Bills Fund Veterans Even in Shutdown

NGAUS Washington Report

(Oct. 22, 2013) NGAUS supports legislation that would fully fund the Department of Veterans Affairs for an entire year. The Putting Veterans Funding First Act of 2013, which has been introduced in both the House and Senate, would allow all VA programs for veterans to continue in case of another government shutdown.

“The recent government shutdown showed how vulnerable our veterans are to the political whims in Washington,” said Pete Duffy, the NGAUS legislative director. “Had the shutdown not ended when it did, some veterans would not have received disability checks. This legislation would prevent that from happening.”

Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., the chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, introduced H.R. 813. Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, did the same in the Senate.

The bills would fully fund for an entire year the VA’s discretionary budget. In the recent shutdown, medical facilities were protected because their budgets had already been approved. But money for such things as disability payments to veterans or their survivors was not. Neither was money for education under the GI Bill.