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Robert Wilkie Talks VA Budget at Convention

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Jeff Brody
Robert Wilkie

Robert Wilkie, secretary of Department of Veterans Affairs and a 2019 Wash100 Award winner, said he expects VA’s budget to increase in the coming years, the Military website reported Wednesday.

“I was privileged to present the largest budget [in] the history of this department to the U.S. Congress – $220 billion,” he said Wednesday at the American Legion National Convention in Indianapolis. “I’m the only member of the president’s cabinet who was ordered not to present any budget cuts to the Office of Management and Budget. And I can tell you that I have the same standing orders for next year’s budget.”

Wilkie cited VA’s efforts to address the opioid epidemic and suicide prevention initiatives for veterans. He also mentioned the Mission Act, which aims to facilitate the delivery of urgent care to veterans with acute illnesses or injuries. The report said the budget request for fiscal 2020 includes a 9 percent funding increase for VA and has yet to be approved by Congress.