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HVAC and SVAC Leaders, VSOs Call for Extending Advance Funding of VA Programs

Oct 30, 2013

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Participants:
HVAC Chairman Jeff Miller (R-FL)

SVAC Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-VT)

HVAC Ranking Member Mike Michaud (D-ME)

SVAC Member Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK)

SVAC Member Sen. John Boozman (R-AR)

Garry Augustine (Disabled American Veterans)

Joe Davis (Veterans of Foreign Wars)

Lou Celli (American Legion)

Tom Tarantino (Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America)

Vice Admiral Norbert Ryan (Military Officers Association of America)

Chairman Jeff Miller:

“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.”

Chairman Bernie Sanders:

“Chairman Miller and I understand, when it comes to the men and women who put their lives on the line to defend this country, we are going to go above partisanship, and we are going to work together in an effective and congenial way.”

Senator Mark Begich:

“Not only is it both sides of the Capitol, it’s both parties that are engaged about moving this piece of legislation forward. This is not about a Democrat or Republican idea, it’s about making sure veterans get taken care of, that’s what this is all about.”

Ranking Member Mike Michaud:

“Now is the time to extend the advance appropriation to the remaining of the discretionary accounts within the Department of Veterans Affairs, and I join everyone here today in calling on the Speaker to schedule a vote on this very important bill.”

Senator John Boozman:

“Protecting veterans during budget fights isn’t the only reason to do this. To me, this seems like common sense budgeting that would enable the VA to have greater certainty and better planning for programs they are implementing for our men and women who have served. So let’s work together to pass this bill and get our veterans the certainty they deserve.”

Garry Augustine:

“Today America’s veterans leaders are launching an all out campaign to pass new legislation to extend advanced appropriations so that all VA programs, services, and befits are protected. Never again should the men and women who have served be used as pawns during political fights over the budget.”

Joe Davis:

“We are here today because the government shutdown exposed a serious flaw in the ability of the VA to properly care for America’s veterans, that is why the VFW strongly supports the Putting Veterans Funding First Act. We must give the VA the resources they need, when they need it.”

Lou Celli:

“I’d like to thank the members of the House and Senate [Veterans’ Affairs Committees] for allowing us to have this conference together, and to explain to you how important it is that advanced appropriations go forward and be enacted to fund the VA.”

Tom Tarantino:

“Our service in combat was unconditional, and our support for veterans, regardless of politics, should be unconditional.”

Vice Admiral Norbert Ryan:

“The greatest nation on earth can do a lot better for our wonderful peace keepers, our veterans, than to have the doors closed on them. With the support of the leaders here in Congress, and all of our military and veterans service organizations we can open those doors by getting [advance funding legislation] passed.”

List of VSOs Supporting Current Advance Funding Legislation (H.R. 813, S. 932)

Air Force Association

Air Force Sergeants Association

AMVETS

Association of the United States Army

Association of the United States Navy

Blinded Veterans Association

Commissioned Officers Association of the U.S. Public Health Service

DAV (Disabled American Veterans)

Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the U.S.

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America

Jewish War Veterans

Marine Corps Reserve Association

Military Officers Association of America

Military Order of the Purple Heart

National Association for Uniformed Services

National Guard Association of the United States

Paralyzed Veterans of America

The American Legion

The Retired Enlisted Association

United States Army Warrant Officers Association

U.S. Coast Guard Chief Petty Officers Association

Veterans of Foreign Wars

VetsFirst, a program of United Spinal Association

Vietnam Veterans of America