Congress Passes Largest Veterans Affairs Discretionary Funding Bill Ever
The Department of Veterans Affairs is set to receive the largest discretionary funding bill in history aimed at funding the recently passed VA MISSION Act. Texas Congressman John Carter boasted the big win following the vote on his $85.3 billion spending bill.
I did not see much mention of the funding aspect much less that was the largest discretionary funding bill in history passed by a Republican Congress with a Republican President. Generally, the perception is that Democrats fund VA more than Republicans, so it is nice to see the traditional position change.
RELATED: DOD Dodges Burn Pit Hearing
Rep. John Carter Press Release
“This bipartisan bill represents our commitment to providing crucial resources for America’s veterans and the men and women in the military, while being good stewards of taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars,” Congressman Carter said. “The bill includes funding for important programs to improve health care and wellbeing for veterans, while also improving readiness capabilities for those currently serving.”
- $85.3 billion in discretionary funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs- the largest dollar amount in history for the VA
- Immediately provides funding to support the important reforms passed in the VA MISSION Act, which includes the Veterans Transplant Coverage Act
- $196 million for suicide prevention outreach
- $589 million for traumatic brain injury treatment
- $7.4 billion for homeless veteran services
- Implements strong oversight on VA construction projects
- Includes additional funding for VA oversight offices to protect whistleblowers and increase accountability by investigating poorly performing leadership and inferior patient care
- Continues rebuilding infrastructure for our service members and their families by allocating $10.3 billion for military construction projects
- Provides $1.6 billion for housing all 1,400,000 military families
- Includes $361 million for the construction or alteration of new or existing military medical facilities
Let’s just hope the special interests and vendors coming hat in hand do not completely pilfer the funds veterans so desperately need.
And BRAD, you hit it right on the mark, so I’ll further the matter by stating this; “if the leadership of the VA, the Committees, Overseeing Officials, Politicians, wanted to truly address, evaluate, re-configure how the VA will need to operate, for the purpose of serving the US’s 21st Century Veteran, all one needs to do is to review this site for a couple of months. At least a month. They’d learn plenty.”
RESULT(s); THE ABOVE IS TO COMPLEX, MORE BANG FOR THE BUCK, AND MAKES WAY TOO MUCH SENSE.
MODE of ACTION; NO ACTION GRANTED.
Your recommendation is 100% on target– but as you note, “…makes way too much sense.”
Curiosity here, but no mention of Voc Rehab, not even hidden in the wording of amounts allocated…
And whose discretion counts??
With all this “new found taxpayers monies”, how many high echelon officials in the VA, and the committee, will become RICHER?
My guess is, There’s gonna be LOTS more multi-millionaires running around!
Sorry Elf, I have to correct you on this one. When the fraud is so big!
It’s not multi-millionaires anymore.
The correct term to use in cases such as this is multi-billionaires.
Yep, sorry slip of my fingers. Damn neuropathy!
Remember that West Point graduate who was a communist? He received a “less than Honorable Discharge!”
It’s ASSHOLES like that who piss me off!
“West Point Grad Who Went Viral for ‘Communism Will Win’ Gets Dealt Justice Courtesy of US Military”
BY CILLIAN ZEAL
JUNE 9, 2018 AT 8:47AM
“The West Point graduate who achieved viral infamy for writing “Communism Will Win” on the underside of his military-issue hat and then…”
There’s more to the article from “CT” “Conservative Tribune”!
Of the few line items mentioned – $14 ish Billion for military facilities – not VA – military. These clowns just gave an additional $80 Billion to the already bloated military. How much do you suppose will bubble up to Beltway Buddies, versus trickle down to needy brethren who actually served and sacrificed? Too long a cynic to hope for good intentions to be honored. Always suspect that thievery is the basis of policy wrapped in the imagery of good intent. Gets me all flag wavy n’shit.
