I’m personally perplexed that the Republican Party could still be increasing budgets, even during these difficult economic times when we are already spending far more money than we take in. However, that upset won’t keep me from laughing at Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who was recently awarded Three Pinocchio’s by the Washington Post for her inability to understand the difference between not getting as much money in a funding hike as you want… and a funding CUT.
Here’s what Pelosi recently said about an appropriations bill that Pelosi said “CUT” money from veteran care.
“It turns a cold shoulder to our veterans and ignores our crumbling infrastructure. In terms of our veterans, you see yesterday, Republicans sought to advance their appropriations bill under the level set by their new budget, which may or may not come to the floor today. But yesterday, the MilCon — military construction veterans bill — that cuts $1.4 billion below President Obama’s budget … and then it cuts $690 million from veterans’ medical care alone, the equivalent of 70,000 fewer veterans receiving V.A. medical care in one year.”
–House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), news conference, April 30, 2015
The Democrat Party was not happy with the Bill that the Republican majority passed because it didn’t meet the budget requested by the President or the VA. However, to call the bill that they passed a “budget cut” is an outright lie. The truth?
The House passed a $171 billion VA and military construction bill, which was a funding increase for both programs over fiscal 2015 levels. That included $163 billion for VA’s fiscal 2016 budget — a $4 billion increase over the fiscal 2015 enacted budget, but a $1.4 billion decrease from the president’s request.
Discretionary funding for VA totaled $69.7 billion — a nearly six percent increase over fiscal 2015. It included funding for treatment of 6.9 million patients and 770 new staff members to address the claims backlog. But the president’s budget request called for $70.2 billion in VA discretionary funds.
Across the board, the VA was awarded more money in their budget than they have EVER had before, they just didn’t get as much as the President and the Democrat Party wanted them to get. To Nancy Pelosi, not getting as much as you want is considered a “funding CUT.” Thankfully, the Washington Post was on the case to call the Math deficient Congresswoman out for lying to the American people.
To call the funding in the House bill a “cut” is not accurate. The president’s budget proposal is just that: a proposal. The House bill is, indeed, lower than what the president and VA proposed, and what many veterans groups hoped to see. But the House appropriations bill increased VA’s total budget and its discretionary spending over fiscal 2015 levels. This is more money than the agency ever has had, and the total VA funding has grown by nearly 73 percent since 2009.
The argument that 70,000 fewer veterans would access medical care because of the House appropriations bill is perplexing and clearly an exaggeration.
Perhaps someone should get Rep. Pelosi a math tutor? Or better yet, a truth tutor?
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com