WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman, a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, applauded the bicameral, bipartisan spending agreement that includes a provision that protects veterans’ benefits from government spending lapses by providing advance funding.
“Arkansas veterans deserve certainty for the programs, services and benefits they earned and depend on. Preventing disability compensation, pension and GI Bill benefits from being used as a political football during budget fights is the right thing to do for our veterans so interruptions in services can be avoided. I’m grateful for the efforts of veterans service organizations that have been instrumental in pushing this provision. I remain committed to making sure Congress keeps the promise made to our veterans for their service,” Boozman said.
Current law provides one-year advance funding for the Veterans Health Administration. This provision will expand advance funding for the Veterans Benefits Administration which administers compensation, pensions, readjustment benefits and insurance.
The language included in the spending bill comes from the Putting Veterans Funding First Act, legislation introduced by Boozman and Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK). The senators introduced the legislation in May of 2013 because of the way that veterans were being negatively impacted by delays to the annual appropriations process and the lack of a long-term funding plan.
“It is my hope that a change in leadership within the U.S. Senate will bring with it a return to responsible governance that includes passing appropriations bills in a timely manner and long-term planning but I have ensured that our veterans will be cared for no matter what occurs,” Boozman said.