Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, issued the following statement after the Obama Administration released its budget request for Fiscal Year 2011. Tomorrow, Senator Murray will be questioning White House Budget Director Peter Orszag to get additional answers on the specifics of the budget. Among the issues she will be working to get more information on will be VA Construction in Washington state and nationwide.
“This is a budget that will help move us toward the 21st Century VA that our veterans deserve. I’m encouraged that the administration is following through on its promise to make real progress, each year, toward better serving our nation’s heroes.
“For the first time, this budget provides billions for advance appropriations so that veterans’ health care is not held hostage by budget delays. It also invests in advances to provide specialized care for the invisible wounds of war, speed tuition payments to recent veterans under the Post 9/11 GI Bill, modernize health records, and bring homeless veterans in from the streets.
“For many years, I have worked to ensure that moderate-income veterans who have been shut out of the VA have the doors reopened to them. I’m pleased that this budget lays the groundwork to do just that.
“In the days and weeks ahead, I will be working with the administration to ensure that we are also making smart investments in VA construction, building our mental health workforce to help provide care for veterans impacted by the psychological wounds of war, and ensuring that veterans have the tools and resources they need to find work in this difficult economy. I firmly believe that we have the opportunity to make investments that will pay off for our veterans and our economy.
“We have made a long-term promise to our veterans to care for them when they return home, and that requires a long-term commitment of funding, innovation, and access. I’m very encouraged that since President Obama took office he has signaled that he is fully invested in keeping that promise.”