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  • Washington Highlights

    House Appropriations Committee Holds Hearing on FY 2025 VA Budget Proposal


    Andrew Herrin, Senior Legislative Analyst
    For Media Inquiries

    The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies held an April 16 hearing on President Joe Biden’s Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) budget request for fiscal year (FY) 2025 [refer to Washington Highlights, March 15]. The hearing, which included testimony from VA Secretary Denis McDonough, focused on the administration’s proposals intended to deliver more care and benefits to veterans, enroll more veterans using authorities granted under the PACT Act, increase incentives for recruitment and retention of VA employees, prevent veteran suicide and increasing access to mental health care, bolster veteran access to medical and community care, focus on women veterans’ health care, and focus on research, in particular having the VA Office of Research and Development coordinate with environmental exposure programs as part of the implementation of the PACT Act and continuing the implementation of an interagency working group on toxic exposure research, among others. 

    In her opening remarks, subcommittee Ranking Member Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) highlighted the ban on animal research included in the FY 2024 VA appropriations bill which will take effect in 2026. Schultz thanked subcommittee Chair John Carter (R-Texas.) and Senate counterparts to be able to come to a bipartisan, bicameral agreement. Full committee Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) highlighted the FY 2024 increase to the VA Medical and Prosthetic Research program among other priorities. Full committee Chair Tom Cole (R-Okla.) stated that defense, homeland security, and veterans are all critical priorities, and these objectives will be reflected in the FY 2025 appropriations bills. In addition, subcommittee members also raised issues pertaining to the proposed cuts to the Electronic Health Record Modernization program, ongoing infrastructure and IT needs, funding for medical and community care, and continued implementation of the PACT Act.