This week the IAVA DC Team has been preparing for the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee confirmation hearing for the Secretary of Department of Veterans Affairs nominee, Dr. David Shulkin on Wednesday February 1st. Currently serving as Under Secretary for Health as an Obama appointee, Dr. Shulkin is well known to us as a man of character and a trusted partner of IAVA. However, his selection is unprecedented. While he comes from a military family, he has not served in uniform and is the first non-veteran to be nominated as VA Secretary. We will be watching his hearing closely to see what his plans are for VA reform.
At the local level, earlier this week New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled his budget plan. Although the measure calls for an increase in the City’s budget by approximately $1 billion, it actually decreased funding of the New York City Department of Veterans Services (DVS) by $300,000. The establishment of DVS in NYC was a hard won fight for IAVA and its partners in 2015. At the time, IAVA called for annual funding of $100 million. We are calling again for Mayor de Blasio to allocate this level of funding appropriate to serve the city’s veterans – and not decrease it. For more information on our fight on this issue check here.
Lastly, we’ve also been putting the finishing touches on our next annual member survey, expected to be released soon. See the results of last year’s member survey here.
New developments have been emerging here in DC on a daily basis so make sure to check back here for the latest updates. We’ve got your back!