Joint Hearing of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the U.S. Senate and the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs of the U.S. House of Representatives at 1:00 p.m. CDT.
Chairman Miller Statement Regarding VA Furloughs
WASHINGTON, DC – Following VA’s announcement that some Veterans Benefits Administration and Office of Information Technology employees will be furloughed due to the government shutdown, chairman Jeff Miller released the below statement.
“VA employees should be worrying about VA’s mission of service to veterans, not managing an agency on spare change remaining from last year, and it’s a shame that Washington’s dysfunction has led to the furloughs of thousands of dedicated VA employees and may jeopardize benefits for some veterans. But right now the ball is in the Senate’s court. The House has passed two bills – the Honoring our Promise to America’s Veterans Act and the full 2014 VA appropriations bill – that would end these furloughs and restore VA to full operating capacity regardless of how long the government shutdown lasts. Harry Reid could stop these furloughs and ensure veterans’ benefits immediately by acting on either of these bills, but instead he’s content to let them gather dust on his desk. Harry Reid’s argument against piecemeal appropriations collapsed the minute he decided to lead the Senate in passage of the Pay Our Military Act. It’s been 125 days since the House passed the full military construction and VA appropriations bill, so it’s well past time for Harry Reid to stop the games and fund VA. If not, he owes America’s veterans an explanation for why he’s putting their benefits at risk.” – Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs