FILE - In this June 21, 2013, file photo, the seal affixed to the front of the Department of Veterans Affairs building in Washington. A House committee unveiled a disputed plan July 21, 2017, to allow the Department of Veterans Affairs to shift $2 billion from other programs to cover a sudden budget shortfall that could threaten medical care for thousands of patients in the coming weeks.(AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

House committee proposes to redirect $2B in VA money

July 22, 2017 - 3:34 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — A House committee is proposing to cover a sudden budget shortfall in medical care for veterans by shifting money from other programs.

Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin has warned that without congressional action, the department's Choice program would run out of money by mid-August.

At least six veterans' organizations, including Veterans of Foreign Wars, oppose the plan to redirect $2 billion instead of allocate more money.

The department's Choice program offers veterans federally paid medical care outside the VA and is a priority of President Donald Trump. To offset spending, the VA would trim pensions for some veterans and collect fees for housing loans.

House Republicans and Democrats have tentatively agreed on a six-month plan to allow more time to debate long-term funding and the VA's future direction.

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