Rep. Miller: Vets Won't Be 'Political Pawns' in Budget Process

Thursday, 01 Sep 2011 08:46 AM

By Greg McDonald

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Rep. Jeff Miller, chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee,.says he’ll fight any attempts to slash veterans’ benefits and national security programs when the supercommittee starts trimming $1.2 trillion out of the federal budget.
“While we tighten our belts, let us remember that we are still engaged in two wars, and that we are in conflicts around the globe. Funding for our military and our veterans is and will remain one of this nation's highest priorities,” the Florida Republican said Wednesday at the American Legion national convention in Minneapolis.

“As chairman of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee, I promise that I will . . . stand steadfast in assuring that America’s veterans are not political pawns in this process,” he said.

Miller also stressed that one of his top priorities is putting the estimated 1 million veterans who have lost their jobs back to work.

He said his legislation, known as the VOW Act, which was introduced last month, “will assure that we have the most trained, the most skilled work force since the second world war.”

In other comments, Miller said he hopes to “transform the culture” of the Department of Veterans Affairs “so that all veterans feel welcome.”

He listed helping veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries as a priority as well and promised to do something about a backlog of disability claims.

“This Congress will turn the corner and make VA accountable to assure accuracy the first time a claim is submitted,” Miller said.

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