WASHINGTON — Following VA announcements that it has proposed the removal of four senior executives, one of whom has already retired and no longer works for VA, Chairman Jeff Miller released the following statement.
“Quite simply, any VA administrator who purposely manipulated appointment data, covered up problems, retaliated against whistleblowers or who was involved in malfeasance that harmed veterans must be fired. Unfortunately, I’m concerned that VA’s implementation of the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 may be interfering with this concept. By creating an added appeals process in which VA employees are given advance notice of the department’s plans to fire them, VA appears to be giving failing executives an opportunity to quit, retire or find new jobs without consequence – something we have already seen happen in recent weeks. Right now, it's incumbent on all of VA's external watchdogs — Congress, the press and the American public — to maintain pressure on the department until those who created VA’s problems receive the accountability they are due. This is the only way veterans and families struck by the VA scandal can get the closure they deserve. If any current laws or regulations are impeding the department’s ability to swiftly hold employees accountable, VA leaders must work with Congress so those laws and regulations can be changed.” – Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman, House Committee on Veterans’ AffairsRead More
Today, after VA Office of Inspector General officials confirmed that delays in VA medical care did contribute to veteran deaths and the fact that the possibility that delays caused deaths couldn’t be ruled out, Chairman Jeff Miller released the following statement:
“The confirmation from IG officials today that delays in VA medical care contributed to the deaths of Phoenix-area veterans and IG officials’ admission that they couldn’t rule out the possibility that delays caused deaths changes the entire bottom line of the IG’s Phoenix report. Absent these qualifying statements, the OIG’s previous assertions that it could not ‘conclusively assert’ that delays caused deaths are completely misleading. It’s absolutely inexplicable and outrageous that the IG’s Phoenix report failed to clearly make these distinctions. While I am pleased IG officials finally cleared up these glaring inconsistencies, I regret that they only did so several weeks after the release of the Phoenix report and after hours of intense questioning. Getting the whole story out of inspectors general should not be this difficult.” – Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman, House Committee on Veterans’ AffairsRead More
Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed four veterans related bills:
H.R. 3593, 5404, 4276, now await consideration by the Senate, and S. 2258 will be sent to the president to be signed into law. Following House passage of the bills, Chairman Miller released the below statement:
“Congress has once again found common ground in support of our Nation’s heroes. If signed into law, these four bills would have a lasting impact on the way VA operates and on the lives of many veterans. I am especially proud of passage of the urgently needed VA Construction Assistance Act. It is no secret that VA has a horrible track record in managing major construction projects. VA construction projects are routinely completed years late and millions over budget, while VA construction officials escape accountability at every turn. Congressman Coffman’s legislation will add a crucial level of oversight for VA in completing major construction projects, helping ensure both veterans and taxpayers are better served. I thank my Senate colleagues for their work on S. 2258, and I urge them to quickly pass H.R. 3593, H.R. 5404, and H.R. 4276.” – Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman, House Committee on Veterans’ AffairsRead More
WASHINGTON — Today, the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs unveiled the official portrait of former Chairman Steve Buyer (IN). Buyer served as HVAC chairman from 2005-2007 and later served as the committee’s ranking member until his retirement from Congress in 2011.
As Chairman, Buyer championed many initiatives ranging from enhancing opportunities for veteran owned small businesses to modernizing the Veterans Health Administration and centralizing VA’s information technology infrastructure.
Following the portrait unveiling, former Chairman Buyer said, “It was a distinct privilege to lead a professional team that always sought to serve the ideals, values, and principles of our Nation."
“Steve Buyer is a friend, a mentor and a fantastic advocate for our nation’s heroes. His service to this nation while in uniform, in Congress and as committee chairman serves as a shining example of exemplary public service. This portrait is a well-deserved honor that is symbolic of Steve’s lifelong commitment to serving his fellow veterans,” said HVAC Chairman Jeff Miller.Read More
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