WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representatives Debbie Dingell (MI-12) and Tim Walberg (MI-07) today released the following statement on the ongoing contamination issue at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System. Dingell and Walberg have been in constant communication with the VA since being alerted that surgeries continue to be canceled or moved to different facilities because particulate matter has been observed on sterile surgical equipment.
“The number one priority for all of us is to ensure that veterans receive the highest quality health care. When we were alerted that the contamination issue at the Ann Arbor VA Hospital continues to persist, we met with Acting Director Eric Young and other members of the senior leadership team last weekend to be briefed on the status of the investigation. We also discussed which experts have been consulted and their findings, what steps are being taken to identify and correct the source of the contamination, what is the impact on patient care, and how we can help. Our responsibility as Members of Congress is to be a voice and advocate for veterans, and we are committed to ensuring that the VA has the resources needed to determine the source of the problem and address it.
“The staff at the Ann Arbor VA is a dedicated group of individuals. This issue came to light because they were doing their job inspecting surgical instruments and discovered the problem. To be clear, it does not appear that the particulate issue has caused an infection or harm to a patient. We believe it is important that, like other hospitals, the VA be open and transparent and report the number of patients that have acquired surgical infections while receiving care at the VA, and the number of surgeries that have been canceled or moved to another hospital. As a result, we will be introducing legislation this week that will increase reporting requirements for VA Hospitals to improve transparency.”Read More
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tim Walberg (MI-07) released the following statement in response to Veterans Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald’s comparison today of wait lines for VA medical care to wait times at Disney.
“Excessive wait times at the VA are a life and death matter. Secretary McDonald’s flippant comment is stunningly out of touch and demonstrates why trust in the VA’s leadership continues to erode. We cannot lose sight of the significant reforms needed at the VA so our nation’s veterans get access to the timely, high quality care that they deserve,” said Congressman Walberg.
In direct contrast to Secretary McDonald’s remark, today the House passed several bipartisan bills to make reforms at the VA to help our veterans and their families, including:
H.R. 3956 - VA Health Center Management Stability and Improvement Act
Directs the Department of Veterans Affairs to develop and implement a plan to hire a director for each VA medical center without a permanent director.
H.R. 3989 - Support Our Military Caregivers Act
Reforms the Department of Veterans Affairs Family Caregiver Program to help better support family members caring for seriously wounded veterans.
H.R. 5229 - Improving Transition Programs for All Veterans Act
Directs the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to carry out a study to evaluate the effectiveness of the Transition Assistance Program in assisting veterans as they prepare to transition to civilian life.
Congressman Walberg serves on the House Education and the Workforce Committee as Chair of the Workforce Protections Subcommittee. In addition, he serves on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. For more information on Walberg’s work in Congress visit walberg.house.gov.Read More
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tim Walberg (MI-07) today applauded the House Judiciary Committee for introducing bipartisan legislation to curb civil asset forfeiture abuse, building on his two-year push to protect the American people’s due process and private property rights. The Committee’s legislation includes many of the key provisions of the Fifth Amendment Integrity Restoration Act (FAIR Act), which Congressman Walberg introduced with Senator Rand Paul in January 2015.
“For two years, I have sounded the alarm about an unjust system that allows the government to seize an individual’s private property without filing criminal charges. It’s wrong and runs contrary to our nation’s constitutional founding principles. I’m encouraged to see the Judiciary Committee move the process forward today by introducing bipartisan legislation mirroring many of the forfeiture reforms I’ve been calling for, and I look forward to continuing to work with them to get it signed into law,” said Congressman Walberg.
“In recent years, there have been several incidents in which innocent Americans have had their property or money improperly seized by law enforcement. While asset forfeiture is a useful law enforcement tool, abuses of it clearly show that reform is needed now to better protect Americans from having their property wrongfully seized. The Due Process Act rightfully reforms civil asset forfeiture to prevent incentives to wrongly seize Americans’ property. The bipartisan bill also strengthens protections for Americans who have had their property confiscated by law enforcement and increases the accountability and transparency of this law enforcement tool. I look forward to taking this bill up in House Judiciary Committee soon and thank Representative Walberg who has worked on and championed this important issue for a long time,” said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte.
