Today Chairman Jeff Miller released the following statement after Rep. Phil Roe was elected by the Republican Steering Committee to serve as House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs chairman for the 115th Congress.
“I would like to congratulate Rep. Roe on his hard-earned victory as well as the steering committee for its excellent decision. Under Roe’s leadership, I am confident the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs will continue to serve veterans by setting the standard for congressional legislative and oversight accomplishments.” - Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman, House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Read More
After new scandals surfaced at the Washington, D.C., VA Medical Center as well as the Tomah, Wis., VA Medical Center, Chairman Jeff Miller released the below statement:
“More than two years after the biggest scandal in VA history, the department’s problems remain on full display. In Washington, more than 2,000 veterans who asked VA for help fell through the cracks, including three who died before being contacted by VA. And in Tomah, Wis., nearly 600 veterans may have been infected with Hepatitis or HIV due to shoddy sterilization procedures. Under VA’s broken civil-service system, not a single employee has been seriously held accountable for these egregious instances of botched care, according to VA records. And until VA leaders get behind commonsense accountability legislation – such as the House-passed VA Accountability First and Appeals Modernization Act – VA’s problems will only continue.” - Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman, House Committee on Veterans' Affairs
Administrative Summary of Investigation, VA Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
VA Office of Inspector General
Nov. 29, 2016
Tomah VA: Veterans could have been infected with Hepatitis, HIV
NBC, Eau Claire, Wis.
Nov. 29, 2016
In Bipartisan Vote, House Passes VA Accountability, Appeals Reform
Sept. 14, 2016 Read More
Today the House passed H.R. 5047, the Protecting Veterans' Educational Choice Act of 2016, by a vote of 411-3.
The bill would require VA to inform student veterans about transferring coursework credits when they switch schools and about agreements schools may have regarding transferring credits.
H.R. 5047 now awaits consideration by the Senate. Following House passage of the bill, Chairman Miller released the below statement.
“Our veterans and their dependents deserve full transparency as they set out to use their hard-earned education benefits. This bill will help provide that transparency. I applaud my House colleagues for working together to pass this important bipartisan legislation.” - Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman, House Committee on Veterans' Affairs
Today the House passed six veterans-related bills, including:
H.R. 3286, the Honoring Investments in Recruiting and Employing American Military Veterans Act of 2016, would require the Department of Labor to better recognize employers’ efforts to recruit and retain veteran employees and provide community and charitable services to the veteran community.
H.R. 5600, as amended, the No Hero Left Untreated Act, would require the Department of Veterans Affairs to carry out a one-year pilot program to treat veterans with PTSD, TBI, chronic pain, and opioid addiction or who have experienced military sexual trauma with magnetic EEG/EKG-guided resonance therapy, which uses magnetic stimulation to help restore proper functioning in the brain.
H.R. 4757, as amended, would require VA to supply a headstone, marker or medallion for Medal of Honor recipients buried at private cemeteries. The bill would also allow VA to send a Presidential Memorial Certificate, which is a certificate that expresses the nation’s recognition and gratitude of military service, to the families of deceased veterans and to the families of deceased members of certain Reserve components of the Armed Forces.
H.R. 5166, as amended, the WINGMAN Act, would allow veterans to authorize qualified congressional staffers to access their benefits claims information, including medical and pay records.
H.R. 6323, to name the Department of Veterans Affairs health care system in Long Beach, California, the "Tibor Rubin VA Medical Center."
H.R. 3471, the Veterans Mobility Safety Act, as amended, would direct VA to develop a comprehensive policy regarding quality standards for providers who dispense modification services to veterans under the Automobile Adaptive Equipment Program. The bill would also authorize VA to hire and prescribe qualifications for hiring hearing aid specialists.
H.R. 3471 now awaits the president’s signature, while the other bills await consideration by the Senate. Following House passage of the bills, Chairman Miller released the below statement.
“I am proud to stand with my colleagues in passing these important bills, which will help us improve and expand services for veterans while injecting much-needed common sense into the Department of Veterans Affairs.” - Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman, House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Read More
Chairman Jeff Miller released the following statement today in honor of Veterans Day 2016:
“Our veterans are the very best of America. The freedoms and safety we all enjoy would not be possible without their service and sacrifice. For generations those who have worn the uniform have put our country first, which is why we must put them first – today and throughout the year. Let us perpetually strive to honor their enormous contributions to our nation, while keeping the promises our nation has made to them. It has been a true honor to serve America’s heroes throughout my tenure as chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. Their resilience, courage and character never cease to inspire. Working on behalf of such a special group of men and women is a privilege that has shaped my life and will continue to do so in the future.” - Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman, House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Read More
Today, Chairman Jeff Miller released the below statement regarding the weak and ham-handed attempt by the Department of Defense to quell the National Guard bonus scandal.
