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H.Doc.107-219 REQUEST FOR FY 2003 BUDGET AMENDMENTS ...


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107th Congress, 2d Session - - - - - - - - - - - House Document 107-218 


 
               A REQUEST FOR SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATIONS

                               __________

                             COMMUNICATION

                                  from

                   THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

                              transmitting

A REQUEST FOR AN FY 2002 SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATION FOR THE DEPARTMENT 
                          OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

<GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT>


May 22, 2002.--Referred to the Committee on Appropriations and ordered 
                             to be printed

                               __________

                    U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
99-012                     WASHINGTON : 2002


                                           The White House,
                                          Washington, May 21, 2002.
Hon. J. Dennis Hastert,
Speaker of the House of Representatives,
Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Speaker: I ask the Congress to consider the 
enclosed request for an FY 2002 supplemental appropriation for 
the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). This request is for an 
increase in the mandatory cost of disability compensation and 
pension benefits for veterans.
    During the current year, VA has made dramatic improvements 
processing claims, significantly accelerating the rate of 
payments. This supplemental request for $1.1 billion is needed 
to help pay the benefits associated with reducing the backlog 
of claims from previous years. Absent this adjustment, there 
would be insufficient funds in September to pay the 2.5 million 
veterans who are entitled to benefits.
    This transmittal also contains requests for FY 2002 
supplemental appropriations for the legislative branch. As a 
matter of comity, appropriations requests of the legislative 
branch are transmitted without change.
    Furthermore, in accordance with provisions of Public Law 
107-63, the Department of the Interior and Related Agencies 
Appropriations Act, 2002, I hereby request and made available 
$54.0 million in emergency appropriations for the Department of 
the Interior's Bureau of Land Management. These emergency funds 
will be used to undertake necessary rehabilitation projects on 
lands damaged by wildland fires and to support fire suppression 
activities. I hereby designate this amount as an emergency 
requirement in accordance with section 251(b)(2)(A) of the 
Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985, as 
amended.
    The details of these requests are set forth in the enclosed 
letter from the Director of the Office of Management and 
Budget. I concur with his comments and observations.
            Sincerely,
                                                    George W. Bush.
    Enclosure.
              [Estimate No. 10, 107th Congress, 2d Sess.]

                 Executive Office of the President,
                           Office of Management and Budget,
                                      Washington, DC, May 21, 2002.
The President,
The White House.
    Submitted for your consideration are requests for FY 2002 
supplemental appropriations for the Department of Veterans 
Affairs (VA) and the Legislative Branch, as well as a request 
to make available previously appropriated contingent emergency 
funds for the Department of the Interior (DOI).
FY 2002 Supplementals
    The FY 2002 supplemental request for VA would provide an 
additional $1.1 billion, which is necessary to ensure payment 
of mandatory disability compensation and pension benefits to 
veterans and their families. Accelerating the consideration of 
backlog claims necessitates this technical change and does not 
affect the discretionary spending cap and is not subject to 
pay-as-you-go requirements.
    The FY 2002 Budget anticipated a higher number of payments 
because of your initiative to speed up the processing time for 
veterans' disability claims: VA performance has exceeded those 
expectations. When a new disability or pension claim is 
approved the veteran receives a monthly check and a lumpsum 
retroactive check for all payments back to the date that the 
claim was initially submitted. The retroactive lumpsum 
payments, as well as the new monthly benefits to be paid are 
now estimated to be $1.1 billion more than anticipated. Absent 
this adjustment, there would be insufficient funds in September 
to pay the benefits of 2.5 million veterans.
    This request draws attention to a requirement for 
legislative action. Your FY 2003 Budget requested an 
appropriation for an indefinite amount for VA's entitlement 
programs similar to the treatment of other mandatory programs. 
Indefinite appropriations language for VA's disability 
compensation, pension, burial, education, insurance, and 
vocational rehabilitation programs would eliminate the need for 
future incremental appropriations and ensure that veterans 
promptly receive the benefits this Nation owes them.
    This transmittal also contains requests for FY 2002 
supplemental appropriations, totaling $7.9 million, for the 
Legislative Branch. As required by law, appropriation requests 
for the Legislative Branch are transmitted without change.
Emergency Designation
    Title I of P.L. 107-63, the Department of the Interior and 
Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2002, provided $54.0 
million in contingent emergency funding to DOI's Bureau of Land 
Management to address wildland firefighting needs. Your 
approval of this request would make these funds available for 
emergency fire suppression and burned area rehabilitation.
    I recommend that you designate this request for $54.0 
million as an emergency requirement in accordance with section 
251(b)(2)(A) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit 
Control Act of 1985, as amended. No further congressional 
action will be required.
Recommendation
    I have carefully reviewed these proposals and am satisfied 
that they are necessary at this time. Therefore, I join the 
Secretaries of the Departments of the Interior and Veterans 
Affairs in recommending that you transmit these proposals to 
the Congress.
            Sincerely,
                                     Mitchell Daniels, Jr.,
                                                          Director.
    Enclosures.

                     DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS


                    Veterans Benefits Administration


                       Compensation and Pensions

    For an additional amount for ``Compensation and Pensions,'' 
$1,100,000,000, to remain available until expended.
    This proposal would provide an additional $1.1 billion to 
ensure payment of mandatory disability compensation and pension 
benefits to veterans and their families. Dramatic improvements 
in processing of older claims, and the associated number of 
back payments, have resulted in more claims than projected for 
FY 2002. Absent this adjustment, there would be insufficient 
funds to pay all of these mandatory benefits for the remainder 
of the current fiscal year.

                           LEGISLATIVE BRANCH


                       Government Printing Office


                   Congressional Printing and Binding

    For an additional amount for ``Congressional Printing and 
Binding,'' $5,875,000.
    This request would support unanticipated Congressional 
Printing and Binding funding requirements based on current 
workload. This activity provides information products and 
services requested by, and delivered to, the Congress.

               Government Printing Office Revolving Fund

    For payment to the ``Government Printing Office Revolving 
Fund,'' for remediation of asbestos in Government Printing 
Office buildings, to remain available until expended.
    This request would provide $2.0 million to fund asbestos 
abatement in Government Printing Office buildings. This is 
necessary to ensure the safety of employees and members of the 
public and to comply with standards requiring the abatement of 
friable asbestos.

    Emergency Appropriations: Amounts Previously Appropriated Made 
                       Available by the President

Department of the Interior (DOI): Bureau of Land 
    Management--Wildland Fire Management................     $54,000,000

    Title I of P.L. 107-63, the Department of the Interior and 
Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2002, provided $54.0 
million to DOI for emergency wildland firefighting needs. The 
availability of this funding was contingent upon the President 
submitting a budget request to the Congress and designating the 
entire $54.0 million as an emergency requirement. The President 
has designated this amount as an emergency requirement, making 
the funds available for emergency fire suppression and burned 
area rehabilitation.

                                  <all>


Pages: 1

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