Congress Should Pay for New Veterans Spending – Not Pass the Bill to Our Kids

For Immediate Release

Congress is currently considering a proposal to allow new spending under the Veterans Community Care Program to effectively be exempted from discretionary budget caps.

The following is a statement from Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget:

We all agree that our veterans deserve quality health care. But when something is important, it means that we should be willing to pay for it, not that we should shrug off the bill. Simply busting the caps to finance this program could add more than $50 billion to the national debt over the next decade. With debt at post-war record highs and Social Security and Medicare headed toward insolvency, that’s $50 billion we can’t afford to add to the debt.

Over the past year, we already passed massive debt-financed tax cuts and discretionary spending increases. Veterans’ health care can’t just be the next item – no matter how worthy – to be charged to the national credit card.

Fortunately, there are many options for offsetting the cost of new veterans spending. Prioritizing veterans means making choices about which of these spending or revenue offsets is worth the cost.

A country facing permanent trillion-dollar deficits and eventual trillion-dollar interest payments cannot afford to continue ignoring basic tradeoffs.

Our veterans served this country and deserve quality health care, and the American people deserve a government that fulfills its basic duty to pay the bills responsibly.


For more information contact Patrick Newton, press secretary, at