Senator Bob Corker on Thursday applauded U.S. House of Representatives Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller (R-Fl.) for announcing he will find a way to improve and pay for legislation to address the problems uncovered at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Senator Corker said, “The men and women who fought to protect and defend this country have sacrificed too much only to have Congress drive America deeper into debt and jeopardize our security for future generations. Our veterans deserve solutions to the chronic, systemic problems that exist at the VA, but the bill passed by the Senate yesterday, which was rushed through in an effort to hide the massive price tag from the American people, is not the right answer. I thank Chairman Miller for his leadership, and I hope the House will improve the bill and pay for it so I can support it when it comes back to the Senate.”
Senator Corker voted on Wednesday against the Veterans’ Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act of 2014 (S. 2450) after a preliminary analysis by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found that one section of the bill alone would increase direct spending by more than $35 billion in the next three years.
The CBO report estimated that implementing that section would “cost roughly $500 million in 2014, $10 billion in 2015, and $25 billion in 2016” and found that “veterans would ultimately seek additional care that would cost the federal government about $50 billion a year, on net.”
The report said, “This estimate should be viewed as falling in the middle of a wide range of possible outcomes,” indicating the cost for the bill could be much greater than the initial estimate.