Veterans Affairs/ Housing and Urban Development Subcommittee
Congressman Walsh was appointed Chairman of the Veterans Affairs and Housing
and Urban Development Subcommittee (VA-HUD) in 1999 and saw the largest
consecutive increase in the budget for Veterans health care. As Chairman
of this committee Congressman Walsh was
responsible for billions of federal dollars that went to Veterans Affairs, Urban
Development, NASA and science initiatives, and aided his district and much of
New York State in the process.
Syracuse VA Medical Center Emergency Department
||Congressmen Walsh successfully increased the budget for veterans' healthcare
and was able to bring some of that money back to his constituents. He
arranged funding for the building of the Syracuse VA Medical Center Emergency
Department which was constructed in Walsh's hometown
of Syracuse, NY.
The hospital system in Syracuse and Central New York was in need of newer,
up-to-date facilities. During a time when many hospitals were built and
renovated, Walsh secured $3.8 million dollars in federal money for the building
of the Emergency Room. This emergency room added more jobs and better
facilities in an area where 22,000 veterans lived within 45 minutes of the
hospital. The facility expected to see 13,000 patients which was a 45%
increase over previous years. More funds were appropriated later to add a
new MRI facility at a cost of $3.5 million. Walsh was also able to
appropriate money for a six story Spinal Cord Injury Center addition to the VA
medical Center in 2008.
Walsh received many letters from constituents, which are located in the collection, asking for Veterans health care budget increases and citing specific cases where Veterans were not
properly cared for due to insufficient facilities/programs. Walsh
responded to these complaints and his efforts were acknowledged as you
can see above and to the right.
A lot of the work Walsh did while on the VA-HUD subcommittee was
working to assist veterans in the state of New York, especially those in his
district. But he did more than just help his veteran constituents. Walsh worked
on issues that affected veterans across the nation. Some of the bills and
resolutions he cosponsored and worked on dealt with providing better access to
care and improving care for veterans. One example of this is a bill Walsh
cosponsored called the "Duty to Assist Veterans Act of 1999." The purpose of
this bill was to have a return to the VA assisting veterans in obtaining
materials needed to prove a "well-grounded claim." He also supported a
resolution in 2007 to improve care for veterans returning from Afghanistan and
|As the Chairman of the VA-HUD subcommittee Walsh was among
the "13 Cardinals of Spending". This was the term given to those who
oversaw most of what the federal Budget was spent on. As a "Cardinal",
Walsh had much responsibility and control over U.S. taxpayers'
dollars. While he was on this subcommittee he guided
large increases in funding for a variety of projects. During George W. Bush's
terms, as with most presidents, government spending was examined after
issues were raised concerning wasteful governmental spending. Congressman Walsh and the other
Cardinals' positions were reviewed concerning how much power
they really had or should have. Attacks from the media were not
uncommon yet they often overlooked the benefits of the money that Walsh had appropriated.
This page was created by Brian Kelvie for the
Spring 2009 History 419 class.