NEW: Lynch Calls for Better VA Funding on Iraq War Anniversary
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
“The War in Iraq is over, and the War in Afghanistan is in its final stages,” Lynch said. “Thousands of soldiers who have devoted their last decade to defending us overseas are now home, and we owe it to them to do our part. Far too often, we fall short of what they deserve.”
In particular, Lynch wants to target the VA's existing backlog, fund veteran services one year in advance, fund planned the planned expansion of VA hospitals in Brockton and West Roxbury and put an end to the sequestration cuts that have eaten into services for veterans.
According to numbers released to the Center for Investigative Reporting, veterans in Boston wait an average of 517 days before receiving disability compensation and other benefits.
“Today in Washington, a number of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan are meeting with members of Congress," Lynch said. "Among their goals is the establishment of a Presidential commission to end the VA backlog. Those veterans walking the halls of Congress today looking for allies can rest assured that I will stand with them, and help them in their efforts to establish this commission.”
Lynch took the opportunity to announce his support for a bill, sponsored by House VA Committee Chairman Jeff Miller (R-FL) and Ranking Member Mike Michaud (D-ME), that would guarantee the forward funding of VA operations.
“Today I joined a number of my colleagues in co-sponsoring the Putting Veterans Funding First Act of 2013. The bill would require Congress to fully fund the Department of Veterans Affairs’ discretionary budget a year ahead of schedule, ensuring that all VA services will have timely, predictable funding.”
Lynch also noted the impacts of sequestration cuts on veterans, despite the exemption for the VA, and called for passage of a budget resolution that eliminates these cuts to essential services.
“With good reason, the VA system is one of the few agencies in the entire government that is exempt from sequestration cuts,” Lynch said. “However, that doesn’t mean that veterans are exempt. Among the programs that face budget cuts are those that provide civilian health care services, housing assistance, employment services, and transitional programs that help soldiers readjust to civilian life.”
- Markey vs. Lynch: Who Will Come Out On Top?
- Markey Vs Lynch: By the Numbers
- Mathew Helman: Stephen Lynch’s Convictions Wilt in Democratic Primary
- NEW: Lynch Kicks Off Senate Campaign With Stop In Worcester
- NEW: Central Mass Officials Endorse Lynch in Senate Bid
- NEW: MA Nurses Association Backs Lynch in U.S. Senate Race
- NEW: Markey and Lynch Reach Agreement on Senate Primary Debates
- NEW: Markey and Lynch Sign People’s Pledge in Senate Race
- Which PACs Are Bankrolling Markey and Lynch?