Discharge Review Boards rarely grant veterans personal testimony and are having trouble providing video conferences.
The House Veterans Affairs Committee wrote to the Justice Department, asking that DOJ investigate whether VA officials lied before Congress when they testified about ongoing schedule and cost overruns for new medical center in Denver. A new report from VA’s inspector general slammed the department’s leadership for making poor decisions about the hospital’s construction that weren’t in the best interest of the veterans they hope to serve.
Congress is beginning to get a clearer picture of the Veterans Affairs Department’s new Choice Program, which lets veterans access private sector community care providers if they choose. But members on the House VA Committee question the department’s continued involvement in scheduling appointments for veterans.
Given the VA’s past performance, the House Veterans Affairs Committee said it’s worried about the implementation, timeline and budget for the new Veterans Choice Program. The VA said it will tap into the expertise of private medical providers to help meet the growing demand for veterans health care.
The White House, Congress and the Department of Justice laid out to-do lists to address problems plaguing the Department of Veterans Affairs, as well as legislation to provide veterans with resources for education, economic opportunities, health care and to end homelessness.
A group of lawmakers are backing legislation to make it easier for veterans to get approved for business contracts under the Department of Veterans Affairs. The VA is also in the midst of taking public comment on proposed changes to its verification guidelines.
VA’s Veterans First contracting program is making progress since a critical 2013 accountability report, but lawmakers say the agency could be doing more.
Reps. Don Beyer (D-Va.) and Rob Wittman (R-VA) introduced the Federal Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness Act, which would secure retroactive pay for all federal employees during a government shutdown, regardless of furlough status.
Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald on Wednesday asked a Republican lawmaker who served in both Iraq wars, “What have you done?” as the two men sparred over huge cost overruns at a troubled Denver VA hospital.
Reps. Jackie Walorski and Mike Coffman wrote separate letters to VA Secretary Bob McDonald asking for details about how the agency is addressing ongoing cyber challenges. Walorski asked VA to answer four questions about how it’s protecting the identity of veterans using the eBenefits site.