Government Shutdown

VA Will Not Shut Down If Government Shuts Down, VA Gets $209 Billion (that’s billion, with a “b”)

Talks of a government shutdown are circulating again pending votes from Congress to fund the federal government for the next year.

In years past, veterans were left in the cold, some literally, when the government shutdown going into November. Shinseki was VA secretary at the time, and the agency took virtually zero substantive steps to help veterans prepare for their benefits being cut that month. Many low-income veterans were forced into hardship.

Luckily, for veterans this year, a House of Representatives vote of 377 to 20 should provide not only funding into 2019 but also a 6 percent bonus for that budget, which now eclipses $200 billion.

Budget Details

According to Military Times (italics below):

Lawmakers shifted around money from other VA accounts to cover that fiscal gap after White House officials raised objections about increasing overall spending to cover the shortfall, a plan preferred by congressional Democrats.

The VA budget includes $71.2 billion in medical care services, including $8.6 billion for mental health care, $7.5 billion for homeless veterans treatment, $589 million for traumatic brain injury programs and $206 million for suicide prevention outreach.

Much of that was already approved as an advance appropriation earlier this year. Lawmakers included $76 billion in advance appropriations for fiscal 2020, to prevent possible future government shutdowns from disrupting veterans care.

Lawmakers also set aside $1.8 billion for VA construction projects next year and $2 billion for infrastructure repair throughout the VA system. Another $1.1 billion is earmarked for improvements to VA electronic health records, which are undergoing an overhaul expected to take up to a decade.

Special Interests Drive Budgets, Not Vets

Let’s face it. VA will always get funding because of the special interests supported who get rich on the back of veterans. So long as the system stays broken, those same special interests will be in fantastic positions to sell their wares.

The broken government will always require more consultants to fix it, and the more consultants dip their fingers into the pie, the higher the odds lobbyists will work hard to secure special funding for those same projects that just never get fixed.

There are big bucks in fixing the backlog, which never gets fixed.

On the bright side, we can count on retiring SES employees like Diana Rubens getting her moving bonus as she retires to Florida in her newly constructed home with her girlfriend, Kimberly Beale, who will also likely receive a hardship moving bonus from VA while she works remotely.

How sweet for the couple, right?

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  1. Hello Ben, I find comfort in seeing congress is in front of the va on ensuring the vets receive there benefits during government shutdown. Congress passed blue water navy bill hr299 with a 380-0 vote. Not a whisper about it in your article’

    1. Hey James,

      They past that last month and it was covered here. Guess you just missed out on reading about it.

      Also, how the VA lobbied against Veterans who are Blue Water Vets.

  2. So…who from the regulars likes the new format? I do.

    For one it highlights new posts in light yellow making them easier to find.

    Secondly, it adds the benefits of liking and disliking comments. I think this is a great way to show transparency because while most places are censoring comments here it’s going the opposite direction. Shills will get downvotes but individual comments will show merit, if any.

    Thanks for listening to people who asked for updates to the comments, Mr. Krause.

    At least he listens to us rant on here.

    Heaps more than I can say for the VA, elected officials or vso’s not to mention general sheeple

  3. Budgeted but not appropriated yet. It is the appropriation that counts. Remember Choice was extended in the Budget last year but not funded with an appropriation. This is the gimmick of saying, “We did it, without doing it.”

  4. How many want to bet a lot of VA upper echelon individuals bank accounts will bulge with all those ill gotten gains!

    1. ill put odds that more of it makes it into congress critters accounts via insider trading than the VA axxhats get

  5. Someone throw me a raft and a box of shotgun shells.

    My canoe sunk, the swamp is drowning me and the damn gators is a gettin’ kinda close for comfort.

    May this nation burn. Sad to watch my homeland go down in flames just to serve pedophiles and faggots. Sodom and Gomorrah ain’t got nothing on this heaping pile of shit.

    Putin’s still offering homesteads. Only catch is you might not get a well, gas or something else and you gotta learn russian.

    I got too many cats and weasels to move. But for someone without the burden of pets and family it might be tempting.

    Oh and you have to grow your own crops.

    But at least they don’t have gay marches down every street.

  6. Some of those big Taxpayers bucks will also be going to upgrade the current VistA used by the VA while Cerner learns how to implement their new software.

    The supposed upgrade to the current VistA is a very clever way to hide the cost of hardware upgrades to support the Cerner software.

    One of the primary things they will be upgrading is the Alpha/Itanium processors Intel quit making back in 2012.

    Apparently the new Cerner software does not work with older slower tech so they don’t want to add the price of upgrading hardware to the cost of the new Cerner software so they are billing it as an upgrade to the VistA.


    Veterans Affairs to open VistA e-health record maintenance contract this week
    Carten Cordell, Sep 17, 2018 | FedScoop

    1. Oh, and there goes our civil rights in the stroke of a pen.


      President signs bill into law requiring VA to hire 50 outreach specialists to support veterans involved in justice system

      U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
      Posted On Tuesday, 18 September 2018

      “WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced that it is ready to hire an additional 50 veterans justice outreach specialists following President Trump’s signing on Monday of the Veterans Treatment Court Improvement Act of 2018, a new law shoring up support services to veterans impacted by the justice system.

      The law requires VA, within one year of enactment, to hire 50 additional veterans justice outreach, or VJO, specialists and place them at eligible VA medical centers; the VJO specialists will, either exclusively or in addition to other duties, serve as part of a justice team in a veterans treatment court or other veteran-focused court.”

  7. It’s time for Trump to deny her retirement and fire the lowlife and deny her girlfriend’s hardship move and the money to do so, too many in that position get away with fraud and abuse and get rewarded instead of getting fired for their actions or in-actions

  8. “[…On the bright side, we can count on retiring SES employees like Diana Rubens getting her moving bonus as she retires to Florida in her newly constructed home with her girlfriend…]”

    That’s $209 Billion worth of gasoline the VA is throwing on their burning Rome, and mark my words the Veteran Suicide rate will not just remain the same but increase with all that gasoline in form of $$$$ tossed onto a problem, while it only serves asshole SES’ers like Diana Rubens, IN LEADERSHIP, which tells ALL OTHER MINIONS…”This is status quo, help yourself, place those cleats on and step on the stacked-up bodies to reach that Veteran Cookie Jar…LOUD AND CLEAR!!!!!!!!

    May the cockroaches of 100,000 Florida Kitchens infest her newly built lovenest and don’t forget about ‘Dennis’s’ wish for a massive infestation of yeast spores in their bedding.

    $209 Billion…I fear this is AFGE Welfare Works Program Cash.

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