WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the House passed two pieces of VA reform legislation. The VA Accountability Act of 2015 passed with a vote of 256 – 170. The Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015 passed with a vote of 385 – 34. Chairman Miller released the following statement:
“I applaud my colleagues for stepping up today to address the troubling lack of accountability eroding VA’s ability to care for our veterans. The VA Accountability Act will provide the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs the ability to make real reforms and bring much needed accountability to the department. Today, we stand with our veterans because the status quo has failed them and the American people for far too long.
“Just over two weeks ago, the Department of Veterans Affairs announced that because of its inability to budget, VA hospitals around the country would be shutting down in August. Today, the House passed the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015 to ensure that does not happen. The bill is designed to rescue a mismanaged VA, providing the resources to keep the doors open, expanding access and choice to veterans and setting the stage to consolidate VA’s uncoordinated and wasteful non-VA care programs into the Veterans Choice Program.
“I urge the Senate to take up both these measures immediately. We cannot allow VA’s incompetence to continue to harm America’s veterans. And I sincerely ask President Obama to sign both in to law – to take the money without the accountability will only lead to continued failure.” – Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs
WASHINGTON, DC – On Monday, 62 years after the signing of the Korean Armistice Agreement on July 27, 1953, Chairman Jeff Miller and Ranking Member Corrine Brown led a bipartisan delegation from the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery.
“As Congress prepares to return to our home districts for the August recess, we remember the sacrifices of the brave men and women who have served our nation in uniform, especially on this day, the 62nd anniversary of the signing of the Korean Armistice Agreement. The committee members and I lay this wreath in honor of the 36,000 Americans who gave their lives in support of combat operations on the Korean peninsula, and the over 7,000 American military personnel still missing. The willingness of our veterans to sacrifice in the name of freedom has made our Nation the greatest on Earth, and Korean War veterans are a shining example of this uniquely American devotion to defending liberty around the globe.” – Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman, House Committee on Veterans’ AffairsRead More
Chairmen Miller and Dent Pledge that Congress will Address Recently Disclosed Funding Shortfall
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Chairman Jeff Miller (House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs) and Chairman Charlie Dent (House Committee on Appropriations, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee) released the following joint statement on VA’s budget shortfall.
“As chairmen of the relevant Veterans Affairs panels in the House of Representatives, we were recently notified by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that, without Congressional action, it will run out of funding prior to the end of the fiscal year. The VA has made shocking claims that it will begin shutting down hospitals and furloughing staff as a result. We are diligently working to ensure this does not occur and that no veterans will be denied the care they need and deserve.
“America’s veterans must not be penalized for the VA’s inability to do its job. This is far from the first time the VA has disclosed problems far too late and turned its blatant mismanagement into a fiscal emergency. Two months ago, the VA couldn’t tell Congress it was over budget. Two weeks ago, it couldn’t tell Congress it would be shutting down hospitals next month. No viable organization can function this way. The VA’s continued lack of transparency and refusal to be forthright with Congress and the American people is unacceptable.
“Congress will not allow the VA’s failures to close care facilities or furlough the personnel our veterans rely on every day. We will work to enact the necessary reforms to end this continuing mismanagement and transform the VA into a more transparent and accountable Agency.”
WASHINGTON, DC – Chairman Jeff Miller made an impassioned speech about VA’s ongoing lack of accountability and widespread mismanagement at the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs markup of H.R. 1994, the VA Accountability Act of 2015. The bill passed the committee yesterday 14 – 10:
“This committee will continue its oversight, we will continue to try to direct the Department of Veterans Affairs to do their job. And I will tell you, in many instances they are failing and continuing to fail… The veterans deserve better. The status quo doesn’t work. Are you going to stand with the veterans or the bureaucrats? I know where your hearts are – it’s with the veterans, and of course it’s with the employees and the people. But there are some rotten people that work in the department that need to be fired, not protected.” – Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs
Today, Leader Kevin McCarthy announced a scheduled vote on the VA Accountability Act in the U.S. House of Representatives in the last week of July:
“When it comes to the VA, care for the veteran should come first. For years this Administration has failed to hold executive agencies accountable, and in the VA that has had dire consequences. The House Committee on Veterans Affairs has been doing good work, and this bill is another step toward providing the care that our veterans deserve. To continue this progress, the House will vote on the VA Accountability Act in the last week of July.” – Rep. Kevin McCarthy, Majority Leader
“The problems at the VA are deeply rooted at every level of this obsolete government model, and it’s failing veterans with long wait times, insufficient care, and unresponsive management. Our veterans sacrificed so much in defense to protect America. When they return home, they shouldn’t be stuck waiting in line for months or years just to see their doctor. VA officials at any level should be held accountable and, if necessary, be fired. Until the VA starts serving veterans first and themselves second, our vision to establish a 21st Century VA that can deliver the best care in the world is only a hallucination. I applaud the work of Chairman Jeff Miller and the Veterans Affairs Committee to make this vote possible.” – Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Republican Conference Chair
Speaker John Boehner’s office announced support for the VA Accountability Act that will root out the bureaucrats who are failing our veterans to make room for dedicated public servants who will get the job done, here.Read More
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