Letter From House Democrats to President Bush

Democrats Call on Bush to Urgently Fund Veterans' Health Care

For Immediate Release:

June 29, 2005

Contact:

President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

We are writing to request that you submit a FY 2005 supplemental funding request adding at least $1.3 billion to address the shortfall in veterans’ health care funding that your Administration has identified.  This additional funding is urgently needed today to care for troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the heroes from former conflicts who rely upon the VA for their health care.  In addition, we request that you submit an amended FY 2006 budget to account for the veterans’ health care shortfall that is now evident in your Administration’s 2006 budget request.

In our estimation, your FY 2005 VA budget request was short $2.5 billion.  While Congress added $1.2 billion, your budget remained $1.3 billion short.  It appears the VA now agrees with our original estimate.

The 2006 budget request was similarly short.  What is even more troubling is that funding for veterans’ health care beyond 2007 is cut significantly below the amount needed merely to account for inflation.  In the future, we urge you to submit veterans’ budgets that more accurately reflect the resource requirements of the Department of Veterans Affairs and the health care needs of current veterans and the many thousands returning from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.  At a time of war, funding for veterans must be made a clear and unmistakable priority.

We await the submission of your FY 2005 supplemental funding request and amended FY 2006 budget.

Sincerely,

Nancy Pelosi

All House Democrats

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