Disabled Veterans National Foundation Approves of Decision to Exempt VA From Sequestration

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Though promising news, other cuts could still take a toll on veterans

The Disabled Veterans National Foundation(DVNF), is expressing approval of the White House’s decision to exempt the Department of Veterans Affairs budget in the event of a sequestration. This decision was preceded by weeks of uncertainty on the potential effects of sequestration on veteran programs.

The sequestration is set to go into effect January 3rd if Congress is not able to reach a budget deal to cut spending. If a deal is not met, there will be a 9.4 percent cut to non-exempt defense discretionary funding, as well as an 8.2 percent cut to non-exempt, non-defense discretionary funding, according to a statement from the Office of Management and Budget.

Despite the White House’s initial stance that the Department of Veterans Affairs would be exempt, doubt remained on whether or not this included administrative cuts to the agency.

"Our nation is facing a critical fiscal crisis. We must solve it, but as most have long recognized, the answer is not on the backs of our veterans. These men and women have already sacrificed on behalf of all of us, and they should not be asked to sacrifice more," said Jeff Miller, Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs.

Though it is promising news that the VA would be exempt from the sequester, the bad news is that these cuts would still take a tremendous toll on veterans. The Department of Labor, for instance, would not be exempt from budget reduction. This could affect programs such as the Veterans Employment Training Services (VETS), a DOL-sponsored program that is designed to give job training to veterans. In addition, one of the biggest potential blows could be absorbed by government contractors who employ vast quantities of veterans.

“Although we are still very concerned about the far-reaching implications of how these cuts may affect veterans and their families, we are at the very least breathing a sigh of relief in the short term,” said Precilla Wilkewitz, President of DVNF. “We are hopeful that a deal can still be reached by Congress, but we take comfort in the fact that the respect for all that our veterans have done remains untarnished in this difficult time.”

About Disabled Veterans National Foundation: The Disabled Veterans National Foundation exists to change the lives of men and women who came home wounded or sick after defending our safety and our freedom. A nonprofit 501c3, DVNF was founded in the fall of 2007 by six women veterans to expand their scope of work within the veteran's community.

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Doug Walker, Communications Manager