VA chief calls House budget proposal 'inadequate'
WASHINGTON - Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald says a House subcommittee's plan to cut the VA's budget by more than $1.4 billion next year will "cause veterans to suffer."
Testifying at a Senate hearing Tuesday, McDonald said a spending plan approved by a House Appropriations subcommittee on veterans affairs was "inadequate" to the growing needs of veterans.
McDonald said the subcommittee's plan would cut veterans' medical care by $690 million, the equivalent of 70,000 fewer veterans receiving VA medical care than under President Barack Obama's budget proposal.
The House plan also would eliminate funding for four major construction projects, including a planned rehabilitation therapy building in St. Louis, and eliminate planned cemetery expansions in four states and Puerto Rico.
The full appropriations panel is set vote Wednesday on the $163.2 billion proposal.
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