They left choice 40 in the va mission act which eliminates most of the 20% of,all, veterans that have to use VA, if these guys had a choice they would not use va, can’t have that. And why are the vsos even in the discussion. Proves to me they could really gaf about veterans.
Will be wasted and gone before I’m dead, will help some while the rest doesn’t change. Suicide? They are the reason. Who will fatten pockets first? Someone told doc was going to be gone, didn’t say anything and filled prescription 5 minutes later. Could double the money and will do nothing, those idiots don’t care
As usual, the “comments” section is far more encompassing of the REAL WORLD for our veterans than the story itself. Thanks Ben for running a valuable site for our veterans.
I was happy to hear this till I heard “VA Discretionary funds”. Since when has the VA done anything right when they had discretion over anything involving funding? It will be the same old “Keep em in the system” at all costs when trying to get outside care . Then they’ll probably go and build half a hospital somewhere with it.
I don’t see anything mentioned in this massive spending Bill and/or Mission Act that includes the Dental Care for those that are 100% Service Connected. The Houston Dental Clinic at the VAMC is severely understaffed and the needs of Veterans are not being met in a timely fashion. What happens to this aspect of Care?
VA had the most reported instances of sexual harassment of any federal agency.
The Merit Systems Protection Board found 26 percent of women and 14 percent of men who worked at the VA reported experiencing sexual harassment between 2014 and 2016.
“Congresswoman calls for VA investigation after survey reveals high rates of sexual harassment”
By NIKKI WENTLING | STARS AND STRIPES Published: June 8, 2018
” WASHINGTON — One congresswoman is calling for more oversight of the Department of Veterans Affairs after a government survey revealed the VA had the most reported instances of sexual harassment of any federal agency.
The Merit Systems Protection Board found 26 percent of women and 14 percent of men who worked at the VA reported experiencing sexual harassment between 2014 and 2016. The board, an independent group within the executive branch of the federal government, is tasked with safeguarding the rights of government employees.”
““I was disturbed to learn of the high rates of sexual harassment for both men and women employed by the Department of Veterans Affairs,” Kuster said in a prepared statement.”
The key here is the term “discretionary funding”.
Discretionary funding vs. Mandatory funding — Mandatory funding can must be spent on the intended purpose of the funding. While Discretionary funding need not be spent on the intended purpose of the funding and can be re-appropriated to fund other projects.
A prime example of Discretionary funding and re-appropriation of those funds occurred last fall. When Shulkin was working with the House appropriation committee to re-appropriate $450 million of Discretionary funds meant for combating Veterans Homelessness. Shulkin’s intent was to re-appropriate the funding into the VA general account so it could be used to fund the deal with Cerner.
Under Shulkin’s leadership Veteran’s homelessness climbed and Shulkin did not approve using the funds appropriated by Congress to be spent on funding the Programs to help prevent Veterans homelessness. Instead he continually stated that Veterans Homelessness was a long term problem that it is going to take years to address.
Within the first week of his assuming the position. Then Acting Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie released the funding from the VA to go to the programs that it was intended for. To help homeless Veterans.
“VA kills plan to cut homeless-vet program after outcry”
By ARTHUR ALLEN and LORRAINE WOELLERT, Politico, 12/06/2017
So the $85.3 billion in discretionary funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs is $85.3 Billion that can be withheld from it’s stated purpose and re-appropriated to any other purpose the VA may intend for it. With the consent of the house appropriations committee.
Just want to point out one of the persons who is leading the United States House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Florida, is the Ranking Member for the Democrats on the committee.
Given Debbie Wasserman Schultz has continuously demonstrated the actions of a Congress person that is being blackmailed by Imran Awan, Pakistani Intelligence.
If the Democrats do win the most seats in congress she will be Chairman of the Committee. There by placing Pakistani Intelligence in-charge of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies.
Also in charge of the $85.3 Billion.
