VA Secretary Eric Shinseki has been in front of Congress most of the day, answering questions about the President's propsed VA budget for FY2010.
Both the House and Senate committees on veterans affairs have grilled the secretary on purported third-party billing for service-connected conditions, often calling the idea "unconscionable."
In the afternoon's hearing before the House committee, Shinseki asserted that the new VA budget would not include policy changes related to third party billing, but that the controversial proposal remained "a consideration" for the department.
During the morning's panel before the Senate, AMVETS Legislative Director Ray Kelley and the IB partners concurred with the statements of PVA Legislative Director Carl Blake, who called the proposal, "wholly unacceptable."
In addition to questions on third-party billing, both committees asked Shinseki about the Post 9/11 GI Bill. Shinseki took the opportunity to outline the details behind the VA's plans for implementation, asserting that each phase should roll out on time, and confirming that the VA commenced new hire training yesterday.
Check back later today for further highlights of the day's events.