans programs from the House Budget Committee.

The Facts

FACT: The GOP Budget Keeps Discretionary Spending for Veterans Exactly the Same as Proposed By President Obama: $61.342 Billion. Using CBO numbers (which, by law, every Congressional budget resolution must use), the GOP budget assumes discretionary spending (i.e., VA medical care, construction, claims processing and national cemetery administration, etc.) on veterans in FY 2013 at exactly the amount requested in the President’s Budget. In both budgets, this translates to a 4.3% increase above the FY 2012 funding level for VA, as recommended in the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs’ bipartisan Views and Estimates letter.

FACT: The GOP Budget Fully Funds VA Entitlement Programs in FY 2013 and Beyond. Again, using CBO numbers, the GOP budget fully funds VA entitlement programs (i.e., disability compensation, pension, GI Bill, etc.) this year and beyond. The only difference between the GOP Budget and the President’s Budget under mandatory spending is the exclusion of the President’s $1 billion Veterans Jobs Corps proposal, on which the Administration has yet to produce any details. The exclusion of the Veterans Jobs Corps in FY 2013 spending is supported by all 11 House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs’ Democrats and Senator Patty Murray of the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs (see SVAC V&E letter).

FACT: The Word “Veterans” Appears 41 Times in the GOP Budget. FY 2014 advanced appropriations for veterans’ medical care is dictated by Section 501(c) of the GOP budget resolution, which permits advance appropriation not exceeding $54.462 Billion “for the following programs in the Department of Veterans Affairs – (A) Medical Services; (B) Medical Support and Compliance; and (C) Medical Facilities accounts of the Veterans Health Administration.”  The word “veterans” clearly appears in the GOP Budget.

GOP Budget and the President's Budget: A Comparison

Total Veterans Spending

FY 2013

FY 2013-FY 2022

GOP Budget*

$134.635 B**

$1,510.938 B

President’s Budget*

$135.651 B

$1,494.309 B


* Congressional Budget Office estimates, budget authority

** Consistent with bipartisan House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee recommendations, does not assume spending of $1 Billion on the President’s Veterans Job Corps proposal

The Protect VA Healthcare Act of 2012

Chairman Jeff Miller recently introduced the Protect VA Healthcare Act of 2012 (H.R. 3895) to ensure that healthcare for veterans through VA is not cut next January due to sequesteration. To learn more about the bill, Chairman Miller's efforts to stop sequestration of VA, and the possible effects of cuts on VA healthcare, click here.