In a recent Op-Ed on Military.com, Representative Jeff Miller (R-FL),the Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, warned that sequestration of government programs is imminent. “Sequestration” is a congressionally mandated set of cuts that will go into effect later this year because the Joint Select Committee failed to find $1.2 trillion dollars in deficit reductions as required by the Budget Control Act of 2011.
The sequestration should not shock our readers, but Congressman Miller fears that the sequestration could force a 2 percent cut in the Dept. of Veterans Affairs budget may come as a bit of a surprise since we were told last year that the VA would not be touched. In addition, Miller is concerned that the budget cuts will adversely affect VA's ability to pay medical staff and purchase medical supplies needed to treat veterans – essentially blocking veteran’s access to VA Healthcare services.
Miller wrote, “While I agree that federal spending must be curbed and Congress must fulfill its obligation to the American people to get this country's fiscal house in order, I do not support the sequestration of veterans programs.”
In an effort to protect the VA healthcare budget, Rep. Miller introduced the Protect VA Healthcare Act of 2012 (H.R. 3895). If passed, the bill will exempt VA from the effects of the sequestration.