"I'm grateful for President Bush's leadership in ensuring that VA can honor our nation's commitment to its veterans," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Anthony J. Principi. "I'm also appreciative of the support that Congress has shown when it comes to taking care of veterans."
The budget for fiscal year 2004, which began Oct. 1, 2003, comes as VA is putting the finishing touches on the administration's proposed budget for fiscal year 2005, which will be formally unveiled Feb. 2.
Among the major items in fiscal year 2004 budget are $28.4 billion (including $1.7 billion in collections) for health care, up $2.9 billion from the previous year, and $32.8 billion in benefits programs.
Other VA budgetary categories include:
"This budget will ensure VA is able to meet the needs of the latest generation of combat vets who are now returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan, while continuing to care for those from earlier conflicts," Principi said.
[Source: U.S. Veterans Administration]