Washington, DC –Today, Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter testified before the House Budget Committee. The Congresswoman urged the Committee to increase funding for the Veterans Health Administration and continued her fight to ensure New Hampshire veterans have access to full-service, in-state medical care.
“New Hampshire is the only state that does not have access to a full-service VA hospital or comparable care,” said Congresswoman Shea-Porter. “I urge the Committee to pass a budget that will allow the VA to provide New Hampshire veterans with the benefits they need and deserve.”
Below is an excerpt of Congresswoman Shea-Porter’s testimony.
Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter’s Prepared Statement before the Committee on the Budget
There are many priorities that require Congress’ attention in this budget process. As a Member of the Armed Services Committee, I would also like to talk briefly about the services we provide to our veterans.
This Committee and this Congress have made great strides over the past two years in improving veterans services. The historic funding levels approved by this Congress are helping the Veteran’s Administration tackle some of the long standing problems that have plagued that agency. Now, with President Obama’s and General Shinseki’s pledges to increase funding for the VA and to improve VA benefits, our nation’s heroes stand to see even further progress.
I urge you to work with the Administration and the VA Secretary to provide funding that will further reduce the back log and wait times that our veterans suffer while waiting for their claims to be approved. I also urge you to increase funding for the Veterans Health Administration and to provide the resources so that the VA can deliver more care in communities throughout the country.
New Hampshire remains the only state in the country without a full-service VA hospital or access to a comparable facility in-state. This is simply outrageous and intolerable. New Hampshire’s veterans have fought as bravely and honorably as the veterans in every other state. We must keep our promises to them and their families. We must give them access to full-service medical care in New Hampshire. I have been working to fix this inequity since I came to Congress, two years ago and I look forward to working with you to pass a budget that will give the VA the resources needed to provide more medical services to New Hampshire’s veterans.
Mr. Chairman we face incredibly difficult financial decisions that we must make over the next few months. While we must rein in spending where we can, these are two areas where I believe we must continue to invest.
Again, thank you, Chairman Spratt and Ranking Member Ryan, for the opportunity to appear before you. I look forward to working with you to pass a strong budget resolution that reflects the moral and fiscal priorities of this Congress and the American people.