WASHINGTON — Today, Chairman Jeff Miller released the following statement regarding the House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs Conference Committee negotiations.
“In the wake of the biggest scandal in the history of the Department of Veterans Affairs, I am committed to working in a bipartisan manner with the Senate to send the president a VA reform package that will increase accountability at the department and provide veterans facing unacceptable waits for VA medical care the option to receive private-sector treatment. But arriving at a compromise will be impossible if Senate Democrats refuse to even participate in Veterans’ Affairs Conference Committee meetings and negotiations as they did today.
“The crisis at VA is not a partisan problem, and I will do everything I can to prevent this from devolving into an exercise in the sort of bickering and name calling for which Washington has become infamous.
“Today, we presented a good-faith offer to our counterparts in the Senate. It’s essentially the Senate-passed VA reform bill with authorization for more medical facility leases and a more responsible funding stream that provides both an immediate $10 billion for VA and critical oversight of the department’s future funding needs. I am prepared keep negotiating for as long as it takes to reach a deal, and I hope Senate Democrats will work with me to address VA’s delays in care and accountability crises. In the meantime, America’s veterans and American taxpayers will be waiting.” – Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs
July 24, 2014Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C.— After Acting Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Sloan Gibson told the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs that VA needs approximately $17.6 billion in additional funding for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2014 through Fiscal Year 2017, Chairman Jeff Miller released the following statement:
“I am committed to giving VA the resources it needs to provide our veterans with the care and benefits they have earned. But if there’s one thing we’ve learned over the last few months, it’s that we can’t trust VA’s numbers. That includes the $17.6 billion in additional funding Acting Secretary Sloan Gibson asked for today. Given that this figure seems to have magically fallen out of the sky today – after years of assertions from VA leaders at all levels that they had nearly every dollar and every person necessary to accomplish VA’s mission – it would be an act of budgetary malpractice to blindly sign off on this request. VA has had hundreds of millions more in medical care funding than it could spend every fiscal year since 2010. So if VA truly needs this additional $17.6 billion, that would mean the VA administrators involved in past department resource allocation decisions are either incompetent, disingenuous or both.” – Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman, House Committee on Veterans’ AffairsRead More
WASHINGTON, D.C.— Today Chairman Jeff Miller introduced H.R. 5094, legislation that would give the Department of Veterans Affairs secretary the authority to recoup performance bonuses paid to VA employees. The legislation comes in the wake of findings that the department paid more than $380,000 in cash bonuses to top executives at 38 hospitals that are under investigation for falsifying wait times for medical care or where there have been long delays. The legislation is intended to eliminate confusion among VA officials who have made contradictory statements about the department’s authority to recoup bonuses. After introducing the legislation, Miller released the following statement:
“Apparently, VA officials aren’t sure whether the department has the authority to recoup bonus payments to its own employees. This bill is intended to clear up this confusion. Ideally, VA employees and executives who earned bonuses under false pretenses should be subject to prosecution, but at a minimum their bonuses should be paid back in full. I urge my colleagues to support this bill, which would give the VA secretary another tool to instill some much-needed accountability throughout the department.” – Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs
View the text of the legislation here.Read More
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