Oh joy Dem/commie Debbie might chair? That is a barf provoking thought. As illegals can or are voting and them going all out to get voters to the polls who never bothered with politics before or know nothing of reality. Oh well, it won’t make things worse or better here in the ‘Dem strong-hold’ town. They are going all out to fight the ‘right to work’ laws wanted too. Join the likes of the AFGE or don’t work.
So still nothing about how the gov is going to pay for all the new changes. Plenty for black budgets, billions lost no investigations, plenty for foreign aid, plenty for illegals/immgrants, the war machine.
’25 SES Members Relieved of Duty.’ Huh? I don’t believen it. Now how about all those elite, immune from prosections, the unmoveables over the VA and our health care.
The criminalization of science whistleblowers: A mind-blowing interview with Judy Mikovits, PhD
shit did not work so they spend more money. It will still will not work since the people who administer the various programs are as stupid as as a rock
I’ve spent the last couple of days discussing issues with local (choke) Democrats to the local Human Relations connected folks and local office. About all I heard is I don’t have enough proof to get anything done. No discrimination, no abuse, no proof of med file leaks, no proof of harassment, etc. I have to give proper names, numbers, locations, and reasons why of those who have threatened or harassed. No problems there.
So-called Republicans… chirp chirp chirp of crickets.
To the facts that nothing including my private phone numbers or info is easily obtainable by anyone out there or found on any answering machine to be used by any number of nut jobs in society. Understood. Then why passed around and used by different health care clinics and separate unused departments in a hospital??? Using the the same activist tactics and BS. Then according to some here I have to prove the whys and mindful intent, purposes for the treatment I am and have been getting from the VA and to including civvy care. The recordings, med files messed with or not passed along to awaiting MDs, etc., doesn’t matter. Plus it being my word against their in all situations with ‘them’ being able to provide more witnesses against me than I can get to help stand against them on any level, especially locally. Bottom line is unless I can record them saying some hate word about hating white people or vets nothing can be done. If I am being harassed and tormented by polite means, with smiles, ethical or not, not much can be done as long as they are nice about doing whatever evil or activist tactics is used. So the civvy care here can call me up countless times a day using the same number for a myriad of other patients and no harassment is found. Even after my calling them all back to inform them they are using the wrong number for all those other patients and it continues on for days into months on top of the other threatening phone calls.
Oh, and due to all the hackers and such no information out there ‘is secure.’
Withholding my medical records, messing with them, staff like the VA not putting in MD remarks to be continued on during the next visit or topics in my file is also excusable. Odd but excusable and not provable enough, no witnesses on my side. Oh, but it’s due to new staff, lost files, or horrible IT issues they may have at the time. OH and by the way…. hire an attorney. They don’t find it odd that a local dentist and oral surgeon will do multiple surgeries on me while side stepping my request for X-rays on my broken jaw which is easy proof. Also lying in my med files or refusing copies for months then sending out a phony one.
Then to see or experience this shit from both parties, state wide apparently, to the feds, through the AG’s office, medical boards, and beyond should also tell some stories about how Indiana operates and protects the VA and many other corrupt things going on here. Ahhh but some vet groups and agencies will get some money, a little for the homeless vets, while others deal with the BS. Those VSOs and so-called caring groups out there ignoring and dismissing other serious issues cause the don’t want to step on toes or get involved in corrupt politicking and local attack dogs. No. Cause when you start exposing those behin the attacks/many issues, the hard censoring, the network of game players, VA (full circle) to local nepotism.. might upset the apple cart and some of that money they are waiting for to mis-use. Can’t have that!
Difficult to believe any reports, claims, studies, research, written laws, when ALL seem complicit with all the evil, corruption, protecting, excusing going on.
A side note with angry rant is: Odd politicians like VSOs claim there is nothing that can be done over private companies or civilian health care abuses, unions or not. Some senator can claim he can only use suggestions and limited powers of some office, but limited by existing laws that help protect health care workers who expose issues like HIPPA privacy issues when finding witness something.
