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VA Subject to Cuts Under Sequestration
This week, the Committee finally received a small, but long overdue, clarification on sequestration and VA. According to Secretary Shinseki, VA will be subject to administrative cuts under a sequester. His statement at the Committee’s joint hearing with the House Armed Services Committee raises a lot more questions for our veterans and how VA will be affected. It is our understanding that these cuts will be administrative, but we have yet to receive any details as to what this means and neither does Secretary Shinseki. The time has long passed for the Administration to declare VA exempt from all cuts under sequestration. I will continue to work toward that goal.
Last week, the Committee favorably forwarded three bills to the Full House. The bills contained major provisions from 17 other bills and signified a large portion of our legislative efforts this year. Plus, the legislation passed with bipartisan support. We look forward to the full House taking up these measures in the near future.
Wounded Warriors Take The Mound
The 2012 Taco Bell All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game in Kansans City featured, Matt Kinsey and Saul Bosquez, two players on the Washington Nationals Wounded Warrior Softball Team. Kinsey was even recognized as the Most Valuable Player going 3 for 3 including a homerun. Congratulations to our warriors, America’s All-Stars!
The House recently passed the FY2013 COLA (H.R. 4114). This is a major step to provide veterans an increase to their cost-of-living adjustments for the upcoming year. The increase is estimated to be between 1.3-1.9 percent. H.R. 4114 is now before the Senate.
World War II Receives Bronze Star
Committee Member Rep. Gus Bilirakis spends much of his time on the Hill and back home working diligently on behalf of America’s veterans. Recently, the Congressman organized a special surprise event for an 89-year-old World War II veteran. Click here to read about the ceremony in which U.S. Army Cpl. Robert Smiddy received a Bronze Star some 67 years after he was discharged from the service.
Tweeting the Battle of Gettysburg?
In a very modern day interpretation of history, journalists live “tweeted” a recent reenactment of the Battle of Gettysburg. The tweeters gave live updates as part of the 149th anniversary of the battle. Though Twitter was not around back in 1863, organizers saw it as a tool to generate interest in one of the most famous battles in American history.