(9 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
This was posted prior to Shinseki’s press conference.
While most of the DC military press is focused down on the Pentagon today, the Department of Veterans Affairs is also unveiling its fiscal 2011 spending plans and ambitious goals for the near future.
But even though the $125 billion VA budget proposal is only a fraction of the proposed Defense Department budget, the plans could have wide-reaching ramifications for current servicemembers as well as veterans. For example: >>>>>
And this is the press release:
Homelessness, Claims Increases and Access – Priorities for VA Budget
To expand health care to a record-number of Veterans, reduce the number of homeless Veterans and process a dramatically increased number of new disability compensation claims, the White House has announced a proposed $125 billion budget next year for the Department of Veterans Affairs.
“Our budget proposal provides the resources necessary to continue our aggressive pursuit of President Obama’s two over-arching goals for Veterans,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “First, the requested budget will help transform VA into a 21st century organization. And second, it will ensure that we approach Veterans’ care as a lifetime initiative, from the day they take their oaths until the day they are laid to rest.”
The $125 billion budget request, which has to be approved by Congress, includes $60.3 billion for discretionary spending (mostly health care) and $64.7 billion in mandatory funding (mostly for disability compensation and pensions).
“VA’s 2011 budget request covers many areas but focuses on three central issues that are of critical importance to our Veterans – easier access to benefits and services, faster disability claims decisions, and ending the downward spiral that results in Veterans’ homelessness,” Shinseki said. >>>>>
“The President’s vision for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is to transform into a 21st Century organization that is Veteran-centric, results-driven, and forward-looking. This transformation is demanded by new times, new technologies, new demographic realities, and new commitments to today’s Veterans.
VA’s budget request for 2011 provides the resources critical to achieving the President’s vision and will help ensure that Veterans-our clients-receive timely access to the highest quality benefits and services we can provide and which they earned through their sacrifice and service to our Nation.
The Department’s resource request for 2011 is $125 billion-up $11 billion, or 10 percent, from the 2010 enacted budget (excluding funds provided by the Agent Orange Supplemental). This is the second year of large budget increases in VA’s discretionary budget which is up almost 20% since 2009.” >>>>>
The budget information and requests are at the link above in PDF links for further study.
House Veterans Affairs Committee: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Budget Request for FY 2011 and FY 2012
February 4, 2010
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Budget Request for FY 2011 and FY 2012
Senate Veterans Affairs Committee: Hearing: VA’s FY 2011 Budget
February 10, 2010
Committee hearing on VA’s FY 2011 Budget
These hearings will more then likely be televised and streamed online for anyone interested in watching or listening.
There should be A Big Chuck taken out of the Defense Budget, in these times especially, as it’s gotten way to bloated and to easy for the graft and corruption to seep in, as we’ve seen these last years, frankly for many years.
Take some of that and add to the Veterans Budget then some of the rest back to the Treasury. Add to that being already requested for investment into infrastructure to long overlooked. One place also to invest would be in small business loans to these younger Veterans who might want to go into businesses, after they’ve used the new GI Education Bill, especially in Green Technology and Green Building. Expand the upgrade to VA care clinics and hospitals, bring them further into the 21st century, also to long ignored, and possibly build new facilities making them all top line care, teaching and research facilities, not only for Veterans care but shared in the needs of the country and beyond.