Congressman Sanford Bishop

Representing the 2nd District of Georgia

CONGRESSMAN BISHOP FIGHTS FOR TIMELY AND COMPLETE CARE FOR OUR VETERANS

Jul 30, 2014
Press Release
HERALDS PASSAGE OF VETERANS’ ACCESS TO CARE THROUGH CHOICE, ACCOUNTABILITY, AND TRANSPARENCY ACT OF 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02), Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies, released the following statement after the House passage of the conference report on H.R. 3230, the Veterans’ Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act of 2014. H.R. 3230 contains provisions that will help provide timely care to veterans, hold the management of the Department of Veterans Affairs accountable, uphold the integrity of the department, and improve education benefits for veterans and their dependants.

“Without a doubt, the American people expect and veterans deserve the best service possible and I firmly believe that it is a duty of all of us in Congress to ensure that no one betrays the sacred trust owed to our Veterans. The failure and mismanagement of care for our veterans that has come to light through the IG’s investigation over the past two months must never be repeated, and I trust that this bill will go far to help reverse the failures, and ensure better future treatment of veterans at the VA.”

Specific provisions of the conference report include; providing $5 billion to the VA to hire additional physicians and other medical staff, authorizing a system for the VA to fire or demote management level employees for poor performance or misconduct, and increasing access to non-VA care for those veterans in dire need, among other measures.

For more information on key provisions in the Veterans’ Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act of 2014, please click here. Congressman Bishop also submitted a statement to the House record regarding the passage of H.R. 3230.

The full text of Congressman Bishop’s statement is included below:

Thank you Mr. / Mrs. Speaker.

At this time, there is no federal agency more deserving of our attention than the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The VA has served generations of heroes who have sacrificed on behalf of our country and we have an obligation to take care of them when they come home.

Without a doubt, the American people expect and veterans deserve the best service possible and I firmly believe that it is a duty of all of us in Congress to ensure that no one betrays the sacred trust owed to our Veterans.

The failure and mismanagement of care for our veterans that has come to light through the IG’s investigation over the past two months must never be repeated, and I trust that this bill will go far to help reverse the failures, and ensure better future treatment of veterans at the VA.

I think this conference report contains provisions that will help provide timely care to veterans, hold the management of the Department of Veterans Affairs accountable, uphold the integrity of the department, and improve education benefits for veterans and their dependants – representing a major step in the right direction in meeting those obligations.

Specific measures to do so include; providing $5 billion to the VA to hire additional physicians and other medical staff, authorizing a system for the VA to fire or demote management level employees for poor performance or misconduct, and increasing access to non-VA care for those veterans in dire need.

Yesterday, we were greeted with the good news of the Senate confirmation of the new VA Secretary, Robert McDonald. While the Senate acted swiftly on the confirmation of McDonald, I was disappointed to see that the Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman was unable to bring the FY 2015 MilCon/VA Appropriations bill to floor due to objections from the Senate Minority. If we truly wanted to get the ball rolling to make the VA better the Senate Minority should allow the bill to come to the floor.

Nevertheless, I also have full expectation that with the passage of this conference report it is going to be important that this Congress hold Secretary McDonald and his subordinates fully accountable moving forward.

Thank you.

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