FACT CHECK: How Much Funding Did The VA Receive For 2019?

Shane Devine | Fact Check Reporter

America First Policies, a nonprofit dedicated to advancing the agenda of President Donald Trump, claimed Nov. 19 that the president “secured $73.1 billion in funding” for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Verdict: False

Congress approved $86.5 billion in VA discretionary funding for fiscal year 2019, of which $73.1 billion will go towards medical care. Additionally, the legislation provides more than $100 billion in mandatory funding.

Fact Check:

On Sept. 21, Trump signed into law an appropriations bill for FY 2019 that provides around $200 billion in funding for the VA.

The agency receives funding in two buckets – mandatory and discretionary. The mandatory portion provides benefits like disability compensation, veterans insurance and education assistance, while discretionary accounts fund medical care, medical research and construction projects, among other expenses.

The $73.1 billion cited by America First Policies only covers what the VA received in discretionary funding for medical care. Total discretionary funding for the agency totaled $86.5 billion for FY 2019, a $5 billion increase over FY 2018 and the highest level of funding in the agency’s history.

After The Daily Caller reached out to America First Policies, the organization corrected the error with second tweet. “@POTUS is putting America’s veterans first with $86.5 BILLION in funding for the VA, including $73.1 billion for medical care for 7 million patients,” reads the tweet.

The bill provides $8.6 billion in mental health care services, $400 million for opioid abuse prevention and $206 million for suicide prevention outreach. It also appropriated $1.1 billion to update the VA’s electronic health record system.

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Shane Devine

Fact Check Reporter

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