Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki issued a dire warning Wednesday about the impact of a prolonged budget impasse, saying millions would see their benefit checks halted if the stalemate is not resolved in the coming weeks.
Shinseki said more than 5.18 million checks worth $6.25 billion could soon be held up.
“I will not be able to pay all these beneficiaries (without a budget),” Shinseki testified before the House Veterans Affairs Committee.
He said that if something is not done by Nov. 1, “I will not be sending checks out.”
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Though some Republicans have accused the Obama administration of making the impact of the partial shutdown worse than it needs to be, Shinseki claimed his hands are tied.
“What is best for veterans and for all of us right now is a budget for the entire federal government,” he said.