Washington D.C. – House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) released the following statement on House passage of H.R. 4031, the Department of Veterans Affairs Management and Accountability Act:
“The allegations that VA officials intentionally manipulated reports to artificially reduce reported wait times – when in reality, countless veterans waited months and dozens died – are unconscionable and will not be tolerated. After hearing from local veterans about delayed appointment times at VA Los Angeles, I ordered an audit where the Government Accountability Office (GAO) revealed fundamental failures of backlogged benefits claims and extended wait times our veterans were facing. Following the report, I authored two bills that would implement the necessary reforms recommended by the GAO. Since introducing these critical reforms, we are learning that these intolerable delays are happening to an even greater degree than originally thought.
“The VA needs accountability and reform immediately.
“That is why today Republicans and Democrats of the House passed H.R. 4031, the Department of Veterans Affairs Management and Accountability Act. This legislation provides the Secretary of the VA the ability to remove any senior executive if that individual’s performance warrants such a removal. This would speed the firing of those who knowingly and willfully cooked the books to provide false data on wait times and delays so that we can change the culture of the VA immediately and improve the quality of care for those who have protected us.
“I thank my good friend, Jeff Miller, Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, for his ongoing leadership and persistence in making the VA more accountable and leading the way on this bipartisan legislation. We in the House will continue to work with him to make sure that we honor the commitment of all those who served.”