California VA construction plans on hold in battle over benefits
WASHINGTON -- A political spat over veterans’ benefits has prompted a powerful committee chairman to put a hold on legislation that would have authorized $866 million worth of construction at several Veterans Affairs medical facilities in California.
Rep. Jeff Miller, the Chumuckla, Fla., Republican who chairs the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, postponed discussion of the bill last week after veterans advocacy groups began complaining to lawmakers that the bill would result in a reduction in cost-of-living benefits for veterans.
Federal government statistics show that 1.85 million veterans live in California. The majority of them – roughly 1.38 million – are wartime veterans.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars sent a memo to the entire House of Representatives last week asking lawmakers to vote against the legislation because the projects it authorizes rely on “veterans to pay for them with their disability compensation.”