Veterans Groups Back Lawmaker Demanding Freeze on VA Art Spending
Two veterans groups on Friday backed Rep. Vern Buchanan (R., Fla.) in his effort to halt the Department of Veterans Affairs’ spending on high-end artwork.
Concerned Veterans for America and Veterans for Common Sense commended Buchanan, who last week called for an immediate freeze on the VA’s art spending after an investigation revealed that the agency spent $20 million on high-end art purchases over the last decade.
“It’s disgraceful that the VA put money toward these purchases as veterans waited weeks, sometimes months, on end to see a doctor,” Buchanan said. “The VA’s repeated failure to provide veterans with urgently-needed care is unacceptable. The agency should focus on fulfilling its obligation to our nation’s veterans instead of buying fancy artwork.”
According to the joint investigation by Open the Books and COX Media, the VA spent $16 million on high-end art during the Obama administration years alone and $20 million over the last 10 years. These purchases included $21,000 for a 27-foot fake Christmas tree and $670,000 for two sculptures at a VA facility serving blind veterans. – READ MORE