Rep. Gosar Passes Amendments to Hold Veterans Administration Accountable

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Washington, DC, April 30, 2014 | comments
Today, U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) issued the following statement after successfully passing four amendments on the House floor and attaching them to the House Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, which then passed the full House by a vote of 416-1. These amendments seek to increase accountability within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and improve veterans' health care.
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For Immediate Release
Date: April 30, 2014

 

Contact: Russell Solomon
Russell.Solomon@mail.house.gov

Rep. Gosar Passes Amendments to Hold Veterans Administration Accountable

Today, U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) issued the following statement after successfully passing four amendments on the House floor and attaching them to the House Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, which then passed the full House by a vote of 416-1. These amendments seek to increase accountability within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and improve veterans' health care:

"Ensuring timely care for our veterans is one of my top priorities. I was appalled to hear recent reports about neglect, and even malfeasance, at the VA in terms of treating sick veterans. The House Veterans Affairs Committee is conducting an investigation into the matter and so far has said that as many as 40 veterans may have died waiting for treatment at the Phoenix VA. These amendments seek to prevent such atrocities from occurring again, to increase transparency and, most importantly, to ensure our nation's heroes receive critical health care.

"Specifically, these amendments prohibit the VA from keeping unofficial records in order to conceal lengthy wait times; cut bureaucratic waste at the VA and redirect those resources toward reducing wait times; prohibit bonuses for senior VA officials; and ensure adequate funding for the investigation of the Phoenix VA.

"Our veterans fought to protect us and our freedoms. The least we can do for them now is make sure they receive the health care they earned."

BACKGROUND:
Rep. Gosar’s first amendment, the text of which can be found HERE, seeks to prohibit the Department of Veterans Affairs from creating or maintaining any unofficial record-keeping system. This amendment is in response to numerous news reports that assert the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care System has been using secondary, unofficial records of veterans’ claims and appointment requests in order to conceal lengthy waiting times. This amendment ensures such record-keeping practices are not allowed to take place in the future. Watch Rep. Gosar’s speech on the House floor about the need for this amendment by clicking HERE. Click HERE to read Rep. Gosar's remarks about this amendment.

Rep. Gosar’s second amendment cuts wasteful spending for VA bureaucrats and administrative expenses and redirects those resources toward timely service for our veterans and reducing the VA backlog. Click HERE to read the text of the amendment. Watch Rep. Gosar’s speech on the House floor about the need for this amendment by clicking HERE. Click HERE to read Rep. Gosar's remarks about this amendment.

Rep. Gosar joined several of his colleagues in co-sponsoring the third amendment, which prohibits bonuses for senior officials at the VA. Click HERE to read Rep. Gosar's remarks on the House floor about this amendment and click HERE to read the text of the amendment. This amendment is a follow-up to a previous legislative effort spearheaded by Rep. Gosar, which you can read about by clicking HERE.

Rep. Gosar joined several of his colleagues, including Reps. Matt Salmon (AZ-05) and Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09), in co-sponsoring the fourth amendment, which redirects funds from VA bureaucrats and administrative expenses to the Department of Veterans Affairs Inspector General’s Office in order to ensure adequate resources for the investigation of the Phoenix VA. This amendment was also a response to the news reports that the Phoenix VA used unofficial records for veterans’ claims and appointment requests. Click HERE to read the text of the amendment and click HERE to read Rep. Gosar's remarks on the House floor about this amendment.

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