WASHINGTON (PRWEB) June 07, 2021
Joint testimony of the Independent Budget Veterans Service Organizations (IBVSOs)—DAV (Disabled American Veterans), Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW)—regarding the Administration’s budget for the Department of Veterans Affairs for Fiscal Years 2022 and 2023.
Shane Liermann, Deputy National Legislative Director, DAV
Roscoe Butler, Associate Legislative Director, PVA
Patrick Murray, National Legislative Director, VFW
Tues., June 8, 2021
House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs
In February, the IBVSOs released The Independent Budget: Budget Recommendations for Fiscal Years 2022 and 2023 for the Department of Veterans Affairs. The IB recommendations reflected a cautious approach based on historical trends, but recognizing that the past year has been one of the most challenging ever for VA and veterans as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted VA’s operations across the country and significantly impacted veterans’ ability to access health care, benefits and transition services. As a result of this unprecedented national public health emergency, there still remains great uncertainty about many of the typical assumptions underlying VA’s budget projections, including enrollment, utilization, reliance, inflation, and unemployment.
Overall, the Administration’s budget request for FY 2022—combined with appropriated funding from the American Rescue Plan, available funding from the Recurring Expenses Transformational Fund, and proposed funding from the American Jobs Plan—would fully fund veterans’ programs, benefits and services for the first time in a generation.
Furthermore, VA continues to implement three major transformations that are critical to the future of the veterans’ health care system and care for our nation’s ill and injured veterans: 1) increasing VA staffing levels and building internal capacity as required by the VA MISSION Act of 2018; 2) the upcoming Asset and Infrastructure Review; and 3) the Electronic Health Record Modernization. Each of these systemic changes has significant budgetary consequences for the Veterans Health Administration in both the near and long term, and each has been and will continue to be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic consequences, adding further uncertainty.
The IBVSOs commend the Administration for this historic VA budget request and call on Congress to provide VA all the funding needed to ensure that every enrolled veteran receives timely, high quality health care; that every veteran receives all of the benefits they have earned without delays; and that every transitioning service member has the support to live a high-quality and meaningful life.
About DAV (Disabled American Veterans)
DAV empowers veterans to lead high-quality lives with respect and dignity. It is dedicated to a single purpose: keeping our promises to America’s veterans. DAV does this by ensuring that veterans and their families can access the full range of benefits available to them; fighting for the interests of America’s injured heroes on Capitol Hill; linking veterans and their families to employment resources; and educating the public about the great sacrifices and needs of veterans transitioning back to civilian life. DAV, a non-profit organization with more than one million members, was founded in 1920 and chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1932. Learn more at dav.org.
About Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA)
Paralyzed Veterans of America is the only congressionally chartered veterans service organization dedicated solely to the benefit and representation of veterans with spinal cord injury or disease. For 75 years, the organization has ensured that veterans receive the benefits earned through service to our nation; monitored their care in VA spinal cord injury units; and funded research and education in the search for a cure and improved care for individuals with paralysis.
As a life-long partner and advocate for veterans and all people with disabilities, Paralyzed Veterans of America also develops training and career services, works to ensure accessibility in public buildings and spaces, and provides health and rehabilitation opportunities through sports and recreation. With more than 70 offices and 33 chapters, Paralyzed Veterans of America serves veterans, their families, and their caregivers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Learn more at PVA.org.
About Veterans of Foreign Wars of The United States (VFW)
The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is the nation's largest and oldest major war veterans organization. Founded in 1899, the congressionally chartered VFW is comprised entirely of eligible veterans and military service members from the active, Guard and Reserve forces. With more than 1.5 million VFW and Auxiliary members located in over 6,000 Posts worldwide, the nonprofit veterans service organization is proud to proclaim “NO ONE DOES MORE FOR VETERANS” than the VFW, which is dedicated to veterans’ service, legislative advocacy, and military and community service programs. For more information or to join, visit our website at vfw.org.
DAV – Todd Hunter, 321-217-8255, firstname.lastname@example.org
PVA – Onamé Thompson, 703-864-5980, OnameT@pva.org
VFW – Rob Couture, 202-374-9998, RCouture@vfw.org