So we may end up fighting the the many different varieties of attack dogs, corruption. The VA, contractors. family or connected people being one. Then unions being another. All the nepotism. Media, hard censoring. Inability to attend town meetings, no representation. Then anything concerning civilian care and abuses, mis-conduct, lack of professional ethics, etc., are yet another separate entity to deal with (that politicians can’t help with legally). Then on to uncaring vet state agencies, VSOs, outreach groups, local media, local politicians, self protecting medical boards, country clubbers, secret groups, Greek societies, Marx-feminist/sorority sisters connections, the college crowd, special interest groups, the many cliques, the networks, we are up against more shit than can be handled or dealt with in one short lifetime. Especially by one man while others just watch. Afraid to join in all the fun.
Passing more worthless laws and throwing more money at such deep-seated corruption and bull shit is totally useless and major distractions from what is really needed. IMNSHO.
To me it’s just must more two party paradigm back and forth game playing, unenforceable, semantics BS. Along with not knowing just who and what local groups gets to have some pockets lined for something that will not be used properly or for all across the board.
No-one will come forward in my state, or especially in my town to blow whistles or expose any number of wrongs and evils going on here. I am a prime example of someone willing to jump out publically and try to get my story out there and expose some things. Especially the corrupt VA, the hard censoring, corrupt two party politics, the retaliation by many in the health care field VA or civvy doesn’t matter. Laws will not protect anyone coming out against the local powers that be who will forever be shunned or black-balled by the state and by their community. There are just too many ways for the ‘establishments’ to ruin people and get by with it in or out of any court of law, if they live through some of the attacks. Anyone not following along with the attack dogs will also suffer the consequences for not toeing the line and doing what the corrupt expect of them or their group-think.
In my little one man protest around town I’ve had several people come up, or follow me around until I make a pit stop to ask me what this is all about. And to inform me I am doomed. Plus, about things they know of and have seen in the health care fields, the many complaints from veterans who are all fearful of being known publically and by corrupt health care. Including patient abuses and all the total lacking of professional ethics or misconduct by the same and all those connected with it all. So there will be no federal laws enforced locally about anything. That includes HiPPA, Disability Act, civil rights, human rights, or Constitutional violations. Throwing more money to existing problems without some serious house cleaning or rooting out all the obstacles and corruption, censoring, at the local and state levels will change… nothing.
Dear Benjamin Krause,
Let us take it at face value and shake hands at a job well done—by no means is the job done—but there needs to be a time to say we all got the ball rolling to get a Bill like this passed.
Outspokenness is mandatory especially when the country is infiltrated.
The money will be absorbed, consumed, and integrated into the system then they’ll hold out their bowl and ask, (more sir?). Captain Kirk had a similar problem with a giant omeba.
Ross Perot used to call it “That Giant Sucking Sound”…
Anyone notice the funding amount of $196 Million above for Veteran Suicide “outreach”, yet another MUCH larger funding amount of $7.4 BILLION for Homeless Veteran Services?
Why not consider Veteran Suicide Outreach as dire as Homeless Veteran Services?
Call me a cynic but with no integrated accountability and planned audit to track how these oodles of Billion$ are spent, am afraid the emperor’s Disruptive Behavior Committees are just going to have better riot control gear….wait for it….
I notice in that list absolutely nothing about the benefits side of things. If these fucks think I’m gonna hang on for another 4.5 years while that cash register dings over they got another fucking thing coming.
I hear ya WyldeChylde, $589 million for traumatic brain injury treatment, funny they allot so much for TBI, when they deny just about every TBI claim.
Two days ago was my 2nd anniversary for my TBI appeal. Two fucking years to make a damn decision? What could possibly take two fucking years to decide? Blown up in the military, airlifted to the hospital, all in military records, but they try to claim through a fucking quack, in exact opposition to their own TBI examiner, who decided in my favor, two years ago, that it is not a TBI but rather a personality disorder.
Once again, I find myself grabbing my balls and saying, “I got your personality disorder right here”
I’m surprised their still trying to use PD given the uproar that caused.
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