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Johnson questions VA Secretary Shinseki


WASHINGTON D.C. (KELO-AM) U.S. Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) today chaired a Military Construction/VA Appropriations Subcommittee Hearing and questioned Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki regarding President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2015 Department of Veterans Affairs budget proposal. The VA’s discretionary budget for Fiscal Year 2015 is set at $65.1 billion which is a 3% increase over Fiscal Year 2014’s enacted level.

“I am glad I had the opportunity to discuss the President’s Fiscal Year 2015 Department of Veterans Affairs budget proposal with Secretary Shinseki,” said Johnson. “It’s important that the VA budget addresses the long term challenges facing the VA and meets the changing needs of our nation’s veterans.”

“I want to make sure that adequate funding for health care and treatment facilities is a priority in the VA budget. We have made headway towards ending homelessness among veterans, increasing access to care, and speeding claims processing but there is room for more progress.”

Senator Johnson has personally raised the concerns of the Hot Springs community with Secretary Shinseki on multiple occasions and today questioned the Secretary on the Black Hills Health Care System.  In January, the VA announced they will conduct an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the proposed realignment of the Black Hills Health Care System.  The VA anticipates selecting a contractor to conduct the EIS this month, with the full EIS taking an estimated 10-18 months.