WH 2014 Budget Request Includes 4% VA Funding Boost; Eric Shineski Comments

Eric Shinseki
Eric Shinseki

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has received a 4 percent funding increase in the White House’s budget request for fiscal year 2014, pending congressional approval.

The additional $2.5 billion would go to the agency’s discretionary budget for addressing the VA’s growing disability claims backlog, totaling close to 600,000 cases, Stars and Stripes reported Friday.

VA Secretary Eric Shinseki told reporters last week that his office is aiming to eliminate the backlog by 2015 and that the agency takes an average of nine months to close a claim, according to the report.

“At the end of the day, it’s not the inputs or investments but the outputs—questions being answered, tax credits being utilized, jobs being created—that’s going to prove to people whether the system is working,” said Denis McDonough, White House chief of staff, according to Leo Shane III‘s story.

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