VA Testifies on Budget Request Seeking 10.5% Increase

February 15, 2012

Washington, D.C. - On Wednesday, the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs held a hearing to address the Administration’s budget request for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for fiscal year 2013, which begins on October 1, 2012, as well as the VA’s request for advanced funding for VA medical care programs. 

“In a constrained fiscal environment this budget recognizes the reality of increased medical care costs and the importance of delivering the health care and benefits that our veterans have earned in a timely fashion,” said Ranking Democratic Member Bob Filner (D-CA).  “If the VA tells this Committee that these funding amounts are needed, then I am dedicated to working with my colleagues to make certain these levels are reached.”  

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki presented an overview of the 2013 budget for VA, which is requesting an overall VA budget of $140.3 billion, $8.1 billion above the FY 2012 budget.  This request includes 4.5 percent increase in discretionary funding (which goes primarily for VA health care) and a 16.2 percent increase in benefits funding.  The majority of these discretionary funds have already been provided through advanced appropriations, the landmark piece of legislation signed into law last Congress.  

“As the process moves forward, rest assured that this Committee will be working closely with the Administration and stakeholders to make certain that the VA has the resources to provide sufficient medical care,” said Filner. “I will continue to monitor these needs to ensure that they are met and I am committed to opposing unnecessary cuts that could be detrimental to our nation’s veterans.”