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Walden: Time for accountability at the VA


The House on Wednesday passed a bill co-sponsored by Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., he said would hold senior-level Veterans Administration managers accountable for the agency’s progress, or lack thereof.

Walden issued the following statement after the vote on the VA Management Accountability Act:

“Americans are correctly outraged by the growing scandal at the VA. As a nation, we owe our veterans the best care possible. From World War II to Korea, Vietnam to Iraq and Afghanistan, they’ve all fought to defend our freedom, and we must ensure they receive the benefits and care they’ve earned.

“We in the House are continuing to act — passing legislation to clean up this mess once and for all. We’ve already passed legislation to fund important veterans programs and reduce the unacceptable claims backlog.

“Now the House passed — with my strong support — the VA Management Accountability Act. Current law puts layers and layers of red tape in the way before a senior manager at the VA can be dismissed for not doing their job. This common-sense bill would make it easier to fire or demote senior level managers at the VA who are failing to live up to their responsibilities to our veterans and their families.

“This plan would bring much-needed accountability to the Veterans Administration, and the Senate should pass it right away too. Our nation has made a promise to veterans. And we must keep it.”

The House has already passed—with Walden’s strong support—legislation to fund important veterans programs and reduce the claims backlog at the VA.

Walden has met with veterans in southern, centra, and eastern Oregon in recent weeks, and the backlog was a major topic of discussion. The latest numbers from the Portland office show that about 62 percent of veterans’ claims are older than 125 days.

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