Despite a proposed budget that would boost spending for veterans, the chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee accused the White House on Wednesday of leaving veterans “twisting in the wind” by refusing to declare the Department of Veterans Affairs exempt from automatic cuts to reduce the deficit.
At a committee hearing on the budget, Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) said the White House’s silence on the issue is meant to pressure Congress to accept a deficit-reduction agreement that would avoid the cuts otherwise required under the Budget Control Act of 2011.
Miller said the Congressional Research Service and the Government Accountability Office have given the committee legal opinions that under current law, VA should be ruled exempt. But the White House’s Office of Management and Budget has not yet given a legal opinion.
“I believe we’re seeing here a cynical attempt to keep veterans twisting in the wind,” Miller said.