VFW Legislative Alert
January 03, 2008
Background:The large funding bill that Congress sent to the president's desk included a sizeable $2.9 billion increase for veterans health care and benefits. There is an additional $3.7 billion in potential veterans funding - funding that would fully meet the needs laid out by the VFW as part of the Independent Budget. VA will receive this funding, however, only if the president declares it "emergency spending." Without that declaration, VA will not get that additional increase.
You must contact the president to ask him to release the "emergency" funding for VA.
The current increase, while appreciated, is not enough, and VA must have the additional $3.7 billion to fully meet the needs of veterans.
The additional $3.7 billion (for a total increase of $6.6 billion) would allow VA to:
• Hire additional claims processors and train staff to reduce the ever-growing disability claims backlog
• Treat the tens of thousands of returning service members who put their lives on the line in Iraq and Afghanistan, providing them with all the health care they need, including full mental health coverage and treatment for traumatic brain injuries and other war-related illnesses and disabilities.
• Care for the hundreds of thousands of sick and disabled veterans from other conflicts, particularly as many of them grow older
• Begin construction and improve maintenance on a number of VA health care facilities, expanding access and ensuring that veterans receive care in clean, safe, and comfortable locations that meet their needs.
How to contact the president:
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
• Phone: 202-456-1111
• Fax: 202-456-2461
Contact Congress, too:
Let your Representative and Senators know that you appreciate their efforts and urge them to ask the President to release the full funding amount. Since your legislators are on break for the holiday, phone numbers for their district offices can be found in your local phone book or you can look for contact info on their WebPages: www.senate.gov and www.house.gov.
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