|1:31 PM EDT||
Tom Price, R-GA 6th
Mr. PRICE of Georgia. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
I thank the Chair, and I thank the leadership for the opportunity to present this amendment.
This amendment is very simple. It transfers $50 million from the 1990 BRAC account and puts $22 million into the Veterans Health Administration and Medical Services account. The proposal for the 1990 BRAC account is $50 million above the Department of Defense request. As has been talked about with the previous amendment, it is nigh impossible to be spending more than the request.
The money that is in the request is used for environmental cleanup associated with previous BRAC-based closings, and my amendment would make the 1990 BRAC account reflect the Defense Department request and place $22 million of these funds in health care for our veterans. The amendment as scored by CBO is outlay neutral which is the reason for the difference in the figures.
While cleaning up after base closings is indeed important, the unrequested money, as has been mentioned, would be very difficult to spend and would be better spent, I believe, by providing better health care for our returning service men and women.
The conflict we are in has left many soldiers with lifelong injuries, and veterans are acquiring lasting health care. As a physician, I am well aware of the fact that traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder are the signature conditions from our current conflict. As we are learning more about traumatic brain injury and PTSD, we find that more and more of our soldiers are suffering from these injuries.
I believe it is imperative that we ensure that as much funding as possible [Page: H6539]
is available to go for important veterans health care. I believe this amendment to be a fiscally responsible amendment that ensures that our veterans are taken care of in the finest possible manner. I urge adoption of the amendment.
Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.