WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI), Chairman of the Veterans' Affairs Committee, praised President Barack Obama for his remarks today committing to advance funding for veterans' health care and noted his support for the development of joint records between the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense. Senator Akaka is championing an advance funding bill now in Congress, and has been a consistent voice for improving cooperation and collaboration between VA and DoD.
"President Obama's reaffirmed commitment to securing timely and predictable funding for the veterans' health care system is welcome news. VA operates the largest health care system in the nation, but its funding has been late 19 of the past 22 years. This is no way to operate a national system that has such a solemn duty. I look forward to working with President Obama, my colleagues in Congress, and veterans across America to make the hope of budget reform a reality," said Akaka.
Senator Akaka added, "I am also pleased by the President's announcement on the joint VA/DoD virtual lifetime electronic record. Seamless transition from military service to veteran status requires the collaboration of these two Departments."
Senator Akaka is the sponsor of S. 423, the Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act of 2009, which would secure timely funding for the veterans' health care system through advance appropriations. S. 423 is supported by an array of national veterans service organizations, and cosponsored by nearly one-third of the U.S. Senate.
April 9, 2009