The Senate's failed, irrelevant plan to throw $20 billion at VA problems

The Congressional Budget Office estimated the bill would cost about $21 billion over the next decade. The additional spending was particularly controversial on Capitol Hill because the VA is, at the moment, unable to spend all the health care money Congress has already given it. In obscure budget notices in the past several years, the VA has informed Congress that it planned to “carryover” unspent medical care funds from one year to the next. According to a Senate Republican analysis, the VA plans to carryover $450 million from Fiscal Year 2014 to Fiscal Year 2015. The year before, FY13 to FY14, it carried over $543 million. From FY12 to FY13, it carried over $636 million. From FY11 to FY12, it carried over $1.16 billion. And from FY10 to FY11, it carried over $1.45 billion.

And now Sanders and his fellow Democrats want to give the VA billions more. And by the way, to pay for the new bill, Sanders resorted to the now-familiar ruse of using money that won’t be spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — as if spending on those wars would continue forever and re-directing it to veterans’ uses would be budget-neutral.

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