Wednesday, March 4, 2015

VFW Wants Action From Congress Over Sequestration

VFW Says Ending Sequestration is Top 2016 Priority
by Bryant Jordan
Capitol Hill
Mar 03, 2015

"Everyone is against the sequester but no one has yet proposed legislation to end it," said Joe Davis, the VFW's national spokesman.
Members of the nation's oldest veterans' service organization will be lobbying to end sequestration this week when they appear before congressional committees and meetings with lawmakers in their offices.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars has a number of military- and veteran-related issues to talk up, but its top mission is to rid Washington of the automatic, across-the-board budget cuts that are scheduled to go into effect on Oct. 1 if Congress fails to pass a budget.

"Our members -- all voting constituents -- will use this face-to-face opportunity [with Congress] to demand ... an end to the sequester," VFW National Commander John W. Stroud said. With the U.S. still at war, the cuts required under the sequester will devastate military readiness, homeland security, the quality-of-life of military families and veterans, he said.

The VSO leadership and an estimated 500 members gather in Washington annually to confer on veterans and defense issues and lobby Congress for them.

VFW officials will testify before joint sessions of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs committees on Wednesday and Thursday, where they will make their case for proper benefits and healthcare funding for the Veterans Affairs Department.

The group's 2016 priorities list also seeks improved interoperability between VA and Defense Department records, continued safeguarding of the Post-9/11 GI Bill and for employment programs. The group's priorities also extend to defense and homeland security spending.

The sequester, officially the Budget Control Act, should be ended to "ensure defense funding supports quality of life programs for servicemembers and families, training and readiness, troop end strength and equipment needs," the organization said.
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