-----Original Message-----
From: TERRY RICHARDS <vetsjustice@yahoo.com>
To: RUSTY <voiceforveterans@aol.com>;
Subject: #1 REASON WHY VETERANS DO NOT HAVE FULL MANDATORY FUNDING FOR VA HEALTH CARE…

#1 REASON:  Discretionary funding gives the power to the Chairmen of the House Committee on Appropriations and the House Committee on the Budget to wheel & deal on "pork barrel" and other legislation wanted by other Members of Congress, and that's why these Chairmen are not willing to give up that power.”

COMMENTS BY COMMANDER JIM DORAN

Don't expect to see “Mandatory VA Funding” because
House Committee Chairmen won’t give-up Power they have over
“Discretionary Funding"

VHA “Discretionary Funding”

must Compete for dollars with HUD, Agriculture, Foreign Aid, Pork Barrels.

In an e-mail interview with James W. “Jim” Doran, Past All-State Post Commander, VFW Post 4600, McHenry, Illinois and Former Superintendent, Veterans Assistance Commission of McHenry County, Illinois, Doran stated:

“VA funding comes from both mandatory and discretionary funding. The Veterans Benefits Administration  and the National Cemetery Administration have mandatory funding.  The Veterans Health care Administration has discretionary funding.”

“Under the discretionary funding segment of their budget, they must compete for dollars with HUD, Agriculture, Foreign Aid, Pork Barrels, etc.  In the last two years, while VHA has been struggling for money we spent $4.6 billion on HIV programs in Africa.  In 2006, the budget submit by OMB to the Congress was $3 billion less than VHA needs, but $3.2 has been submitted for HIV in Africa”!

“Although we are fighting hard for mandatory funding, I personally don't expect to see it happen with the current political leadership. Discretionary funding gives the power to the Chairmen of the House Committee on Appropriations and the House Committee on the Budget. They are not willing to give up that power.”

“In the past, the VA budget has always been part of a bill funding VA, HUD, and other agencies.  This year, the VA budget was tied into a bill that includes Military Quality of Life.  By doing that, the administration hopes to be able, as we fight the VHA under-funding, make it look like we're against improvements to include the quality of life of our active duty troops.”

Sincerely,
TERRY RICHARDS
Vietnam Era Veteran
Retired-Disabled
Veterans Rights Advocate
Main Website: www.VFVS.com/VeteransCorner.html
Mailing Address:P.O. Box 66202 - St. Petersburg, FL 33736-6202
TelePhone: 727-288-6129