STARS AND STRIPES)
WASHINGTON – President Donald
Trump’s funding plan for the Department of Veterans Affairs includes a 13%
increase for medical services, making it one of the only agencies to receive an
overall boost in fiscal year 2021 under his plan.
If enacted by Congress, Trump’s budget would make the VA the
second-largest federal agency in terms of discretionary budget and number of employees.
While his spending plan increases the VA budget, it includes cuts to the
Department of Health and Human Services, which currently has the second-largest
discretionary budget behind the Department of Defense.
The president proposed $109.5 billion in discretionary
funding for the VA, including $90 billion for medical care. Additionally, the
VA has about $134 billion in mandatory funding to be spent on veterans’
“The budget request will ensure veterans and their families
experience health improvements and technological modernization advancements,”
VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said in a statement. “That’s evidenced by the
increase in budget funds we’re receiving – that not only increase health care
services and benefits to veterans but also allow the VA to lead the way in