Miller Statement on The President’s VA Budget Request
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today Chairman Miller released the following statement regarding President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2016 VA budget request.
“I am committed to providing the Department of Veterans Affairs with the resources it needs to take care of our nation’s veterans. But if there’s one thing we’ve learned over the last year, it’s that VA’s numbers cannot be trusted. Furthermore, whether it's funding, staffing, or information technology tools, Congress has given this administration nearly everything it has asked for to increase access to VA health care and overcome perennial challenges such as the department’s mountain of backlogged disability benefits compensation claims. For its part, VA has left hundreds of millions in health care funding unspent since 2010 as thousands of veterans languished on waiting lists and squandered more than $1 billion on a host of botched construction projects, acquisition failures and extravagant employee conferences. That’s why we will ensure President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2016 VA budget request receives the scrutiny it is due over the coming weeks. Additionally, the president’s idea to reallocate a portion of Veterans Choice Program funding to other areas of VA is a complete non-starter, which I will not support. When a near-unanimous Congress worked with President Obama last year to create the choice program, we made a promise to veterans to give them more freedom in their health care decisions. I will not stand idly by while the president attempts to renege on that promise. – Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs