VA exempt from automatic budget cuts, OMB says

Sequestration was part of the 2011 Budget Control Act, and automatic cuts of $500 billion to defense and non-defense discretionary spending went into effect when the supercommittee could not come up with a deficit-reduction proposal.

Office of Management and Budget deputy general counsel Steven Aitken wrote a letter to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) that said “all programs administered by VA, including Veterans’ Medical Care, are exempt from sequestration.”

House Veterans' Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) said the decision from OMB was “long overdue.”

“It’s about time OMB issued this decision and got serious about sequestration and VA,” Miller said in a statement.

Veterans of Foreign Wars national commander Richard DeNoyer said in a statement that “disabled veterans can breathe a sigh of relief.”

Miller, however, expressed some concern that the OMB letter said it was not addressing “other potential sequester programs,” such as the “federal administrative expenses” provision, and said he was seeking clarification from OMB.