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Posted at 01:02 PM on Friday, October 23, 2009 by post8363WASHINGTON, October 22, 2009 — The president signed into law today (yesterday) legislation that will enable the Department of Veterans Affairs to know its health care budget a full year in advance.
"This is a huge victory for veterans," said Thomas J. Tradewell Sr., national commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S., who has been advocating for years with other leading veterans' organizations for a new budgetary process that would fund the VA in a sufficient, timely and predictable manner.
The Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act will ensure that medical services, facilities and research programs are not impacted by annual Capitol Hill budget battles that have resulted in the VA being funded late in 20 of the past 23 years.
"The advanced appropriations issue has always been about doing what's right to properly care for our nation's defenders," explained Tradewell. "The VA is the only federal agency that is singularly tasked to care for America's heroes. A budget known a full year in advance will enable them to plan for the hiring of critical medical and research staff, as well as forecast equipment and facility upgrades throughout their entire nationwide network.
"The VFW is proud of our House and Senate champions, and grateful to President Obama for his support of advanced appropriations when he was a senator, and for his signature today."