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red star bulletRelated Links: Testimony Main Page

Before the Committee on Veterans Affairs United States Senate Regarding The Department of Veterans’ Affairs Fiscal Year ‘10 Budget Request

March 10, 2009

Chairman Akaka, Ranking Senator Burr, and distinguished Senators on the Committee, on behalf of Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) National President John Rowan and all of our officers, Board of Directors, and members, I thank you for giving Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) the opportunity to testify today regarding the President’s fiscal year 2010 budget request for the Department of Veterans Affairs. VVA thanks each of you on this distinguished panel, on both sides of the aisle, for your strong leadership on issues and concerns of vital concern to veterans and their families.

I want to thank you for recognizing that caring for those who have donned the uniform in our name is part of the continuing cost of the national defense. Caring for veterans, the essential role of the VA and, for specific services other federal entities such as the Department of Labor, the Small Business Administration, and the Department of Health and Human Services, must be a national priority. This is poignantly clear when we visit the combat-wounded troops at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Bethesda Naval Hospital.

Mr. Chairman, VVA thanks you for sponsoring advanced Appropriations legislation in the Senate (S. 423). As you know, VVA and other major veterans’ service organizations have been long-time supporters of legislation to achieve assured funding. When the VA budget is late 19 or of the last 22 times, it is clear that there is a need for a new mechanism to correct the problems in the current system of funding. While VVA remains committed to the assured funding concept, we currently strongly support the Advanced Appropriations legislation contained in S. 423 as being so much better than what we currently have in place. As we have this discussion in regard to the FY’10 budget for the VA, the readily apparent need for this legislation has never been more pressing. We look forward to working with you to ensure its enactment, as it will move us toward our common goal of predictable, fully adequate, and timely funding for VA health care that is sufficient to truly meet the needs of all veterans in vital need of such care.

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