Johnson, Chairman of the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs (VA) Subcommittee, meets with VA Secretary Eric Shinseki during a Subcommittee hearing.
Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki testifies before the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs (VA) Subcommittee.
Washington, DC—U.S. Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD), Chairman of the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs (VA) Subcommittee, today held a hearing featuring testimony from VA Secretary Eric Shinseki examining President Obama’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 budget request. Johnson was particularly interested in the implementation of the Rural Health Outreach and Delivery Initiative, which he crafted to provide vets in rural areas with better access to care.
“I am pleased that President Obama’s budget request for VA is a robust one. It provides billions of dollars for our veterans at amounts that exceed 2009 levels in many areas, including medical care and information technology,” said Johnson. “This year will be a challenging one as we not only address this year’s funding request, but also seek to provide essential resources for the increasing number of returning veterans. With Secretary Shinseki’s leadership, I am confident we can meet these challenges.”
Last year, Johnson used his position on the Subcommittee to create the Rural Health Outreach and Delivery Initiative, a new program aimed at reducing the gap in care that often exists for veterans residing in rural areas. The VA recently announced plans to move forward with Johnson’s $250 million plan, which gives the VA Secretary the latitude necessary to implement new programs based on the unique needs of rural veterans.
In FY 2009, Johnson helped secure record levels of funding for the VA by providing more than $47 billion in discretionary funding from his seat on the Appropriations Committee, almost $3 billion above President Bush’s budget request. Johnson is committed to working with the Obama Administration to fund important veteran programs as the budget process moves forward in the months ahead.
“This subcommittee has a long history of ensuring the VA has the funding it needs to provide quality and timely medical care and benefits to our veterans. I am committed to continuing that tradition as this budget process continues,” concluded Johnson.
For more information on Senator Tim Johnson visit his website at http://johnson.senate.gov. To contact Senator Johnson’s communications office via e-mail, write his Communications Director at Julianne_Fisher@Johnson.Senate.gov