Congressman Walberg first introduced legislative reforms in July 2014 in direct response to a wave of stories involving innocent property owners having their property seized by federal officials, including a longtime grocer in Michigan, Terry Dehko. In January 2015, he joined with Senator Rand Paul to introduce the comprehensive Fifth Amendment Integrity Restoration Act (FAIR Act), which has strong support from 94 bipartisan co-sponsors and organizations from across the political spectrum.
More Background on Walberg’s Leadership on Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform
July 28, 2014: Walberg introduces the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2014.
July 29, 2014: Walberg speaks on a panel at the Heritage Foundation to discuss civil asset forfeiture reform.
September 4, 2014: Walberg writes an op-ed in the Washington Post detailing abuse of civil forfeiture.
September 28, 2014: Walberg speaks on the House floor about fellow Michigander, Terry Dehko, whose property was unlawfully seized by the IRS.
January 27, 2015: Walberg and Senator Paul introduce the Fifth Amendment Integrity Restoration Act.
January 30, 2015: Walberg and Paul write an op-ed for CNN.com about civil forfeiture abuse.
February 17, 2015: Walberg discusses the FAIR Act with the Daily Signal.
February 23, 2015: Walberg discusses the FAIR Act with the Detroit Free Press.
March 31, 2015: Walberg responds to DOJ’s new civil asset forfeiture restrictions.
April 30, 2015: Leading small business, taxpayer organizations endorse the FAIR Act.
May 7, 2015: Walberg discusses the FAIR Act with Fox 17.
June 5, 2015: Walberg and Speaker Cotter write an op-ed in the Lansing State Journal highlighting asset forfeiture reform efforts.
June 25, 2015: Walberg testifies before the Judiciary Committee about the FAIR Act.
July 15, 2015: Walberg talks civil asset forfeiture, criminal justice reform at an Oversight Committee hearing.
July 16, 2015: Walberg discusses the FAIR Act with the Detroit News.
July 28, 2015: Walberg speaks about the FAIR Act with the Cato Institute.
Congressman Walberg serves on the House Education and the Workforce Committee as Chair of the Workforce Protections Subcommittee. In addition, he serves on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. For more information on Walberg’s work in Congress visit walberg.house.gov.
2436 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Tim Walberg is currently serving his third term in Congress as the representative of south-central Michigan. The diverse constituency of Michigan’s 7th District encompasses Branch, Eaton, Hillsdale, Jackson, Lenawee, and Monroe Counties, along with parts of Washtenaw County. Since first taking office, Tim has hosted hundreds of coffee and town hall meetings to better understand the thoughts and concerns of the district.
Prior to his time in public office, Tim served as a pastor in Michigan and Indiana, as president of the Warren Reuther Center for Education and Community Impact, and as a division manager for Moody Bible Institute. He also served in the Michigan House of Representatives from 1983 to 1999, and is proud to bring his reputation as a principled legislator, fiscal reformer, and defender of traditional values to Washington.
In the 113th Congress, Tim serves on the House Education and the Workforce Committee as Chair of the Workforce Protections Subcommittee. In addition, he serves on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
He and his wife, Sue, have been married for over 39 years, and enjoy spending time outdoors and riding on their Harley. They live in Tipton, Michigan, where they raised their three children: Matthew, Heidi and Caleb.
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Heroin epidemic in Jackson County; group looks for solutions https://t.co/FbxmXA56Tv
Under civil asset forfeiture, government can seize an individual’s private property without filing criminal charges. Read this Hillsdale Daily
We heard stories from those affected by heroin addiction yesterday at Jackson High School. Watch WLNS-TV for a report on how the community is
Excessive wait times at the VA are a life and death matter. VA Secretary McDonald’s flippant comparison today is stunningly out of touch.
Thank you to our panelists at today's community forum on combating the heroin epidemic: Prosecutor Jerry Jarzynka, Christopher Risner, Mike Hirst,
Heroin and opioid addiction is tearing apart families in our community. On Monday, I'll be hosting a community forum at the Jackson High School