Under the White House’s proposed 2021 fiscal spending, the Veteran Affairs programs would receive a significant boost in their budget plan.
President Trump’s proposed plan brings over a 13 percent increase in discretionary spending, equating around $105 billion. If this plan came to fruition, the VA would have the second largest discretionary spending for a federal agency, following the Department of Defense. To compensate, the Department of Health and Human Services would receive a 9 percent cut.
The 2021 fiscal budget nearly doubles the funding from that of ten years ago. The federal budget was introduced by the White House on February 17, 2020.
While the VA is to receive its largest budget, it might not be enough to get the benefits that many veterans need. Advocates believe even more needs to be allotted to give health care and help transition veterans throughout the country. The authors of the budget have stated that the measure for funding should match the demand for veteran benefits.
Official representatives from the Disabled American Veterans, Paralyzed Veterans of America and Veterans of Foreign Wars called for more than $4 billion more than the proposed spending. They believe that more funding is needed to improve services for women, and expand eligibility for the VA’s caregiver services to veterans of all eras. They call for more comprehensive and expansive support.
The new fiscal year doesn’t start until October 1, but lawmakers are skeptical whether the work can get done before the deadline during this election year. However, the next few months will be spent with members of congress negotiating the federal agencies spending levels.