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Cleaning up the VA

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September 14, 2016 | Ian Martorana (202-225-3031) | comments

All Americans owe a debt of gratitude to our armed forces—the brave men and women who have dedicated their lives to the defense of freedom. After serving our nation, our veterans deserve easy access to quality care.

Unfortunately, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is rife with serious problems that have cost veterans their lives. Veterans have died on waiting lists. Meanwhile, the VA has spent $16 million dollars on art during the Obama administration. And as of July of this year, the VA stopped sharing data on the quality of care they provide.

But now Congress has taken action, passing a number of bipartisan bills to give the administration the tools it needs to clean up the VA. Today the House passed H.R. 5620, the VA Accountability First and Appeals Modernization Act. Introduced by Chairman Miller, this bill will make it easier to remove or punish VA employees whose misconduct hurts our veterans, and it will strengthen protections for whistleblowers. Transparency and accountability: The core tenets of this bill are two things the VA desperately needs.

But most of all, the VA needs to listen to those who are most affected—in this case, the veterans. Earlier this week, Paul met with Charlene Cobb from the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Wisconsin and discussed a wide range of issues facing America’s heroes, including the VA Accountability First and Appeals Modernization Act.

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