VA Up for Sequestration Cuts Again

Although Veterans Affairs (VA) was spared from sequestration budget cuts in April, the department is once again under the knife for January 2013.

“The administration has apparently reversed its position that it took earlier this year when it reaffirmed its commitment to veterans and their families by ensuring that all VA programs would be spared from the severe cuts that sequestration would have caused,” said Bill Lawson, president of Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA).

PVA reported that during a joint hearing of the House Committees on Veterans’ Affairs and Armed Services, Eric Shinseki, VA secretary, said that VA is exempt from sequestration except for administrative costs.

“It is simply unconscionable that the offices and operations that ensure delivery of health care and benefits services in the VA face the prospect of reductions in funding,” said Lawson. “Cutting funding for the administrative functions of the VA health care and benefits systems will certainly have a seriously negative impact on veterans and their families.”

Under the 2011 Budget Control Act, VA was slated for up to a 2-percent cut in spending, particularly for its healthcare programs. On April 23, the Office of Management and Budget said VA would not be subject to these automatic cuts.