As usual, those chuckleheads in DC have had a few too many martinis at lunch before the afternoon vote. They wanted to immunize vA spending against what was going to happen but somebody forgot to write it in. Shit happens. As usual, we get the short end of this punji stick and everyone will cry in their beer about how it was an “unforeseeable error”. What won’t happen is the repair order. The donkeys and the elephants will argue right on through until it kicks in. They don’t want to be seen as increasing the debt on their constituents in an election year even though they’d like to build more bridges to nowhere.
Congressman Jeff Millers VA Blunder
On July 25, Military.com reported on the coming cuts to the DoD budget. This report includes the statement that “[a]s For the Department of Veterans Affairs, which was given an exemption from any sequestration cuts, Secretary Eric Shinseki told a somewhat surprised committee that departmental administrative costs would still be subject to mandatory cuts.”
It seems that the people who voted for the Budget Control Act of 2011 failed to read before voting. The full text (see rules.house.gov) includes definitions of categories subject to sequestration. These categories include a security category and states that “discretionary appropriations associated with agency budgets for the … the Department of Veterans Affairs…”
Republicans, including our Congressman Jeff Miller, voted overwhelmingly to approve this bill. Now that a financial disaster looms for his constituency, the Republicans are calling these cuts Obama’s. It would be more appropriate to call the coming cuts to Veteran’s Affair’s Congressman Miller’s. As the chair of the House Committee on Veteran’s Affairs, Congressman Miller has no excuse for not realizing the implications of the bill he voted for and no excuse for not assuring by now that cuts to this important department would not occur.
Congressman Miller and the Republican party can blame President Obama and the President can say that cuts will not be made to Veteran’s Affairs, but in actuality President Obama does not control this budget. With its passage and their failure to assure necessary services provided by Veteran’s Affairs, the Republicans bear the responsibility. This info has been public for a Yr.
I guess we have to give it July’s Ruh-oh, Rorge award. Asro sorry.
P.S. Here’s another take on it. Define “administrative costs” if you can. vA apparently cannot. It’s a rather nebulous concept that will require tea leaves, chicken entrails and a lot of prognostication.