There has been concern among veterans that the impending threat of sequestration, the name applied to across-the-board budget cuts, would reduce their benefits. However, in a speech at the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) convention, President Obama assured them that will not be the case, The Huffington Post reports.
The president's Monday speech in Reno, Nevada, reaffirmed what the White House budget office said earlier this year – that veterans need not worry about the potential for slashing the Pentagon budget.
"Your veteran's benefits are exempt from sequestration. They are exempt," he told the audience. "And because advance appropriations is now the law of the land, veterans' health care is protected from the budget battles in Washington."
Obama also used the speech to tout the progress being made in Afghanistan, stating that the United States is still on the path to withdraw its troops from the country by the end of 2014. The sentiment echoed that of U.S. General John Allen, who said the drawdown is about halfway complete. He told The Associated Press that Afghan forces are in the lead about 40 percent of the time, with 90 percent of coalition forces partnered with Afghan troops.