Military Construction and Veterans’ Affairs appropriations bill

National Commander Morin Calls Upon Congress to Pass FY 07 Military Construction and VA Appropriations

Current FY 06 Funding is Insufficient for Future Military Operations and Veterans’ Programs National Commander Paul Morin has called upon Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to finish the Military Construction and Veterans’ Affairs Appropriation bill for FY 2007. He urges Democrats and Republicans to resolve their differences and designate their respective MilCon/VA appropriations Conference Committee members and to instruct these Conferees to provide the critical funds needed by both the military and veterans’ communities.

Currently, the funding for these important projects that directly impact the daily lives of both the military and veterans’ communities is provided in a Continuing Resolution (CR) passed by the 109th Congress. The FY 06 level of funding is insufficient to cover the military operations and quality-of-life programs called for in the 2007 appropriations bills that failed to reach the President’s desk. The 109th Congress used the CR to pass on its fiscal obligations to the newly elected 110th Congress.

The CR expires in mid-February, well into the second quarter of the 2007 fiscal year. This means VA administrators are forced to play a “guessing game” as to how much money do they have to spend between now and the next appropriations cycle. Ultimately, The American Legion believes this will result in hard choices between rationing of health care, postponing much needed facility repairs, backlog of equipment purchases or repairs, and maybe even hiring freezes of new or replacement health care professionals.

The American Legion calls upon the 110th Congress to come to an agreement and pass the Military Construction and Veterans’ Affairs appropriations bill to fully fund the needs of the military and veterans’ communities for the remainder of FY 2007.

The current appropriations request includes billions of dollars in military operations and quality-of-life projects that are threatened if the current funding level remains until October 2007. The Secretary of the Army, the Honorable Dr. Francis J. Harvey said, “The potential negative effects on operations readiness cannot be overemphasized; the Army’s ability to prosecute the Global War on Terrorism and to prepare for future conflicts would be severely hampered.”

The remainder of the appropriations bill deals with the veterans community – heroes of current and past wars. The direct impact on veterans’ health care is well documented. The VA budget represents the ongoing costs of war. The VA medical care system is recognized in the health care industry as the role model for others in the private and public sectors to emulate. America’s service members, veterans and their families deserve the thanks of a grateful nation, not the budgetary “sleight of hand” or political “check-is-in-the-mail” approaches agreed to by the previous Congress.

Commander Morin requests The American Legion family contact your lawmakers in the House of Representatives and Senate. Call upon them to support designating the Military Construction and VA Conference Committee to take up the FY 07 Military Construction and Veterans’ Affairs appropriations bill as soon as possible. Please encourage your family, neighbors and friends who support our nation’s veteran community to contact their Federal lawmakers as well. The men and women of the Armed Forces – past, present and future – deserve the full attention and support of the 110th Congress.

Senate Members
Charles Schumer (D-NY)
Hillary Clinton (D-NY)
House Members
Tim Bishop (D-NY-1)
Steve Israel (D-NY-2)
Peter King (R-NY-3)
Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY-4)
Gary Ackerman (D-NY-5)
Gregory Meeks (D-NY-6)
Joseph Crowley (D-NY-7)
Jerrold Nadler (D-NY-8)
Anthony Weiner (D-NY-9)
Edolphus Towns (D-NY-10)
Yvette Clarke (D-NY-11)
Nydia Velazquez (D-NY-12)
Vito Fossella (R-NY-13)
Carolyn Maloney (D-NY-14)
Charles Rangel (D-NY-15)
Jose Serrano (D-NY-16)
Eliot Engel (D-NY-17)
Nita Lowey (D-NY-18)
John Hall (D-NY-19)
Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY-20)
Michael McNulty (D-NY-21)
Maurice Hinchey (D-NY-22)
John McHugh (R-NY-23)
Michael Arcuri (D-NY-24)
James Walsh (R-NY-25)
Thomas Reynolds (R-NY-26)
Brian Higgins (D-NY-27)
Louise McIntosh Slaughter (D-NY-28)
Randy Kuhl (R-NY-29)

Information direct from American Legion (direct link to site posted on our “Links page).


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