Sen. Burr Lauds Amendment That Does Very Little To Help Veterans

November 18, 2009 6:24 pm ET — Walid Zafar

According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, there are over 131,000 veterans living on the streets.  In fact, veterans account for an estimated 25% of the homeless population. While the Department of Veterans Affairs has been trying to assist veterans who are on the streets, their initiatives are grossly underfunded.

For his part, Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) has taken a proactive role in helping to address the issue.  Yesterday, Burr released a statement praising the passage of his amendment that provides an additional $750,000 for services for homeless veterans.

"Our veterans served our country with honor and they should not be forgotten when they return home," Burr said.  "Helping homeless veterans get off the street and back on their feet is our obligation, and this funding is an important step in that direction.  Also, since the funding is offset, it will not add to our federal deficit."

While any increase in funding is good, Burr's amendment does very little in addressing the problem.  In fact, the $750,000 increase amounts to a paltry $5.72 per homeless veteran.  Burr's amendment surely earns him political capital, especially in his home state, but an additional $750,000 to tackle such a big problem does little.  It's like fighting a house fire by throwing a cup of water at it.  Homeless veterans deserve more than $5.72.