Amata Highlights Committee’s Examination of Veterans Budget and Ongoing VA Reforms
Washington, D.C. – This week, Congresswoman Aumua Amata took part in two hearings of the full Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, including an examination of President Trump’s budget request for the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) with VA Secretary Robert Wilkie, and an update on the VA’s efforts to implement the reforms of last year’s MISSION Act.
In his response to Congresswoman Amata, Secretary Wilkie confirmed ongoing plans to visit American Samoa in the next few months, and said enhanced Telehealth is the most rapid way to make a difference in services to remote areas.
The VA budget request for Fiscal Year 2020 is over $220 billion, which would be an increase over the prior year of 9.5 percent. Over the past five years, the VA’s budget has been boosted by $53 billion, about a one-third increase.
“Congress is beginning the process of analyzing the VA’s budget, which once again could lead to a record investment in Veterans services,” said Aumua Amata. “This includes a major boost in medical community care program funding, as the VA continues to implement that overall effort.”
Congresswoman Amata’s Q and A with Secretary Wilkie
“As I’ve said before, I believe Secretary Wilkie has shown an appreciation of the unique challenges faced by our Veterans due to the geographic and economic isolation of American Samoa,” said Congresswoman Amata. “I look forward to an opportunity to welcome the VA Secretary to our Territory very soon.”
“Reforms are underway,” concluded Congresswoman Amata. “With congressional oversight and support, the VA must continue working to modernize with clear improvement to claims, quality electronic records, and recruitment for VA medical services.”