|To Protect Veterans During Future Shutdowns, Congress Must Pass, and the President Must Sign, New Legislation to Extend Advance Appropriations to All VA Programs|
|Please Write the President, Your Senators and Representatives Today!|
|October was a bad month for our country and for our veterans, as the partial government shutdown disrupted, delayed and suspended critical services and benefits due to the men and women who have served in uniform. Had this budget stalemate continued for another week of two, it would have been devastating to millions of veterans, their families and survivors, as benefit checks for disability compensation, pension and DIC would have been cut off due to a lack of appropriations. This must never happen again!|
Four years ago, Congress passed, and the President signed, legislation to provide advance appropriations for most VA health care programs, thereby providing them with funding a year in advance. Thanks to that law (P.L. 111-81), even while parts of the government shut down earlier this month, VA hospitals and outpatient clinics were able to provide uninterrupted health care to injured and ill veterans because they already had their budgets approved in advance. Unfortunately, the law did not protect other veterans benefits and services, including disability compensation, insurance, home loan guaranty and GI education support, nor did it fund hospital construction, medical and prosthetic research, nor information technology programs.
With the fresh evidence of how damaging budget stalemates and government shutdowns are for veterans, their families and survivors, we must take decisive action to prevent this from recurring. Now is the time to get Congress to pass, and the President to sign, new legislation to extend advance appropriations to all VA programs, services and benefits.
Fortunately there is already legislation pending in both the House (H.R. 813) and Senate (S. 932) that could easily be amended, passed, and enacted into law if there is the political will to do so. Called the "Putting Veterans Funding First Act," this commonsense legislation would require Congress to pass a full year's appropriations bill for all VA discretionary programs one year in advance. Since we know now that VA's mandatory disability compensation and other benefits were also at jeopardy during the shutdown, Congress should amend the legislation to include all mandatory funding in the advance appropriation as well.
We need you to contact your Member of Congress, your Senators and the President and let them know that it's time to put veterans funding first. It's time for Congress to pass, and the President to sign, legislation that would extend advance appropriations to all VA discretionary and mandatory programs.
Please use the prepared message to urge your Member of Congress, your Senators and the President to amend, pass and enact advance appropriations legislation this year.
Thank you for continuing to help fulfill our promises to the men and women who served through your active participation in the DAV Commander's Action Network.
Life Member VFW NY Post 53
American Cold War Veterans, Inc.
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