Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 31, 2015

Come Memorial Day, Mikulski Wants the Floor

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Appropriations Chairwoman Barbara A. Mikulski signaled again Tuesday that she intends to bring spending bills to the floor this year.

The Maryland Democrat outlined her proposed schedule at a Tuesday morning hearing of the Military Construction-Veterans Affairs subcommittee, before pushing Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki about efforts to fight the department’s claims backlog.

“Our goal will be on May 22 to have our first full committee markup,” Mikulski said. “If I’m advised by the subcommittee chair and his vice chair that they’re ready to go, the committee will be ready to go.”

“We want to be on the floor by [as] soon after Memorial Day as we can to show that it’s not just words, but it’s deeds, and that we will do the discretionary part that we’re supposed to do, and to do it,” Mikulski said, speaking to the budget for veterans programs.

Considering appropriations bills on the Senate floor has become something of a lost art, but Mikulski is eager to revive the practice, and she’s staking her claim to precious floor time. She is aided in her quest by having already agreed upon top-line spending numbers from the budget agreement negotiated by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Rep. Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis.

“This committee is really committed to the VA appropriations,” Mikulski said Tuesday. “It is our goal to make the VA subcommittee, the VA-MilCon, one of our earliest markups. We now have … a committee goal of completing our work by Oct. 1. It would be the first time since 1996 that it did it. We’re in the process of holding 60 hearings in six weeks. We are on a brisk pace.”

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  1. Jim S.

    March 26, 2014
    8:26 a.m.

    The VA is the responsibility of those served, through their representatives hired to work for them! The VA didn’t just recognize, those served ignored and not only as to AO, out of site no need to pay, Reality! This VA and the whole Executive Branch are taking on what has been ignored, they don’t control the people served purse but do have the ability to find ways to help, still not enough:

    Read about it now for it’ll now be archived and never heard about again!!

    GWB Now Wrapping Himself in ‘Magnetic “Support the Veterans” Ribbons’!
    “Bush Institute aims to identify best resources for vets’ transition”
    Where was this ‘support’ from him, flag waving, lapel flag pins, magnetic support ribbons, plenty of empty patriotic meme’s, his VA secretary, under conservative administrations always very minimal, and especially the republican congresses who were rubber stamping war costs off the books all borrowed and with no bid private corporate war contracts including the growth of a private merc army and obstruction after loosing the majorities in the senate but maintaining in the house!

    Carrying on that conservative tradition for us older, from the decades previous and wars of, of Republican administrations and Veterans Administration Cabinet Secretaries! In my lifetime, and four year in the Navy ’67-’71, all shore, with my last In Country Vietnam, there’s only one VA secretary that tried to build what should always have been, till Gen Shinseki and company, as the people served responsibility and that was brother ‘Nam vet Max Cleland, under Pres. Clinton, who was blocked by those congresses conservative ideologies in accomplishing.

    “Why in 2009 were we still using paper?” VA Assistant Secretary Tommy Sowers “When we came in, there was no plan to change that; we’ve been operating on a six month wait for over a decade.” 27 March 2013

    Why, that conservative ideology, in total control, extended into the Defense Departments medical care needs, think Walter Reed, of the returning military mortally wounded from the quickly abandoned missions after 9/11 in Afghanistan, winding down after thirteen years, and the trumped up so called intelligence of the quick Iraq invasion and long occupation. Their talking point, “it’s going to close soon so no need to fund needs”, even though two wars were started and the new facility had yet to be moved from the talking and early stage plannings of. Continuing the decades long under funding, they’ve tried cutting the budget a number of times, VA budget to create problems as they seek their long wanted goal of privatizing for profit the government agencies especially the VA, a sure profit maker in private hands from results of wars of choice.

    “12 years also is a long time. We now have a lifetime responsibility to a generation of service members, veterans and their families.” Dr. Jonathan Woodson 11 Sep. 2013: ‘With 9/11 Came Lifetime Responsibility’ {two tax cuts, especially for the wealthy, came with these two recent unpaid for wars, still not paid for, and the results of!}

    Full funding, especially with All major military operations supported, would have kept up with advancing technology changes and regular upgrading maintenance and Still saved monies in the budgets thus giving more extended help needs, grants for civilian programs successful in helping veterans, and returns to those served!!!!!

    Under the Bush not only did the present have to contend with “Why in 2009 were we still using paper?” but along with lost or stolen laptops from those veterans administration employee’s, remember all the reports of, with vital veterans information within, they had all this:

    And more disturbing in relation to even before and through the early years of the Afghanistan, quickly abandoned missions of, and Iraq occupations, this:

    ProPublica and The Seattle Times Nov. 9, 2012 – Lost to History: Missing War Records Complicate Benefit Claims by Iraq, Afghanistan Veterans

    DeLara’s case is part of a much larger problem that has plagued the U.S. military since the 1990 Gulf War: a failure to create and maintain the types of field records that have documented American conflicts since the Revolutionary War.

    Army Says War Records Gap Is Real, Launches Recovery Effort

    The War On Military Records

    What can one expect from this new ‘patriotic’ endeavor of former President Bush and his touted ‘George W. Bush Institute’, Nothing! This, like what if anything to come, was a photo op of using those that serve as that ‘patriotic’ meme needed. Much like all the photo ops, usually as an election is coming and military/veterans votes are sought, from congressional bills introduced, sometimes passed but very rarely funded with actual people served treasury dollars, that I’ve watched even before I was discharged from the military, from Korea, shifting promises to them to us Vietnam veterans, forward! While ignoring many issues, think PTS, Agent Orange to Gulf War Syndrome, to name but a tiny number of oh so many!

    “If military action is worth our troops’ blood, it should be worth our treasure, too” “not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American.” -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

    Under the present VA administration and with the help of the whole Executive branch and it’s cabinet: Military Exposures: Agent Orange, Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses, Radiation, Noise Exposure, Burn Pits, More Exposures »
    Diseases & Conditions: Agent Orange-Related Diseases, Viral Hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, Seasonal Flu, Rabies, More Diseases »
    Much much more>>>

    USN All Shore ’67-’71 GMG3 Vietnam In Country ’70-’71

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