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October 9, 2013

Cole says shutdown momentum could shift toward starting government

(Continued)

WASHINGTON D.C —

Public Affairs Officer for the Oklahoma City VA Tara Ricks said the new cuts will not affect veterans ability to receive medical treatment at VA hospitals. She said those programs and establishments are funded through the end of 2014 fiscal year. 

Payouts and monetary assistance for veterans may be in danger if the shutdown continues much longer, said Ricks. 

“Regarding benefits payments administered by the Veterans Benefits Administration: Claims processing and payments in the compensation, pension, education, and vocational rehabilitation programs are anticipated to continue through late October," she said. "However, in the event of a prolonged shutdown, claims processing and payments in these programs would be suspended as available funding is exhausted."

The House of Representatives passed legislation last week funding veteran's affairs, but Cole said the Senate has yet to take the bill to a vote. 

"I feel like they're holding on to it to keep pressure on us," he said. 

Regardless of the outcome, Cole said the "fast and loose" methodology those in Washington apply to dealing with national budgetary issues has to stop. 

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