Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray, Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee and former Chairman of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, issued the following statement on the President's Fiscal Year 2014, and Fiscal Year 2015 advance appropriation, budget request for the Department of Veterans Affairs.
"The budget request President Obama unveiled today provides reassurance for our veterans in an extremely difficult fiscal climate. It represents a more than 4% increase in discretionary spending over the VA budget request last year and it provides critical help in the areas of mental health care, veterans unemployment, and female veterans' health care. With a major influx of veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan seeking care at the VA, there is no question that the investments this budget makes are sorely needed.
"I was glad to see the President's budget request mirrors many of the same protections for our veterans that were included in the Senate-passed budget last month. However, I will continue to work with the VA on the few areas of concern I have in this budget, including ending the shameful and unnecessary backlog of disability claims within the system. We must support our nation's heroes not only with the benefits and care they deserve, but also with doing so in an efficient and timely manner."