Today, The American Legion, AMVETS (American Veterans), and Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) released the following statement regarding congressional posturing resulting from a request made by acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs Sloan Gibson for an additional $17.6 billion in funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs:
“Regardless of the merits, a last-minute VA request for $17.6 billion dollars in additional spending only hampers an already difficult VA conference committee negotiating process. Both the House and Senate VA reform bills that passed were centered on two things – accountability and access. It is disgraceful and utterly painful to see bipartisan efforts erode and lawmakers lose sight of what’s important. Negotiations, which should happen in public, not behind closed doors, must stay focused on ensuring VA leadership is held accountable and veterans have timely access to care. All other discussions only undermine a critically important process.
“We urge Congress to take immediate action to regain its focus on ensuring the VA Secretary exercises his authority to hold management and staff accountable for their inappropriate behavior, and immediately stop the corruption and mismanagement within the VA. Before asking for more money, the VA must start making good on the nation’s promise to its honored veterans.”