“Defense Secretary Ash Carter’s announcement today on the National Guard bonus scandal is nothing more than a weak and ham-handed attempt to shift the focus away from the Obama administration’s shameful treatment of service members and veterans. Carter seems to have no plan to make those who’ve already been forced to pay back their bonuses whole, and by focusing only on the California Guard, he is ignoring what media reports indicate could be a national problem. Unfortunately, this is just more of the same inexcusable incompetence from the Obama administration, which had no problem recouping bonuses from Soldiers who served honorably but has time and again let misbehaving Department of Veterans Affairs employees keep lavish cash rewards they didn’t deserve. Once again, it seems Congress will be forced to fix a problem that the Obama administration created but refuses to fully address on its own.” – Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs
Obama Admin Targets Soldiers’ Bonuses, Lets Bad VA Employees Keep Theirs
The Washington Free Beacon
Oct. 25, 2016 Read More
Today, Chairman Miller released the below statement regarding a newly released Department of Veterans Affairs Inspector General report revealing that veterans are still dying while waiting for care at the Phoenix VA Health Care System and that delays may have contributed to the death of at least one Phoenix-area veteran. Read the report here.
“More than two years after the Phoenix VA Health Care System became ground zero for VA’s wait-time scandal, many of its original problems remain, and this report is proof of that sad fact. Although the report’s extensive use of confusing bureaucratic parlance makes digesting the IG’s findings a tedious chore, it’s clear veterans are still dying while waiting for care, that delays may have contributed to the recent death of at least one veteran and the work environment in Phoenix is marred by confusion and dysfunction. VA’s performance in Phoenix and across the nation will never improve until there are consequences up and down the chain of command for these and other persistent failures. Unfortunately, given that this report is largely devoid of clear lines of accountability to those responsible for Phoenix VAHCS’s current problems, it is unlikely these issues will be solved anytime soon.” – Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Read More
On Friday, Chairman Miller wrote Department of Veterans Affairs Sec. Bob McDonald regarding the department’s failure to comply with the committee’s Sept. 7 subpoena for information on VA art expenditures and the replacement Denver VA medical center, the biggest construction failure in VA history. Read the letter here.
VA’s Sept. 28 subpoena response failed to meet the terms set out by the committee, with the department turning over just 18 of 71 items related to the Denver project while providing incomplete and misleading information on art expenditures.
Additionally, Chairman Miller released the below statement today regarding VA’s failure to comply with the subpoena.
“As a taxpayer-funded organization, VA has a responsibility to explain its actions to Congress and the public. Right now, it is failing in that responsibility. We simply will not tolerate VA’s attempts to keep information related to its wasteful art expenditures and the biggest construction failure in VA history shrouded in secrecy. Sec. McDonald must immediately comply with the terms of this subpoena.” – Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs
Chairman Miller Letter to Secretary McDonald Re: Subpoena
VA offers partial response to Congress, leaves big questions unanswered Read More
Today the House passed three veterans-related bills, including:
H.R. 5392, the No Veterans Crisis Line Call Should Go Unanswered Act, was developed in response to inspector general and media reports that VA crisis line calls were going to voice mail because of mismanagement and lazy employees. It would require VA to develop a plan to ensure that each telephone call and text message is answered in a timely manner by an appropriately qualified live person.
H.R. 3216, the VET Act, was developed after VA refused to help a veteran suffering from a broken foot into a VA emergency room. Instead, VA hospital officials told the veteran to call 911. The bill would clarify and strengthen the VA’s obligation to provide appropriate emergency care for veterans and prohibit VA from transferring a medically unstable veteran unless the veteran makes a written request to be transferred or it is clinically necessary.
H.R. 5162, the Vet Connect Act of 2016, as amended, would require VA to share medical record information with community providers in order to provide care or treatment to a shared patient.
These bills now await consideration by the Senate. Following House passage of the bills, Chairman Miller released the below statement.
“It’s incredibly disappointing that VA is so broken Congress has to pass legislation just to get the department to perform common sense tasks like answering the phone and providing emergency medical treatment to veterans who need it. Nevertheless, we will keep working until the department is reformed into an organization truly worthy of the veterans it is charged with serving. These bills would help ensure all veterans have access to the help they need in times of crisis, and I’m proud to stand with my House colleagues in support of them. Now it’s time for the Senate to act on this legislation as well as the more than 30 other House-passed veterans bills the Senate has yet to consider.” - Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman, House Committee on Veterans' Affairs
Calls to VA suicide hotline went to voicemail, report says
VA suicide hotline workers ripped for failing vets
Seattle VA hospital strands veteran outside ER Read More