WASHINGTON, DC: Today, Congresswoman Jen Kiggans (VA-02) led 55 of her colleagues in writing a scathing letter to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Denis McDonough condemning the dishonest, partisan use of the VA to spread fear and anxiety among America’s veterans regarding their benefits.
In a recent misleading report, the VA falsely asserts that H.R. 2811, the Limit, Save, Grow Act of 2023,would cut 22% of veterans’ funding; that is untrue. Not only does H.R. 2811 not make any specific cuts to the VA – it simply returns topline FY24 discretionary spending to FY22 levels – but every individual in the U.S. House Republican leadership has unequivocally stated on record that veterans’ health care and benefits are not on the table amid debt ceiling negotiations. Most recently, on Sunday, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise stated he would not bring any bill to the floor that makes cuts to VA funding.
Despite all the ample information to the contrary, the Biden Administration continues to make false claims about looming cuts to veterans’ benefits. As the granddaughter of a veteran, the daughter of a veteran, the wife of a veteran, the mother of future veterans, and as a veteran herself, Congresswoman Kiggans has led the charge against these falsehoods.
The full text of the letter is available here and below:
Dear Secretary McDonough:
As you are aware, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) issued a press release falsely stating that the proposal which became the Limit, Save, Grow Act would threaten medical care for 30 million veterans, worsen wait times for hundreds of thousands of veterans and survivors applying for benefits, and fail to honor the memory of all veterans.
Mr. Secretary, the Department’s assertions are dishonest and shameless. The facts are that nowhere in the Limit, Save, Grow Act is it indicated that the VA budget would be cut. The intent of the legislation is to set a topline number for the entire federal budget. Furthermore, the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Kevin McCarthy, Majority Leader Steve Scalise, Chairwoman for the House Committee on Appropriations Kay Granger, Chairman for the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Mike Bost, and others have all stated unequivocally that veterans will be protected, and the VA will be funded. The leaders of the Congressional bodies that oversee and fund the VA have all firmly stated that veterans’ earned care and benefits are not on the table. The VA purposely chose to ignore these facts in favor of baseless political talking points.
Many members of Congress are deeply troubled and personally offended that the Biden Administration continues to use these dishonest talking points to create panic and fear in our veteran populations. The VA’s mission is to care for our veterans who have borne the battle. Our veterans made great sacrifices so that we may have the privilege to live freely in this great Nation. They did not make those sacrifices to be a talking point for a political party’s gain. They did not sacrifice themselves so they could be used as a pawn to create fear and anxiety among their fellow veterans. Political games have absolutely no place in the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.