Congressman Adam Smith made the following statement after voting in favor of the Veterans Health Care Budget Reform & Transparency Act:

“As a member of Congress who represents thousands of military veterans and their families, I fully understand the obligation we have to provide them with the benefits and treatment they deserve. This bill helps live up to that obligation.

“For the last 22 fiscal years, 19 VA Appropriations bills have failed to be enacted prior to the start of the fiscal year.  These delays have inhibited the ability of the Department of Veterans Affairs to delivery high quality care to our veterans. To address this issue, this legislation will require that the President’s budget request, and appropriations bills passed by Congress, provide funding for medical related accounts at the VA for the coming fiscal year, and one year in advance. This will ensure the VA receives adequate resources in a predictable manner and have the time to plan how to deliver the best care to an increasing number of veterans.

“By providing advanced appropriations for VA healthcare, we can assure that our nation’s veterans are not harmed by the political debates that may occur and delay the passage of appropriations bills.

“I remain committed to our veterans and will continue to work diligently to provide them with the best and the most efficient benefits available.”