Tuesday, March 3, 2009
OMB Proposes $55.9 Billion for VA
Last week, AMVETS Legislative Director Ray Kelley and I sat in on a conference call with the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to discuss the President's proposed budget for the VA in FY2010. The President has requested $55.9 billion in discretionary funding, an increase of more than $1 billion over our Independent Budget proposal. (The actual line-by-line figures proposed by AMVETS, DAV, PVA and VFW can be viewed here.)
For our team, it's encouraging to see that the new Administration is dedicated to providing the necessary funds to care for our veterans, but we are interested to see how these numbers break down within the budget--information that was unavailable during the call.
From what we've seen, the Obama Administration has set aside increased funding for health care, and plans to reopen eligibility for Priority Eight vets. The President's budget also allows for concurrent receipt of benefits, something we've been looking for for a long time.
Formally, we'll present our Independent Budget recommendations to Congress on Tuesday, March 10, along with our partners at DAV, PVA and VFW. As the budget process evolves, check in with us to see how the President's budget measures up with the IB.