Chairman Miller, Ranking Member Filner, thank you for holding this hearing today.
It is important to make sure that veterans get the resources they need while making sure the resources are not wasted.
I am pleased to have been a member of this Committee who worked with leadership to increase the VA budget by its largest amount in its history. We need to continue to support these increases while not wasting the resources that need to help both current and future veterans. And at no time have I ever advocated to balance the budget on the backs of our veterans. When the VA saves money, it puts those resources back into the veteran, not the General Fund.
I thank the VSOs for the work they do and their involvement in this process. Their Independent
Budget helps keeps this committee honest when allocating resources for the upcoming fiscal year and makes sure the accounts that need funding, get it.
One of my foremost concerns is to ensure that the resources get to the veterans. It is important that the Departments of Veterans Affairs, Housing and Urban Development and Labor work together to help veterans. Housing and Veterans. Homeless veterans are one of the works marks on our policies. How can these young men and women be cast off to the side after serving their country? The three departments need to work together to solve the problem, because it is not happening separately.
I fully support the work that Secretary Shinseki has begun at the VA. As this committee has said repeatedly, the culture of working against the veterans needs to change to where they are the advocate for the veteran. The Secretary is moving the VA in that direction. It takes time.
I look forward to hearing the testimony of the witnesses today.
Thank you Mr. Chairman.