Veterans’ Affairs Budget Request Seeks Increase

According to a report, President Barack Obama is requesting $132 billion 2012 budget for veteran benefits and health care despite the brewing budget battle in Congress.

That’s a 3.5 percent increase over the Department of Veterans Affairs’ 2011 budget which was 7 percent above the 2010 fiscal year budget.

The budget increase focuses on several top VA priorities such as ending veteran homelessness by 2015, creating a “paperless claims process” by next year thus ending the backlog of claims and creating an automated system to distribute Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits for housing, tuition, etc.

But according to an email sent out today by Paul Sullivan, executive director of Veterans for Common Sense, “veterans’ healthcare and benefits are under siege.” Sullivan wrote, “The most serious attack came from Tea Party leader Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) who wanted to slash $4.5 billion from VA’s budget.”

Sullivan said that they backed off cutting medical and disability payments after veterans protested. However, he cautioned that other cuts are being considered such as the veterans’ homelessness project.

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