10.14.09

Bill to Authorize Advanced Appropriations Heading to President’s Desk

Burr co-sponsored legislation to authorize advanced appropriations for VA medical care

Today, U.S. Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), Ranking Member on the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs, applauded the full Senate's passage of the Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act of 2009. The bill calls for the advanced funding of critical services to veterans, which have recently been subjected to delays by Congress.

"I am pleased the full Senate acted yesterday to pass advanced appropriations for VA medical care, and I hope that the President will sign this important bill soon," Senator Burr said. "Too often, critical funding for veterans' health care is held hostage to political gamesmanship, which is unacceptable. In a time of war and an aging veteran population, we have an obligation to ensure that veterans can get the health care they need when they need it."

The Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act funds the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) in two-year cycles through advance appropriations. This would give the agency the ability to plan its budget one-year ahead of the regular federal funding process. Currently, VHA's budget is subject to delay, which hinders its ability to plan its budgets and provide quality care to our veterans.

"Yet again this year, VA does not have an on-time budget," Burr added. "Passing this bill is a step towards rectifying this problem. Our veterans made us a priority when they wore the uniform, now is the time to make them our priority."