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Monday, July 02, 2007

President Bush Threatens to Veto VA Funding Bill

From the Providence Journal:

Moves in Congress to give the Department of Veterans Affairs as much as $3.8 billion more than the Bush administration proposed has drawn an indirect veto threat from the White House.

“If Congress increases VA funding above the president’s request and does not offset this increase with spending reductions in other bills, the president will veto any of the other bills that exceed his request until Congress demonstrates a path to reach the president’s top line of $933 billion,” the Office of Management and Budget said in a statement.

The Veterans Affairs budget currently stands at $36.5 billion, and the administration has proposed raising it to $40.1 billion. In Congress, a conference committee is attempting to reconcile a House bill providing $3.8-billion beyond that with a Senate measure that would increase the administration’s proposal by $3.6 billion.

Rep. Chet Edwards, D-Texas, chairman of the House veterans affairs appropriations subcommittee, said, “This bill is about respect, and honors the promises made to our veterans with historic increases in funding to provide them the health care and benefits they earned when they put on our nation’s uniform.”

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