The acting secretary of the VA, Sloan Gibson, came to Congress to ask for – you guessed it – more money.
Gibson claims that more money, $17.6 billion to be precise, is needed to hire more doctors and decrease appointment times. Democrats are all for it, but Republicans are a bit skeptical, to put it mildly.
From the L.A. Times:
But the request divided lawmakers. Democrats, including Sen. Jon Tester of Montana, supported the appeal, while Republicans, including Sen. Mike Johanns of Nebraska, questioned whether VA care would improve if it received additional funding.
“This sounds so similar to what we’ve heard over the years,” Johanns said, adding that the committee had routinely met previous VA requests for additional funding.
“If you can’t clean up your act, then guess what? You lose out,” he said. “I don’t think you need more billions and billions of dollars.”
To give you an idea what the VA is asking for, here’s some perspective from HotAir:
In which the agency that’s been giving millions in bonuses to people for causing and lying about the untimely deaths of veterans asks for the GDPs of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Anguilla, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Equatorial Guinea combined from taxpayers to stop doing that.
[…]The almost $18 billion we’re talking about here is about 2 and a half times the amount spent on the entire 2012 election, which liberals decry as an astronomical amount and an unconscionable stain on our process…And, it’s slightly more than it would take you to buy all of the NBA. All its franchises.
Treating people with respect, especially those who were willing to give all for this country, shouldn’t have to cost this much money.
What the VA needs is reform and leadership, not more money. The VA’s budget has increased by 173% since 2000 which is more than the growth in VA patients. It needs to have more authority to hold its employees accountable for their actions. Before we throw more money at the VA, we should demand better results and real reform from that agency.