Veterans Court Funds Axed By House

May 18, 2011 | Benjamin Krause

The House markup last Friday for governmental spending targeted all agencies for reductions from the 2011 budget. That is, except for the Defense’s budget. Overall, the VA budget cuts are projected to be around $500 million below the President’s 2012 funding requests. This is a far cry from the $6 billion in reductions initially sent up the flagpole by the House of Representatives over the past few months.

Two areas of focus relating to the cuts are the VA IT budget and the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims budget. Unfortunately, both reductions seem to be targeted at areas within the agency that have the highest need for adequate funding.

Currently, the VA has been touting IT solutions as the silver bullet to resolve veterans’ claims backlogs, among other things. The markup cuts $136 million from the total IT budget of $3 billion. Chairman of the subcommittee responsible for the cuts, Rep. John Culberson, R-Texas, commented:

“While under better management, the development of the massive IT systems the VA needs remains problematic.”

The US Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims is also being hit with a cut to its budget proposal. This court is one of the sole sources of relief for veterans whose claims have been wrongly denied by the VA Board of Appeals. The requested budget for 2012 was $55 million. The subcommittee instead approved only $30 million at a time when claims are backlogged at a higher rate than in the past. The money was to be used for land acquisition and a new courthouse. Currently, this court resides within the Department of Veterans Affairs D.C. facility, a “living situation” which could be called a conflict of interest since the court’s sole mission is the regulate the VA when it makes bad decisions. After all, it can be mighty tough to police the actions of your landlord. Overall, could be seen as a lack of commitment to the purpose of the court overall, since the current administration has also left 3 of the 9 total judgeships vacant. With over 4000 appeals cases pending, it appears that both Democrats and Republicans have put disabled veterans benefits behind other priorities.

While not perfect, the cuts are at least much smaller than those considered earlier. With any luck, the VA will be able to persevere and provide the services they are required to provide without too great of a hindrance from this current “markup.”

 

Comments

  1. A Beautiful Song speaking of the sacrifice of our U.S. Military Families. Check out the new single "Timberline" by Summertown and the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fGXANzMMbA

  2. Thanks again uncle sam.

  3. tanks35 says:

    Not a very clear story; This article doesn't even start to address in depth what exactly what these cuts intail !!! Especially the court of last resort to us Veterans !!!

  4. If the government wants to save money cutting funds for disabled veterans,
    let them start by: STOP sending us to fight in foreign wars that we have no
    business in.
    A disabled veteran of two wars.

  5. va is loco usmc marine always marine

  6. Republicans won back the House of Representatives Back from the Democrats in the elections of 2010. The Democrats Still control the Senate and the Oval which means they have the final Yea or Nay on these issues.
    The Title of this Article is;

    Veterans Court Funds Axed By House which is controled by REPUBLICANS!

    These are the Same Guys who want to Increase Tricare Premiums for Military Retirees! , Republican. John Cul­ber­son, R-Texas is all for cutting the funding that was meant to reduce the Backlog for V.A. Claims.

    Follow this closely People and take NAMES…
    Reppublican. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon (R-Calif.), the new HOUSE Armed Services committee chairman, called for raising Tricare Fees a "sensible" approach.

    • Not so fast… didn't you read it all?

      " it appears that both Democ­rats and Repub­li­cans have put dis­abled vet­er­ans ben­e­fits behind other pri­or­i­ties."

    • SpaceChief says:

      As one who has followed this for many years on behalf of veteran brethren without the capacity to do so. BE CLEAR for over 30 years the #GOP has shown little more than lip service to to veterans while screaming about their patriotism.

      Tracking the votes through Congress can be tedious, much more so 15 years ago.

      Consistently, the DAV, VVA IAVA and others have found Republicans in the AGGREGATE to be more than lacking.

      For example, in the 2010 IAVA Congressional Report Card shows that of 156 D or lower marks (based entirely on Roll Calls) 151 of those deplorable marks. In fact, if I counted correctly, less than 15 got 'B' or better. Meanwhile of the 94 A or better grades – 91 went to Democrats and quite a few more Democrats got B marks. Republicans dominated the C and below.

      I recall distinctly as John McCain (while sporting a 'D' mark from IAVA and 27% concurrence mark from VVA and a 20% concurrence with the DAV) was attacking Kerry as he campaigned for Tammy Duckworth's OPPONENT. He chastised Kerry for his bumbled joke – lost in that, Kerry has an exceptional record on veteran issues. If memory serves me, he was sporting a B+ mark, IAVA – at the time.

      The IAVA also includes a few bills in the ratings that directly affect active duty, too. All bills cited track back to thomas.loc.gov for verification.

      see http://www.veteranreportcard.org

  7. jproctor67 says:

    NOT TO NAME CALL BUT AREN'T THE "R'S THE ONES THAT STARTED ALL OF THESE NEEDLESS WARS IN THE FIRST PLACE. ALL OF THEIR DEFENSE CONTRACTORS ARE GETTING RICHER BY THE DAY. ASK THE VETS TO SACRIFICE JUST A LITTLE MORE AND MAYBE YOU'LL ALL DIE AND THEY CAN SAVE THE MONEY YOU WERE GETTING. BECAUSE NOW THEY'LL FIND SOME WAY TO DENY YOUR WIDOW THE PENSION MONEY THEY DESERVE. I'M OLD SCHOOL BUT I DON'T REMEMBER THE OLD 'D'S AND 'R'S TREATING US LIKE THIS. THE RADICALS ARE RUINING OUR GREAT COUNTRY. THEY WANT YOU TO FIGHT AND GET HURT OR MAYBE KILLED BUT DARE NOT PAY US FOR THIS SACRIFICE

    • CB USMC says:

      Whoa, slow down big guy. It wasn't the "R's" that started these wars it was the "T's" or "ET'S", enemy terrorists. Yes the "D'S" did pass Obama care which required veterans to buy insurance so they could pay their way at the VA hospitals(yes, it's true. They had to back up and repeal that portion of it after it was passed). Yes, it is also true that most of our elected representatives are not veterans, but who does the voting for them.

      The problem is there is no accountability for the idiots who run the system. Screw up, you can't get fired, lie to the public, but tell them what they want to hear you can still get elected. Unionize and demand so much that it puts a company out of business and then expect the owners or stockholders to pay your way.

      Elect people who have absolutely no experience to run an extremely large and complicated country.

      The problem may not be the "R's" ot the "D's", it may be the "You's"

  8. CB USMC says:

    Oops I forgot to mention allowing the Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff , the head of our military, to be a person who has not one day of combat experience. To use some of accent of the old south, Obama is a "Great Merkin".

  9. tv retired disabled says:

    i still get no answer,im a 100% disabled and if i pass away,what if anything does my wife receive.are they going to let her go on the streets with no way to support herself.can anyone answer this question. will my wife become homeless? she should receive my pension until she is gone,this is the only fair answer. she had to take care of me with no exta compensation.

    • You should be asking the VA that question or one of the service organzation like the DAV. It is my understanding that your wife will get some money ( I do not know for sure) as long as she does not remarry

  10. frank slide says:

    can you imagine the kind of people we are… the last WWI veteran died today in the United Kingdom… Veterans Benefits only last until the last veteran dies… we people owe everything that we have to the veterans.. and our representatives argue over raising taxes to provide for veterans… have we no shame?… seems to me that we are the most ungrateful people ever to have occupied this planet… imagine one of the Presidential candidates makes over $10,000 an hour on a forty hour week and he is promising to lower taxes even lower than his bracket of 13.9%… while the Veterans cry out for well deserved benefits

Speak Your Mind

*