Sen. Bernie Sanders introduced the measure that includes dozens of provisions that expand benefits and hiring programs and grants advance appropriations to most of the Veterans Affairs' accounts. Senate Veterans Affairs chairman suggested paying for the changes by reducing DoD's wartime budget.
At his nomination hearing before a Senate committee Tuesday, President Barack Obama's pick to serve in the Veterans Affairs Department's No. 2 management slot pledged to tackle a host of challenges plaguing the department. Sloan Gibson, the president and CEO of the nonprofit USO, told members of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee if confirmed to be the VA's deputy director he would tackle the longstanding backlog of disability claims and will work to find common ground with the Defense Department on a new strategy for a joint electronic-health records system. The committee also considered the nominations of Linda Schwartz to be the assistant VA secretary for policy and planning and Constance Tobias to serve as the chair of VA's Board of Veterans' Appeals.
The National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association, the Military Officers Association of America, the American Foreign Service Association and others rally against any potential or real proposals to change how the government calculates cost of living adjustments. The groups propose using the CPI-E formula to measure the impact of inflation on retirees, veterans and others.
At a recent health IT demonstration, the Veterans Affairs Department showcased nine different technologies that it hopes will change how it delivers health care. The agency is testing medical mobile apps on iPads with 1,000 severely injured veterans.
Federal-employee groups and veterans organizations say a legislative proposal that would result in lower cost-of-living adjustments for federal and Social Security retirees is a non-starter. Moving to a "Chained" Consumer Price Index method of calculating inflation would curtail future benefits for Social Security retirees, including federal employees and veterans, opponents of the proposal say.
The Defense Department said in a report made public Wednesday that it continued to do business with more than a dozen vendors who has been debarred or suspended for fraud. DoD says it intends to implement training and issue guidance to correct the problem.
Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) announced that she will block Jack Lew\'s nomination to be the next Director of the Office of Management and Budget, joining Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in dissenting against President Obama\'s nominee