Today, Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, issued the following statement on the Office of Management and Budget's announcement that VA healthcare is exempt from sequestration:
"This decision, nine months in coming and after numerous Congressional inquiries and my own letter to the President in January, is long overdue. Unfortunately, this move demonstrates the Administration's penchant for political brinksmanship even when it concerns those who have served this nation with honor.
"Months ago, GAO provided the Committee in a matter of days, the same analysis that OMB has now provided to GAO. Yet, the Administration would not act and held America's veterans hostage over a simple legal clarification.
"It's about time OMB issued this decision and got serious about sequestration and VA. OMB did, however, leave the door open to other legal avenues to sequester VA, which is not acceptable. I plan to follow up with the Administration regarding "other potential sequester questions...' as suggested in today's letter to GAO.
"If the Administration will not close the door, I will. To ensure VA is fully exempt from sequestration, I am committed to the passage of H.R. 3895, the Protect VA Healthcare Act of 2012 to ensure America's veterans receive the benefits they have rightfully earned today, and in the future."